Council chooses Hooten as LaVerkin’s next mayor

Composite image: Overlay is a cropped image with LaVerkin Elementary students from L-R: Brinley Schear, Hunter Allan and Montana Allan. The students are posing with new LaVerkin Mayor Ken Hooten Friday as he performs another service, that of school crossing guard. Background photo from January 2013 shows the LaVerkin Bridge. LaVerkin, Utah | Overlay photo courtesy of Malinda Allan; background file photo by Dave Amodt; St. George News

LAVERKIN – LaVerkin Elementary students might know the city’s new mayor better than most of its adults.

LaVerkin Elementary students (l-r) Brinley Schear, Hunter Allan, and Montana Allan pose with new LaVerkin Mayor Ken Hooten at the school’s crosswalk, LaVerkin Utah, May 5, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Malinda Allan

Kenneth Hooten, chosen by the City Council Wednesday evening to serve the remainder of Kerry Gubler’s term, greets the youngsters every morning and afternoon in his role as a crossing guard for the city.

Kerry Gubler resigned April 3 to accept a call to serve in the Farmington New Mexico mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was elected in 2013.

A relative newcomer to the city, Hooten has served on the City Council for the last 3 1/2 years. He retired in LaVerkin after a 35-year career with the U.S. Postal Service in Anchorage, Alaska.

Hooten and fellow Council Member Randy Reeve put their names in for consideration, and the council chose Hooten.

“It was a tough decision as both he and Randy Reeve were well qualified to fill the spot and both have done an excellent job on the City Council,” said City Councilman Micah Gubler, Kerry Gubler’s son. “Ken brings with him a background in human resource and finance and those skills will help to make him a good fit to fill the mayor vacancy.  He is also a people person that genuinely cares about others and these qualities will allow him to be a great representative of the city of LaVerkin.”

As a member of the City Council, Hooten has served on the Hurricane Valley Fire District Board, the Confluence Park Advisory Board and is currently the board chairman for the Ash Creek Special Service District, the sewer board.

“I am excited to be selected by the City Council to complete Kerry Gubler’s term,” Hooten said. “LaVerkin is a great community with wonderful people.”

Hooten said he truly feels LaVerkin is the gateway to Zion National Park and that it will continue to grow around the tourist-related business.

“My vision is to help manage this growth in a responsible way,” he said. “Our city staff, including the Maintenance, Operations, and Police departments, are doing a great job. It is my intention to support them in ways that will both enhance their careers and better the quality of life in LaVerkin.”

Hooten’s vision for the city hasn’t changed in four years. During his City Council campaign nearly four years ago, Hooten said he was running because he felt it was his duty to serve his community.  Back then, he said he hoped to help LaVerkin become a community of neighbors, accepting of everyone, and also talked about growing responsibly around the tourism businesses, especially citing the need for more restaurants in town.

Now the City Council will be tasked with choosing a replacement to fill Hooten’s vacated spot on the council.

The process will be the same as it was to fill the mayor vacancy and those that are interested should call or visit the city offices for the information on how to apply,” Micah Gubler said.

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

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