COLLABORATION TO ACHIEVE COMMUNITY
As mayor, I work hard to bring individuals and organizations together. I believe this has brought Enoch City to this point of its prosperity.
Enoch is a desirable place to live and raise a family. New home builds increase year over year. Developers and businesses are coming to Enoch because it is good business to do so.
Yet, no mayor or city council member can claim they are 100% responsible for anything. Like many of the wonderful council members, I have been a driving force and a problem solver working with many city staff and active volunteering citizens.
This is a point in Enoch's history where in the face of a natural disaster, affecting nearly 13% of the homes in the city, thousands came to our city to assist. Relationships I and the city council cultivate brought a response from as far as Hilldale, Utah in Enoch City's time of need. These relationships are critical to keeping city government small and efficient and staffed at a total of 27 individuals across all departments. On August 1, 2021, it was all hands on deck for our little public works department of 9 people. Collaboration with others went a long way.
When I was elected mayor, the city was disengaged. Disengaged from the community and disengaged from problem-solving. Many of the first city council meetings were making decisions and refusing to kick it down the road like prior councils. This does not mean everything is all rainbows and unicorns. There remain difficult decisions regarding infrastructure, water and development. But as your mayor, I have a proven track record of working to find solutions and engaging in conversations with the community even when difficult.
Reading the newsletter, the Facebook page, or attending a city council meeting, you will see a different Enoch City government than before I became the mayor. I strive to create an atmosphere where we work through issues together and everyone is allowed a voice to express support, displeasure, fears and criticism.
WHERE ENOCH IS NOW
aka What have we done together?
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Water is an ever-pressing issue. We have had some difficult years due to decades of lack of planning for future growth. I made water a focus and lead negotiations to acquire culinary sources. Under my leadership, Enoch increased our water capacity by 29 million gallons per month. I have also given priority to conservation. I envisioned, and with the help of the city council and public works, implemented plans removing the largest users of outdoor culinary water from the system conserving millions of gallons annually by creating small secondary systems.
A thread that has run through all I have worked to accomplish as mayor is the protection of private property rights. I advocate for limits on government interventions on your rights to use your property. Including advocating against changes on how you can use your property or advocating against requirements for things you must do to your property.
The city council and I have made efforts to make Enoch an inviting place to collaborate. Enoch was the first community in Iron County to partner with Wreaths Across America for its annual recognition of fallen veterans. I believe its small and intimate affair, compared to Cedar City, is in the true spirit of our fallen heroes.
Amenities and Enhanced Living
Enoch is the site of the only public dog park in Iron County and the partnership with Friends of Festival County K9 has made a wonderful location for pet owners. When citizens came and requested some seed money and collaboration for city sponsorship to start Enoch Soccer, I was an advocate it would be a good thing for our community. I recommended the City fund the request and it has been a success. I personally spearhead and contribute out of my own pocket to the 'Wings of Death' hot wings competition on the 4th of July each year. We also have sponsors in Enoch and Cedar City to raise the $1500 cash prizes.
After the flooding in 2012 prior city council and the mayor began the process of improving storm drainage infrastructure. Funding of $1m was acquired and plans and engineering were made. This included an increased storm drainage box under the road at Midvalley and Half Mile Road. It also included storm drains under the road from Pioneer to the flats below and an acre and a half detention basin at Iron Mountain Park. These improvements were substantial and had we only endured the storm of July 31, 2021, which was the same size storm as 2012 Enoch would have survived.
These plans further included attempts to acquire sites for detention basins on the Enoch City side of I-15. No property owner wanted to have a large storm drainage detention basin built in the middle of their fields which were prime for future subdivisions. The City was forced to begin looking for a plan beyond the Enoch City side to BLM land on the east side of I-15. But as with all things federal, the time to implement plans has been lengthy. When the storm of August 2021 hit the storm was several times the scale of the day prior and the 2012 storm which July 31 was equal in amount.
WHERE ENOCH IS GOING
aka What have we yet to do?
