City Council Minutes

Thursday, January 23,2014

JANUARY 23, 2014, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Jon Pike
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Michele Randall
Councilmember Joe Bowcutt
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Christina Fernandez

Councilmember Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was led by a Councilmember Hughes and the invocation was offered by Reverend Jimi Kestin.

Mayor Pike stated he appreciates each of the candidates for applying for the vacant City Council seat. He advised that tonight’s meeting is a public meeting, not a public hearing, therefore comments from the public will not be allowed. He explained that the order in which the applicants will be heard is the random order in which the names would appear on a ballot per State law. One of the applicants was disqualified since he did not meet the requirements. Each candidate will have three minutes to make their presentation.

The question asked by Mayor Pike of each applicant: Please tell us why you have applied for this council seat and why you think you should be appointed?

LaRene L. Cox
Ms. Cox stated that she applied because she loves this City and has the time to devote. She grew up here and watched it grow from a small rural town to a thriving community. She has had a lot of opportunity to serve within the community and has served on the board of Leadership Dixie for the last 4 years. She explained that she grew up in Vejo and ran a family business while going to college. She learned how to manage an apartment and live amongst 35 girls. These character building traits would make her successful as a City Council person. She have tremendous respect to those who have make this desert valley home. Her family has benefitted greatly from this City and cannot see them living anywhere else. She stated that she has the time, talent and is dedicated to serving the City. She will work with the City Council to make the best decisions for the community.

Jason C. Stout
Mr. Stout stated that he appreciates the opportunity to be considered. His interest in serving stems from the admiration and trust he has for current Mayor and City Council. He believes they have shown a general interest in what is best for the City and feels that his life has been in preparation to serve in this way. He explained that he has no grudge or ax to grind and believes that voters have spoken that their values should be carried on. He believes that he has those same values and says he would be an ideal team player. He has a vast skill set and a broad and vast experience with the arts. Currently, he is a businessman in St. George. His goal is

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Two

to continue the foundation that has already been set. He believes citizens have a right to committed servants with goals and a clear mission statement.

Todd D. Staheli
Mr. Staheli thanked Mayor Pike and the Councilmembers for allowing the public to go through this process. He feels that he would be a great asset to the City Council. Both sides of his family have influenced the City. Currently, he is the Vice President of Republican Party for his precinct. He has been a member of Chamber of Commerce, has volunteered at high schools, has served as Vice President of the business networking group in St. George. He applied because he was planning on running during the election, but due to time constraints, he could not give 110% to the council. His time commitments have changed and he can now dedicate his time. His strengths are that he is organized, detail orientated, can work with all types of people, has a flexible schedule and is a good leader.

Councilmember Randall stated that she and Mr. Staheli are related back a few generations.

Doug Solstad
Mr. Solstad stated he believes he has the desire, the time, the ability, and the qualifications to be serve as a member of the St. George City Council. He feels there are three attributes that are most important in considering the selection; they are integrity, the ability to think critically and experience and service. He stated that he is honest with moral uprightness and is the same person in private as he is in public. He has strived to live a life of integrity and to be the kind of person that people can trust. His education and profession is a Certified Public Accountant. He thinks out of the box to find solutions. He has had numerous opportunities to serve on boards such as the Chamber of Commerce, including being the Chairman for two years and is a current board member for the Washington County School District Foundation.

Brandon M. Seegmiller
Mr. Seegmiller stated he applied because he is a 4th generation citizen. St. George will always be home and he enjoys all aspects of the City. He has no personal agenda to fulfill, he only seeks to serve the City. He would like to learn the procedures of how the City Council works and use it as a stepping stone for a career in politics. He has a goal of developing a rail system. He would like to keep on the course the City has been going and would change nothing. He feels qualified, since he is not a conventional candidate, and believes he can offer a different point of view on some issues.

Mary Nell Lundquist
Ms. Lundquist stated she applied because her daughter told her she should run for City Council. After talking to her daughter about applying, she went to a conference is Salt Lake City. She feels it is important that woman be seen as leaders in our community and is here to be an example and to stand as a person who has a desire to emulate the qualities that St. George City has. She believes she is qualified because of her experience with the more liminal members of society. She is an advocate for children and the needy including Hispanic population as well as those in poverty. She believes there is a real disconnect between resources that are available and the people who need them. Her goal is to see that all of the population
St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Three

is heard. She states that it is an honor to work at the Children’s museum and is open for people to talk to her about community needs and matters.

