Council’s Interim appointee says his ‘heart is in Washington’

WASHINGTON CITY – Washington City has a full council again with the interim appointment of longtime educator and business owner Kurt Ivie Wednesday. He was one of five men who applied to fill the seat left empty by former Councilman Thad Seegmiller who accepted an appointment to be the city’s new justice court judge.

Kurt Ivie tells the Washington City Council why he is the best candidate to fill the vacancy left by former council member Thad Seegmiller who was recently made the city’s justice court judge, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 8, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Ivie, along with fellow Washington City residents Tim Adams, Dennis Gibson, Klint Hughes and Jason Smith, sought the interim position that would finish out the remainder of Seegmiller’s term. Each said they would do their best to serve the city while stating they would seek to run for election as well.

“My motivation to be on the Washington City Council is very simple,” Ivie said as he read a prepared statement in front of the council. “I want to give back to the city that I love and has given so much to me, my family and my friends.… To not give back would be selfish and uncaring.”

When asked by Councilwoman Kolene Granger what he may see as a challenge in Washington City, Ivie said he didn’t see challenges as much as opportunities, and chose to approve them as such.

If there were an issue he saw that needs improvement, it would be helping residents in getting the answers they are looking from the city in a quicker, more efficient manner, he said, and proposed a way to do that through what he called “a citizen liaison program.”

“It creates a path or a means by which citizens can get the answers they need and want quickly and with very little trouble on their part,” Ivie said of his proposal.

Ivie was ultimately chosen by the City Council to fill Seegmiller’s seat following two rounds of voting. He gained a majority vote in the first round with two others tying for second place. A flip of a coin was used to break the tie and advance one of the second candidates to the final round where he lost the bid for the council seat to Ivie.

“I’m humbled at the confidence they’ve shown me,” Ivie said after the vote. “But as I told them, I will not let them down. My heart is in Washington.”

Kurt Ivie (right) assumes his seat by Mayor Ken Nelison (left) following the conclusion City Council meeting. Ivie selected to fill the vacancy left by Thad Seegmiller following his appointment as the city’s justice court judge, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 8, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Ivie grew up in the St. George and Washington area, attended Dixie High School and then Dixie College following a Mormon mission to Scotland. He would go on to attend Southern Utah University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology and education. Following graduation he was hired on as a teacher at Washington Elementary where he has taught for the last 29 years. He has also been Dixie High School’s baseball coach for just as long.

Ivie has been a licensed contractor since 1991 and owns a rain gutter installation business. He and his family have resided in the southern end of Washington Fields since 1990.

“I’m really excited to have Kurt Ivie join the team,” Mayor Ken Neilson said, adding that he felt all five candidates would have been good picks for the council. “I think he’ll fit right in.”

Ivie will be officially sworn into office at the next City Council meeting in two weeks.

Seegmiller was appointed to be the city’s new justice court judge in mid-December following the retirement of Judge Lee Bunnell. He officially resigned his position on the council last month.

Seegmiller would have been up for re-election this year. Instead, Ivie will be the one hitting the campaign trial. Other positions up for grabs this year include the seats held by the mayor and Councilman Garth Nisson.

L-R: Washington City Manager Roger Carter, City Attorney Jeff Starkey, Councilman Jeff Turek, Mayor Ken Neilson, Councilmen Garth Nisson and Troy Belliston and Councilwoman Kolene Granger listen to five applicants tell the council why they should be the one appointed to the empty seat left by former council member Thad Seegmiller who was recently made the city’s justice court judge. Washington Elementary teacher Kurt Ivie was ultimately voted on to fill the seat, Washington City, Utah, Feb. 8, 2017 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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