TOQUERVILLE — The city of Toquerville has six candidates vying for three seats in its general municipal election Nov. 7.
Mayor M. Darrin LeFevre is running for re-election and is being challenged by Lynn A. Chamberlain. LeFevre has served two four-year terms as mayor, winning his second term while running unopposed in 2013.
For Toquerville City Council, four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member council, namely Jack Seegmiller, Justin Sip, Mike Ruesch and Chuck Goode. One incumbent City Council member, Brad R. Langston, originally filed for re-election but subsequently withdrew from the race. Challenger David W. Hawkins also withdrew his name from consideration, according to City Recorder Dana McKim. In addition to Langston, council member Mark Fahrenkamp is also not running for re-election, so the two top vote-receiving candidates will assume the City Council seats currently held by Langston and Fahrenkamp.
Following are written campaign statements from the two mayoral candidates.
I have lived in this wonderful town for over 36 years and have seen a lot of changes take place. When Kay and I first moved our family here in 1981, there were fewer than 500 people living in Toquerville. We were welcomed with open arms, just like you see happening today. It seemed that everyone pulled together to assist one another when needed and made Toquerville a friendly town. We were young then with a young family that required all of our time, energy and heart. I always told myself that I would try to serve the town in a more direct way when I had a little more to offer.
Eventually, I served on the board of adjustments for a few years, as well as zoning and planning. Later, I successfully ran for town council and really enjoyed the work. Eventually, I had to take leave from serving in the town when I was called to take a fairly significant ecclesiastical responsibility.
However, now, 13 years later, my professional life has slowed down some and I want to get back into community service. I feel there is a contribution that I can make by serving as the mayor of Toquerville.
As I look to the future of Toquerville, I see several issues that I would like to address. First and foremost is the control of our water. We live in a desert and there is no doubt that we need to be good stewards of our water. Having said that, we don’t need to be over-regulated to the point that our yards and gardens dry up. It just makes sense that we try to be as self-reliant as possible and that we beautify our homes and yards. Water is essential to these goals and we need to be in control of how it is distributed. Working with the Washington County Water Conservancy District to protect our water resource will be a top priority if I am elected.
We have been in need of a bypass road for many years. We are so fortunate to live in this area. Each year literally millions of visitors come here to see our beautiful scenery and enjoy our recreation sites. Many of those people pass right down Toquer Boulevard. We have come to a point where the traffic and noise are a disruption to our quality of life. There is no room to widen the highway without encroaching on our yards and affecting the look and feel of the community. We must move the traffic if we are to maintain our small-town feel. If elected, I will do my best to work with UDOT to move our bypass road to a higher priority status. This move will preserve the atmosphere of the small downtown area and give us a chance to build a commercial zone that will attract business and help to supply convenient shopping for citizens as well as working capital for town upkeep and improvements.
One of the characteristics that I love about Toquerville is the small-town feel and appearance that we all enjoy. Over the past few years I have noticed that policies, practices and even ordinances have been adopted that take away from this feel and move us in the direction of over-regulation. If elected, I would like to take a good hard look at our town ordinances and practices, and perhaps modify or repeal some that seem to overreach and may not fit the size of our community. We are not a large or even a medium-sized town. Let’s not act like one prematurely.
I have spent many years working with different government agencies including federal, state, county and municipal. I am very experienced in government operation and feel that I can make that experience work to the benefit of our community.
I feel that everyone who is able should take a turn at serving the community in which they live. I appreciate all of those great souls who have served Toquerville in the past. We have had great mayors and responsible, caring town council members for over 150 years. I salute them all. We are one of the oldest towns in Washington County and I am proud to run for mayor. If elected, I will do my very best to serve the good people that live here. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Thank you.
I have lived in Toquerville for 25 years. Of that time, I have served on the planning commission for 10 years, as a councilman for three years and most recently as the mayor for eight years. I graduated from Southern Utah University with my bachelor’s degree in engineering. I have used my career to benefit Toquerville City in getting grants to insure that we have safe, reliable water and better roads for a better quality of life for all that live in Toquerville.
Planning for the future needs and growth of Toquerville is very important to me. In the last year, the City Council and I have secured two $45,000 grants that have completely paid to have our general plan updated and to complete a master transportation plan that Toquerville has never had. These two documents will help Toquerville to get federal and state monies that will help us in the process of funding a bypass road and continue to maintain existing streets and provide future walking and bicycle trails with in our beautiful community.
I would like to serve one more term to complete one of the largest projects that will be built in the Toquerville city limits, the Anderson Junction reservoir. Again, planning is a high priority to me. We, the City Council and planning commission, have been working on this project for close to 15 years along with the water district. This reservoir will provide day-use amenities such as fishing, wind surfing, kayaking and other non-motorized uses. The biggest importance of this reservoir is the ability to have winter storage for Toquerville’s secondary irrigation system.
I feel I am better qualified to be mayor because of my experience in municipal government. The proof is in the things I have accomplished in my previous years of serving Toquerville city. I love this city and will always call it home.
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