Cedar City Council considers adding Canyon View’s ‘CV’ water tank to resolution recognizing ‘Redmen’ tank

CEDAR CITY — The issue of whether to keep the “Redmen” name and logo on Cedar City’s Leigh Hill water tank has taken a new turn, as the Cedar City Council is now considering expanding a proposed resolution to include mention of a second tank, currently painted in the colors and logo of Canyon View High School on the northern end of town.

Cedar City’s north water tank, which has been painted with Canyon View High’s logo since the early 2000s, Cedar City, Utah, July 19, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Council member Paul Cozzens had first proposed the tank-painting resolution in late May as a way to commemorate the Redmen, which served as Cedar High’s official emblem for 77 years until it was officially retired by the Iron County School Board in February.

Read more: Cedar City councilman pushing to keep ‘Redmen’ emblem on city’s water tank

The issue was discussed with public comment during the Cedar City Council’s work meeting June 5, but Cozzens’ own motion to pass the resolution failed to come to a vote the following week, due to a lack of a second. The council members indicated they would revisit the issue on July 17.

Then, during Wednesday’s work meeting, a revised version of Cozzens’ proposed resolution was discussed, in addition to another one suggested by council member Terri Hartley, who missed being at the meeting due to airline flight delays. 

L-R: Cedar City Council members Craig Isom, Scott Phillips, Paul Cozzens and Ron Adams talk about a proposed water tank resolution during the council’s work meeting, Cedar City, Utah, July 17, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Hartley’s proposal adds mention of the city’s north water tank, located atop a hill just east of Cedar Ridge Golf Course and formally designates it to reflect the logo and colors of nearby Canyon View High School. The north tank has been painted teal with a large “CV” since the early 2000s. Canyon View High has been Cedar High’s cross-town rival since it was first constructed in 1997.

Then, early Friday, a new draft essentially combining the two versions was sent to council members via email by Cedar City Attorney Tyler Romeril for the council’s consideration. The draft document includes suggested additions and changes marked in red and blue.

In essence, the proposed resolution states that both of the respective tanks will be inspected annually and any painting or other outward aesthetic maintenance is to be paid for using private donations, rather than taxpayer funds. The document indicates the city will work with Canyon View High school officials and students and designated representatives for the upkeep of the appearance of the north tank, while a special interest group committed to preserving the Redmen heritage will take responsibility for the Leigh Hill tank, including fully painting it at least once every 10 years.

Cozzens said he had no problem with some of the changes, such as using the word “marker” instead of “monument,” but he indicated he didn’t want the resolution to omit the official recognition of Cedar High’s longtime use of the Native American “Redmen” symbol, which has been painted on the side of the Leigh Hill tank since the early 1970s.

Cedar City’s Leigh Hill water tank, which has been painted with the “Redmen” logo since the early 1970s, Cedar City, Utah, July 19, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“I don’t really care what we call it as long as we leave (the Redmen logo) there,” he said during the meeting. 

Councilman Ron Adams took the opportunity during Wednesday’s meeting to talk about how decisions are often reached by elected officials.

“This is how decisions are made, with a compromise, if we want to use that word,” he said. “Is everybody always happy? No, but the two different ideas or parties can come to the table and each has to give and take.”

Earlier, Adams had decried the lack of civility shown by some of those who’ve spoken out on the topic. He said many appeared to not fully understand the process that the council undertook to address the issue.

“We weren’t voting against the Redmen logo like we’ve been accused of and threatened of and everything else, with personal attacks,” Adams said, calling the water tank issue “one of the most horrible issues I’ve ever come across in my nine and a half years” on the council.

“People have personally attacked me and threatened me, a Cedar High Redman graduate,” he said. “I’m appalled at the emotions that came into play.”

“Deep in my heart, I am a Cedar High Redman and that will not change,” Adams said, adding that he sees the high school mascot as strictly being a school district issue.

View of a plain white city-owned water tank, as seen from Cedar Middle School, Cedar City, Utah, July 19, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“I’m not saying that I support one way or the other,” he said. “I just don’t feel like this city needed to get involved down this road.”

Fellow council member Scott Phillips also shared some of his own concerns, wondering aloud what would become of the city’s other water tanks that are not adorned with any symbols or logos. If, for example, the city were to allow the plain white tank west of Walmart to be painted with Cedar High’s new mascot, then Cedar High would have two tanks to Canyon View’s one, he noted.

“I just want to make sure that we don’t become a community of water towers that are painted with every mascot. The junior high’s going to want it … where do we stop?”

But Phillips said an even greater concern to him is whether the students have a voice in the matter.

“I’ve always said that my greatest concern is leaving the students out of this conversation,” he said. “The alumni have been involved, and community leaders, but the students have had very little say.”

Speaking of young schoolchildren who will be attending high school within the next few years, Phillips asked, “What do they have to look forward to?”

There is no regular Cedar City Council meeting next week due to the Pioneer Day state holiday July 24, but the water tank resolution is expected to be listed as an action item on the agenda for the July 31 meeting, scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

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