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I currently lead negotiations on two wells, which combined, will be more than double our current drinking water source availability. This would mean millions of gallons each day to address future growth in a responsible way. I have told developers proper growth must come with water or it cannot happen. Water is the lifeblood of our community.
With priority to conservation, I am working with the City Council to expand plans for secondary water. If we can use nonculinary wells to water residential lawns this will save drinking water for our taps. This would include the expansion of the newly acquired Garden Park well. It has the capability of watering hundreds of new homes if necessary.
Protecting your property from fire and the City's ability to do so is important. I have been working with Chief Mike Phillips to bring a 'North Fire Station' which would be fully staffed with personnel. I have stood before the Cedar City Council and said Enoch would be a good partner in this expansion and lead the way. A site is already in discussion and funding the project is the next step. This would be an important safety feature for our City and will not be cheap, but the savings by increasing our insurance ratings may offset the costs and make it worth it.
Enoch is to be the new home of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation and will soon be the location of a raptor rehabilitation facility. There are already plans to expand this project as it gets underway. I also have lead discussions with the Utah Youth Soccer Association regarding their efforts to bring another large facility to southern Utah and their expressed desire to locate this facility in Enoch City. This is a partnership opportunity with a developer as well to bring outdoor opportunities for our community and families.
I have lead discussions with representatives of The Glacier Ice Rink and they have announced on their website the intent to move to Enoch City due to a partnership with Velocity Builders and Enoch City. Both of these sports facilities will bring needed amenities to Enoch City as well as economic opportunities.
Amenities and Enhanced Living
Through my personal connections with the Utah Youth Soccer Association, which is spending $2.5 million in Washington County on a facility, Enoch is discussing bringing their next major soccer facility to our community. Additionally, Enoch is in discussions with The Glacier which has announced on its website its intention to bring the ice skating rink once located at the Cedar City Recreation Center. The proposed facility will include year-round access and programming for our community and provide ice time to families as far away as Las Vegas, giving Enoch additional economic opportunities.
There are several projects in various stages of work from the $1m NRCS funded Half Mile project completed in 2016 to proposed detention basins on the east side of I-15. During my time as mayor discussions and proposals for completion of all these projects has surrounded funding. These projects are millions of dollars in costs. Enoch City has among the lowest property tax in southern Utah. It would be ideal to have others fund these projects through grants and sales tax revenues. These are solutions we can, will and do currently pursue but some portion will need ot be paid for by the citizens of Enoch City. Over the years as mayor these discussions in council meetings have been discussions between no funding, special improvement districts where a neighborhood pays for its own improvements and a more general fee or tax on the community at large. We can all agree doing nothing is not an option and while special improvement districts are possible they would not address the general needs we have seen in the last few years. I have proposed to the city council to pursue all methods of funding, including if necessary a revenue bond paid for by increase to our storm drain fee which is only $2 per month. This will allow us to to implement the general storm drainage projects as quickly as possible. Waiting to bring in businesses to pay with sales taxes is not a solution. These projects will be millions of dollars combined and would take years to generate enough to pay for through only sales taxes.
I have been married to my wife Dezaree for 21 years and we have 3 beautiful children. I am a graduate of Southern Utah University and received my Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University. I am an attorney, practicing since 2008.
As Mayor for the past six years, I have worked to protect your property rights and to keep government efficient. I have developed relationships with all government agencies nearby.
We are working towards a North FiresStation with Cedar City to reduce response time to Enoch. We have access to additional water from the CICWCD if we have needs due to mechanical failures. These relationships have born fruit during recent trying times in Enoch when we had dozens of first responders from all over southern Utah assisting families in Enoch after the recent floods.
I have spearheaded water conservation and source acquisition projects which will increase the available water to our city by 3-4 million gallons each month.
I worked with city staff securing funding from NRCS and pushed for the expansion of the drainage project after recent floods. This project is already nearly eighteen months along and half a million dollars into the process. I have lead the city council discussions of how to fund this massive project projected to be nearly 10-15 times the size of our city budget.
As your Mayor, I have worked to safeguard our community and I will finish the job.