APPLE VALLEY — In a split decision, the Apple Valley Town Council voted 3-1 Monday night to appoint Dale Beddo over Mason Walters, who appeared to be the people’s choice for the job.
As previously reported by St. George News, the mayor’s seat opened last month when Marty Lisonbee resigned his post for various reasons that included his desire to spend more time with his family.
On Monday night, a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy was among the standing-room only crowd inside the Apple Valley Fire Department. The meeting was interrupted twice by vocal citizens who shouted at members of council before walking out.
Beddo, the mayor pro tem, applied for the appointment along with three citizens: Walters, Richard Ososki and Mike Beals.
In a process conducted by council member Kevin Sair, each of the four candidates were asked the same list of interview questions, which ran the gamut from asking why they wanted to be mayor to how they intended to uphold the United States Constitution.
Beals, a 12-year resident of Apple Valley, interviewed first. He said that he had witnessed a separation of confidence in the town that he was passionate to repair.
“With my business background and leadership I think I can bring some guidance to the council,” Beals said. “I think that I can help and I’m willing to do that. At the end of the day, I have a conscience and a duty to do what’s right.”
Ososki, also a 12-year resident of Apple Valley and former code enforcer, described himself as a people person with an open door to everyone.
“I think I’ve seen some things that are not best for this community,” Ososki said. “By being mayor I would like to see more transparency and people more working together. We are divided. This town is divided so bad and I’ve seen it.”
Walters, manager of Zion River Resort and treasurer of Apple Valley Republicans, touted her managerial skills and said she was motivated to be mayor because local government is where people can have real influence.
“My experience is what separates me from the other candidates,” Walters said. “Because of my experience running what is in essence a small town, I know that I can operate as mayor of Apple Valley.”
Beddo, originally appointed to the council and to the mayor pro tem position, interviewed last.
“I think over the last six months, fortunately or unfortunately, I have gotten a real good clear view of some of the internal challenges in this town,” Beddo said. “First and foremost, and it’s been stated more than anything else, my priority would be transparency.”
After the four interviews, council moved to discussion and appointment. Shawn Guzman, the town attorney, clarified the process and who could vote.
“Councilman Beddo has the right to vote tonight as a member of the council,” he said.
The first round of voting was 3-1 with council members Beddo, Paul Edwardsen and Mike McLaughlin voting for Beddo and Sair voting for Walters.
Narrowed to two applicants, another round of voting took place after discussion.
Walters said she would pit her management skills against Beddo any day of the week.
“Mr. Beddo is a divisive character on this town council,” she said. “How can we unify our community when we have people who view Mr. Beddo in that way? I am not a divisive person. I have a stellar reputation in the business I conduct. I can unify this community.”
McLaughlin said it was a difficult decision to pick between Walters and Beddo.
“Yes, Dale Beddo has a past,” he said. “Everybody has a past. We’re up here trying to make the best judgement call we can make, not just for ourselves but for the community as well. I have respect for each and every one of you.”
Sair said the community was in need of a new face.
“Someone that can change the opinion in this town. Someone who can move things forward. And quite frankly at this point, the only person that I can see who will do that for us is Mason Walters,” Sair said. “I’m asking this council and Dale Beddo to change their votes in support of her, so we can put the darts away and move this community in a direction it has needed to go for a long time.”
The second vote was tallied but did not change: Sair voted for Walters and the other three council members voted for Beddo, who then took the oath of office.
The next election for the people of Apple Valley to choose a mayor is in November.
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