Susi Lafaele
Ms. Lafaele stated she brings a voice and perspective to the City Council that reflects the needs and the attitudes of a younger generation. She is the perfect person to connect the Council to thousands of Dixie State students and other young voting adults. Growing up on Navajo Indian reservation with a white mother and Samoan father, she had a unique experience on how it is to be different. She stated that she gets what drives Gen X and millennials and believes that the City Council needs someone who can interpret and communicate with them. Her past work experiences include working with the media. She attended BYU Hawaii with a student body that represented over 80 different countries. She feels she is open minded to all. As a community event coordinator, she helps create events that brings an entire community together. She would bring youth, energy and vitality to the Council and a point of view that is not abrasive. If appointed she hopes to help create a synergy that incorporates the Dixie spirit.

Tara Dunn
Ms. Dunn stated she brings a unique opportunity to diversify the Council, strengthen our City, and empower our people. During the last election, 5,608 people voted for her and felt that she represented them. She stated her strongest qualification is her ability to represent, specifically those who have not previously had representation or a voice. She represents citizens with disabilities, citizens that have been victimized by code enforcement practices, animal rescue groups and volunteers that protect the vulnerable animals in the community and the non-Mormon population who have never had meaningful representation. And worse, it has become an unspoken culture that they are to accept that they are second class citizens and live in silence. She states that it is oppressive to live In St. George being a non-Mormon. The City Council has the power to decide to continue the legacy of oppression or turn the page on a more fair, just and represented St. George.

Brendan Dalley
Mr. Dalley stated he grew up in St. George and has a strong connection to the community. He sees this as an opportunity to serve his community and has no agenda in store. He feels he can add value to the community and to the Council. He
brings a different viewpoint based on his background. He started out as a special education teacher, then moved to teaching in the private sector. With this skill set and knowledge, it helped him understand how the economy works. Our community is based on small business. His background is and he is currently working in higher education. He is looking to bolster our economy by getting individuals with the right education. He has degrees in education, a masters in business administration and a bachelors in IT. He stated we are in a new vision for Dixie right now and need to look at a different prospective. We need to see we’ve done well and move into new era.

Lane Ronnow
Mr. Ronnow stated that he interviewed each of the City Council members. He is determined to make St. George a better city and would like to offer his services. He
has been a Justice Court Judge, a business administrator for a school district in Utah,

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Four

was the Weber County Republican Chairman many years ago. He believes there can be better communication with the Planning Commission and Code Enforcement. His resume says that he can add a lot on the City Council. He thanked the City Council for giving him the opportunity to apply and feels it is a great responsibility for the citizens to make St. George a great City.

Christine Leishman Nelson
Ms. Nelson stated that she applied because she loves St. George and wants the City to be the best it can be. She has worked in social work for 21 years giving her the opportunity to bring a lot of services to St. George such as an after school group and individual respite and safety program. With the safety plans, they have been able to keep children and youth in our community. A couple of years ago, the legislature reduced funding to the local crisis center. Due to her efforts, they have been able to come up with funds to maintain the current level of programming. She started and runs the family support center in Washington County. The Center’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through all of this, she has received a couple of state awards including a lifetime achievement award. She is committed and loves the City and works with the Police Department, local schools and other agencies.

Daniel F. Olsen
Mr. Olsen stated that it is a privilege to be here. He has been urged on a number of occasions to run and to put his name in. His background includes having lived here 19 years and has 5 children and 6 grandchildren. He has been involved in many things including the St. George Marathon and Ironman. He is certified in CERT and and is a member of the Washington County Search and Rescue team. He has done a lot of service with young men to help them grow up to be responsible. Currently, he is serving as president of the St. George Musical Theater. In 2006, the City had a black eye for what they did to the St. George Musical Theater. They have been trying to work with the City to bring the performing arts back. It is a shame to see Cedar City, Ivins and Hurricane having more of an input on the performing arts than St. George. He has time for this job.

