ST. GEORGE — Washington City Council Member Daniel Cluff announced Wednesday that he is stepping down in order to pursue new employment.
“It’s an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” Cluff told the mayor and his fellow council members near the close of Wednesday’s council meeting.
Cluff has been employed as a school teacher with the Washington County School District. His new employment will involve working for a youth program located in central Utah in an education-related capacity, Cluff told St. George News Thursday.
“It sounded right and looked right,” he said.
Cluff became emotional at times Wednesday while giving his farewell at what he anticipates to be his final council meeting.
“I would like to say to all of you, with my sincerest appreciation, I am in awe of this process,” he said. “I have learned so much that I didn’t want to learn, and learned more than I never thought possible about the genuineness of even people I didn’t agree with. You’ve all taught me a good measure of humanity. You’re all good, caring people.”
Cluff was elected to the Washington City Council along with Douglas Ward in 2017. Cluff ran on a platform that included opposition to the proposed milepost 11 interchange project and its potential impact on the city’s Main Street, as well as a greater emphasis on citizen-council communication.
During the 2017 election, Cluff garnered the most votes among the four candidates running at the time with 27% of the overall vote.
“I would like to offer my sincerest appreciation to those who voted me in. I hope I held your trust well,” Cluff said.
Reflecting on his time in office, Cluff said moments he was proud of included being a part of the city’s cleanup response to Main Street flooding in 2018 and working with the city’s youth council. He is also happy to see a transit line finally come into the city.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to have you as a council member and as a neighbor,” Mayor Ken Neilson said. “God bless you in your new adventure.”
Following Cluff’s departure, the city council will issue a call for applicants who wish to fill the remainder of Cluff’s term on the council, which concludes at the end of 2021.
Applicants will be interviewed by the council during a special meeting. The applicant who gains the majority of the council’s vote will be chosen to fill Cluff’s seat.
In other business, the City Council approved a zone change for an incoming attainable housing project on Telegraph Road between 1100 East and Washington Parkway. As a condition of the zone change, up to 67% of the units in the complex must be owner-occupied and cannot be sold for the purpose of serving as rental units. Developers are also aiming to have the project backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which can provide home loans to buyers.
A representative for the developer told the council that a starting price for units could be in the upper $180,000 range.
The city council also approved a 10-year agreement between Republic Services and the Washington County Solid Waste District for trash and recycle pick up. The council tabled the issue in its last meeting over concerns of whether people who had opted out of the county recycling program originally had to opt-out again under the new program.
Fay Reber, the attorney to the waste district, said people who had opted out of the original program will have their current status grandfathered in under the new contract with Republic Services.
Washington City Manager Roger Carter reported that temporary fencing has been put up around the monument plaza at the Washington City Museum in order to create some distance between the public and the statues there – particularly the statue of Robert Covington.
Due to Covington’s status as a former slaveholder, a professor at Dixie State University recently asked city officials to remove the statue, which so far the city has declined to do. Carter said authorities have noted some possible chatter over social media that indicated the statue could be a target of vandalism, but whether that chatter was serious remains to be seen.
The city’s power department has rigged up additional lighting around the monument plaza and police are keeping a close eye on the area, Carter said.
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