Washington City Council to welcome old and new faces next year

ST. GEORGE — Three new faces will be on the Washington City Council next year – though some will be familiar. Of the three candidates who won seats on the Washington City Council, two are former council members while the third is a brand new face.

Washington City Council candidate Kress Staheli speaks at a candidate forum held at the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 17, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

According to Tuesday night’s unofficial tallies, the three candidates who will join the City Council are Kress Staheli, Kurt Ivie and Craig Coats who took 20.85%, 20.4% and 19% of the overall vote respectively.

They beat out first-term incumbent Troy Belliston, who took 17% of the vote, followed by challengers Marcia Whitney and Ben Leamon Martinsen, who gained 11.6% and 10.9%.

Staheli and Ivie have both previously sat on the Washington City Council.

Staheli, who works as a broker for Farmers Insurance, originally served a single term on the council from 2012 to 2016.

In this file photo, 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 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

According to a candidate profile provided to the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, Staheli said he wanted to return to the City Council because he felt the voice of the residents wasn’t being heard in relation to flooding issues, zone changes and the proposed Main Street interchange, among other issues.

Staheli said that it was time to get back to representing people and their concerns first.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to serve and believe we have a strong council who will be able to work together to meet the challenges and opportunities Washington City faces,” Staheli told St. Georges News via text while on a flight overseas Wednesday.

Ivie was originally appointed to the City Council in February 2017 to finish the term of former Councilman Thad Seegmiller, who resigned to become the city’s justice court judge. Ivie would go on to mount an unsuccessful bid for election later that year.

Like Staheli, Ivie said he’s excited to return to the city council.

Washington City Council candidate Craig Coats speaks at a candidate forum held at the Washington City Community Center, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 17, 2019 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“It’s a tremendous honor,” he said. “I will work hard and fulfill my duties in an honorable way. … I want to make this community as good a place for my grandchildren as it has been for my children. I want to do all I can to make it great for the next generation.”

Ivie is an educator who has taught at Washington Elementary School and coached baseball at Dixie High School for over 30 years. He is also a small business owner, operating Rain Gutters Specialists for nearly as long.

Craig Coats, a member of the Washington City Commission and a surveyor for a planning and engineering company, will be a fresh face on the council next year.

“I’m super excited for it,” he said. “I plan to look at the planning of the city and evaluate it and fight for what the people want.”

Following the election results, Troy Belliston took to Facebook. He said he appreciated the opportunity to serve and congratulated the three new council members on their wins.

“I appreciate the opportunity that I’ve had to serve on the Washington City Council for the last four years,” Belliston wrote. “I’ve cherished every moment and every friendship that I’ve had the opportunity to create during my time of service. Thank you.

“Congratulations to Kurt Ivie, Craig Coates, and Kress Staheli. I wish them all the best as they work towards making the decisions on the direction of Washington City.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!