Virgin mayoral candidates talk responsible growth, affordable housing

L-R: 2017 Virgin mayoral candidates Jean Krause and Matthew Spendlove, photos submitted | Composite image by St. George News

VIRGIN — As Virgin Mayor Bruce Densley steps down this year, Town Council members Jean Krause and Matthew Spendlove are seeking the mantle of mayor in November’s election.

St. George News asked the candidates to tell voters a little bit about themselves and why they’re running presented as follows in alphabetical order based on last names.

Jean Krause

Q: Background and qualifications?

My husband and I moved here from California eight-and-a-half years ago. I am a retired attorney who practiced in California for 15 years.

Jean Krause is running for mayor of Virgin in the November municipal election, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy Jean Krause, St. George News

Approximately three years after moving to Virgin I began to attend Town Council and planning commission meetings and never stopped.

I was appointed to fill a vacant Town Council seat in the spring of 2013. I then ran for office in the fall of 2013 and was elected.  That four-year term is ending now. I served as the Mayor Pro Tem, the Town Treasurer, the liaison between Town Council and planning commission, and the town’s grant writer the entire four-year term.

I also attended Southern Utah University from January 2015 through April 2017 and obtained a Master of Public Administration to learn how to run a local government in preparation for the office of mayor.

Q: Why are you running and what do you hope to achieve if you’re elected?

During the MPA program at SUU, I learned just how much the town government of Virgin has been run incorrectly. I already intended to run for mayor, but this program made my decision ever more firm. I believe that with my legal background and my study of public administration, that I can get Virgin on the right track.

The administration of a town government has grown more complicated and requires a more sophisticated understanding of legal and governmental requirements than ever before. As the world grows more complicated, so does public administration.

Virgin is on the cusp of the growth it has always sought. The developmental vultures are circling the town. The town faces a choice. It can either open itself up to unregulated growth and become the carrion that the development vultures will feed upon (this is the choice of our “property rights” advocates in town), or it can take a proactive approach and put in place a plan to control growth and development and create a charming community attractive to families and developers who want to be a part of our plan.

I support the latter course of action and what I hope to achieve is the charming community attractive to families, entrepreneurs, and philanthropic developers.

Matthew Spendlove

Q: Background and qualifications?

Matthew Spendlove in a family photo; he is running for mayor of Virgin in the November municipal election, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy Matthew Spendlove, St. George News

I’m 42 years old, and I’ve lived in Virgin all my life.

My whole life, I’ve worked on a family farm and a ranch, which I still work at, and my brother and I own the business today.

We go generations back in Virgin with farming and ranching background.

My background in business is one of my qualifications for mayor. I look at Virgin as a business and I think that’s kind of how you have to run it.

Q: Why are you running and what do you hope to achieve if you’re elected?

I think Virgin needs to grow a little and needs to be able to support itself and have something for families to be here. The way it is now, all the kids in town are leaving – there’s just nothing here for them.

I am running for mayor to protect the town, have responsible growth and have a future for my kids – for families in Virgin.

We need some affordable housing, but some things in Virgin have got to change in order to have that affordable housing, and I hope that we can change it.

We have to have affordable housing for our kids. Virgin has been priced out to where the only people who can come here are retired people who have money, so affordable housing is something I would really like to see happen in Virgin.

Read more: Virgin Town Council candidates seek family-friendly development

Krause and Spendlove will appear on the Virgin ballot in the Nov. 7 municipal election. Polling locations can be found at the Vote Utah website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • utahdiablo October 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Growth is going to happen, even if it’s just another mult tier parking structure for the endless crowds that have runied Zion…so get ready for apartments and daily rentals along with a Taco Time, and Mcdonalds…

  • Mike October 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Just want to comment on how proud I am of Matt and his wife Darcie for holding to your family roots and creating a good life for your children. I knew both of them in their Hurricane High School days. Darcie was on our basketball team and I was one of Matt’s teachers. I knew if Matt could ever focus all his energy into something he liked, there would be a good positive outcome. Marrying Darcie was the first great decision. Good luck in the upcoming election.
    Mr. Vroom….vroom!

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