Virgin council candidates seek to unify fractured town

Virgin Town monument, Summer 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

VIRGIN – One of the major themes in the rhetoric of the candidates vying for two seats on the Virgin Town Council this year has been unifying the town, which has been divided over several issues, most recently on a referendum aimed at stopping the rezone of property slated for an RV Park. One incumbent, Bill Adams, did not make it to the general election. The field of four therefore includes only one incumbent, Danyale Blackmore, who narrowly slipped in after the primary election, as well as Lyman Everett, Daniel Snyder and Matt Spendlove.

Virgin Town straddles state Route 9, the main highway to Zion National Park’s south entrance, about 20 miles west of the town.

All of the candidates were asked what would be the main goal they would want to accomplish if elected, how would they accomplish that goal if not elected, what is something unique about them and what is something about themselves they really want the public to know. The following short bios are based on their answers.

Danyale Blackmore and family | Submitted photo, St. George News
Danyale Blackmore and family | Submitted photo, St. George News

Danyale Blackmore

“If I could accomplish one goal in office I would like to create a level playing field so that everyone in the entire community has a voice, not just one or two groups that have personal agendas,” Blackmore said. “I would also like to see the land around the BMX track that is been being planned for parks and recreation grow and expand.”

If not re-elected, Blackmore said she would continue to be a voice for what is fair and just in the entire community rather than “sit back and let others with personal agendas walk over the rights of others.”

Blackmore said Virgin residents live in the town for the same reason, because it’s “a peaceful and beautiful place to live.”

“I want to protect the people that live here now and maintain what we have for future generations,” she said.

Blackmore described herself as a kind and forgiving person who treats everyone she meets the same regardless of how they treat her.  

“I always look for the best in everyone,” she said.

A mother of four children, Blackmore said she would like Virgin residents to know that her main goal is to be of service.

“There is not a person in this world that I wouldn’t try to help if given the opportunity,” she said.

Lyman Everett | Submitted photo, St. George News
Lyman Everett | Submitted photo, St. George News

Lyman Everett

Everett sees three major issues facing the town: protecting its rural atmosphere, planning its growth, and addressing its sewer issues. To accomplish these things, Everett said the town needs to follow its general plan and fine tune laws and ordinances. He said residents, even though they might disagree on issues, must treat each other with courtesy and respect and work together to make Virgin a better place.

“We can still be united in our love for where we live,” he said.

Everett said a recent waste survey of the town showed its sewer system is reaching its limits and that any new subdivision or commercial development would have to put in its own sewer system.

“In the direct future, it is something we’ll have to address,” he said of the sewer issues.

If not elected, Everett said he would stay active in the town government by participating in meetings. He said the more actively involved residents are in the issues facing the town, the better.

“I’m an honest person,” Everett said, noting that he’s been a home builder for 38 years and has managed to maintain a good reputation. He is still building and runs his own company, Everett & Associates Construction Inc.

Everett and his wife, Deborah, raised five children and have 13 grandchildren.

In his spare time, Everett enjoys working with wood, carving poles and building furniture. He also enjoys river rafting and most recently ran the Dolores River in southwestern Colorado.

Daniel Snyder | Submitted photo, St. George News
Daniel Snyder | Submitted photo, St. George News

Daniel Snyder

Snyder said he would like to see Virgin integrate some small businesses that serve the needs of the community and the tourist population while maintaining its small-town atmosphere.

Explaining, Snyder said a coffee shop, a restaurant, a small convenience store as well as other tourist-based businesses intended for the highway resort zone would be a good fit for the town. The town simply must decide where it makes most sense to put such businesses, he said.

If not elected, Snyder said he would continue to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission and would continue to attend meetings as a citizen and “participate in the public process.”

Something unique about Snyder is, he said, his diverse skill sets. He guides canyoneering, climbing, mountain biking and jeep tours for a living. He does brick mason work and has also served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for the last four years.

One thing Snyder said he would like Virgin residents to know about him is that he believes in patience, kindness and forgiveness.

“Those principles I try to bring into everything I do,” he said.

Snyder is single but has a girlfriend. He has a 24-year-old daughter and a granddaughter.

“I enjoy having the extra time to serve my community and friends as well as show people from around the world the place I’m lucky enough to call home,” he said.

Matt Spendlove | Submitted photo, St. George News
Matt Spendlove | Submitted photo, St. George News

Matt Spendlove

Spendlove said his main goal is to make Virgin united – make the town a better town.

“We’ve been divided for quite some time,” he said.

There will always be people who don’t want businesses and some that do, he said. He is in favor of responsible businesses that are good for the town, including the Zion Sunset River Resort, the RV Park whose rezone was recently voted down in June’s referendum vote.

Another thing Spendlove would like to see is the town cleaned up and become more attractive because, in his opinion, he said, currently it is “pretty junky” and there isn’t much in the town to attract tourists. The town needs to capitalize the approximately 4 million visitors driving through every year better than it does now.

If not elected, Spendlove said he would continue serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission and be friends with all residents, even if they disagree on some issues.

“I don’t have any enemies,” he said.

A lifelong Virgin resident, Spendlove and his wife, Darcy, have four children, two daughters and two sons.

Spendlove said one thing unique about him is he has helped build an agriculture business that is fast becoming a bastion of bygone days, farming thousands of acres and feeding 3,000 to 6,000 cattle per year.

“I pray our kids grow up and want to take it over,” he said.

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1 Comment

  • laytonian October 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    As a part-time resident of your area, if I could vote, I’d vote for Spendlove. His mention of “junky” is spot-on!
    The town of Virgin is a drive-through. It certainly doesn’t look welcoming to us.

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