IVINS — The City of Ivins held its first meeting of the 2016 calendar year Thursday night at Ivins City Hall, 55 N. Main Street, Ivins, and first on the agenda was the swearing-in of two newly elected council members as well as one reelected council member.
There wasn’t a full quorum of council members so the first order of business, Ivins Mayor Chris Hart said as he conducted the meeting, was to swear in returning councilman Ron Densley and newly elected council members Dennis Mehr and Jenny Johnson.
Council members were sworn in by City Recorder, Kari Jimenez after which the council members took their seats and the unofficial meeting began.
The new members expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to sit on the council and to serve their community.
“I’m just excited about it, I am excited to get started and to be able to have a chance to help with the city,” Johsnon said.
Johnson said she expects to see a lot of changes and growth that Ivins will experience, especially in businesses, as the new medical school — The Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Southern Utah branch — prepares to start construction.
Incoming councilman Mehr sang the praises of Ivins and its residents and said he was looking forward to serving the people to the best of his ability.
“I am excited to be serving my community, I am grateful for their support,” Mehr said. “(I want to) serve the best way I can, stay on course and keep the city heading in a great direction.”
Mayor Hart, along with the standing council members, extended their welcome to the new members of the council. Hart called both Johnson and Mehr outstanding and said he is looking forward to serving with both of them.
Reelected councilman Densley said he was happy to be reelected and to continue with projects that he had started in his first term including working with Snow Canyon State Park to widen the road through the park.
“I am excited for the upcoming year and the things that I had started and hope that we can continue in the next four years and get them completed,” Densley said.
During the council meeting, Densley was also nominated and elected as Mayor Pro Tem for the 2016 calendar year.
Other appointments made during the meeting were as follows:
- The council unanimously voted to reappoint acting council member Cheyne McDonald as the Ivins City representative to serve on the Administrative Control Board of Washington County Special Service District No. 1
- The council unanimously voted to reappoint Kari Jimenez as the City Recorder
- The council unanimously voted to reappoint Debbie Bannon as City Treasurer
- The council unanimously approved the appointment of the first members of the newly created Arts Commission
The newly created Arts Commission is a result of the city adopting an Arts Master Plan. Although not a common thing for a city to adopt, Hart said that Ivins is an arts-focused community and the master plan is a positive thing. Part of the function of the Arts Commission will be to work out the details of the master plan.
“There are a number of things in that plan that need to be implemented,” Hart said. “In other words, there needs to be some meat on the bones.”
Another function of the commission will be to help determine the distribution of the funds received from the Recreation, Arts and Parks tax, or RAP tax, where the arts are concerned.
The seven newly appointed members represent a wide variety of the arts community in Ivins including representatives from Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Tuacahn High School, The Kayenta Arts Foundation, Kayenta art businesses and community artists.
Arts Commission members are Jan Bush, Kevin Warnik, Ryan Anderson, Judith Kapuscinski, Matt Marten, Mike Scott and Eva Lorentzen.
Other items addressed at the council meeting included a public safety report, an ordinance concerning connection to public sewer, the possible creation of a memorial park or wall dedicated to Ivins children who have passed away and the presentation of the budget preparation calendar for the 2016-17 fiscal year.
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