H. Paul Iverson
Mr. Iverson stated that he had quite a few people ask him to run. Although he was never was really excited for the opportunity to have an effect on the City, he now has a respect of the City Council. If the Council wants somebody that will agree, he is not your guy. He wants to hear both sides of the story in order to have an honest conversation. He has a unique insight to bring to the City Council since he is a general contractor. Being a contractor has also given him the opportunity to see what happens in different departments. His goal, if appointed, is to help better the relation between the City and the citizens. He stated that statistic after statistic shows that citizens don’t trust the government, he feels that can be turned around with honest conservation.

Gregg McArthur
Mr. McArthur stated he applied because he has a lot to give and this service would be a labor of love for him. He possess three unique qualifications that make him a strong candidate. The first is his deep connection to the community growing up here and being the CEO of the St. George Chamber of Commerce. He has a thorough knowledge of St. George. Running a business, he knows what and who it takes to

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Five

accomplish goals. With these relationships, he feels that he is the ideal person for the position. Secondly, his past experience in business and marketing knowledge can help make a great contribution to the cause. He has experience in finance, marketing, public relations and business management. Finally, he is young, driven
and enthusiastic. Currently, he serves on a number of committees because people have seen his commitment and energy to get involved. He is passionate about the City and is driven to make the City the best it can be.

Greg Whitehead
Mr. Whitehead stated he ran during the last campaign cycle. He was born and raised here, loves the community and has no intentions of leaving. He wants the best community to raise his family. He believes what would make him a good councilperson are planning, communication and leadership. He is excited about the future of St. George and has heard of numerous companies that are growing and looking for employees. He doesn’t want to see anything wasted without a great plan and wants to have a 20/20 vision. He believes that some areas need to be approved. Communication is critical; there needs to be a great communication line between the citizens and the City Council. There is a difference between leadership and good leadership. He has a Masters degree from SUU, a Business Administration degree and an Accounting degree from Dixie. He has served on the Institute of Business Integrity.

M. Todd Jones
Mr. Jones stated that not too long ago he saw a house that didn’t have the fanciest things, it was just right. He thought he would apply for he City Council seat. Maybe he is that person that would compliment the Council as a whole. It will be an honor for any of he candidates to serve on the City Council. He has a Masters in Public Administration, is a business owner and has a flexible schedule which will allow him to serve. With all the candidates and opinions, he hopes that all 24 will continue to speak up for and represent the various different groups. Diversity is good and will make us stronger.

Kelle Hindes
Ms. Hindes stated that she has had a lot of people ask her why she has applied. She has a great love for the community she has lived in for 29 years. She is currently a business owner in St. George. In 1999, she got involved in law enforcement as she wanted to help people in the community build a safer neighborhood. She graduated from the law enforcement academy and brought programs such as VIPS and the CERT program to the City. She coordinated and oversaw the national night out against crime. When someone hears public safety, you automatically think law enforcement, she thinks law enforcement, fire, medical, public transportation, parks and streets and code enforcement. She knows that code enforcement has been an issue and believes that she can help educate the community on why homes and business need to look appropriate. She feels that she can help educate volunteers and believes that safety is a big concern in the community.

N. Craig Hammer
Mr. Hammer stated that it is a pleasure to be here and he wants to serve as he has a great love for St. George. He came here in 1978, moved away and came back in 1990 which was the best decision since this is a great place to raise a family. His

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Six

qualifications are that he has previously served on the City Water and Power Board, has been a high school principal and has worked with the public his entire career. He works with the City constantly on different projects. You will not find a greater relationship than the City and the Washington County School District. He has served on several other committees and is currently the chairman of the executive committee for the board of trustees for the Utah High School Activities Association. There will always be a soft spot in his heart for the youth in the community. He has worked with the Police Department and believes that public safety is critical. He helped develop the school resource officer program putting officers in the schools. He is thankful to be here and hopes to be of service if called upon.

Brent E. Gardner
Mr. Gardner stated he moved here about 30 years ago and the community has been very good to him. He feels it is important to be on the City Council to help get businesses here. This community is a great place to raise a family. He has a background in engineering which has a lot to do with planning for a community. He feels he can be a voice on the City Council to guide the direction and planning for the community. He appreciates the previous and current City Council. Additionally, he has worked on the airport advisory board as well as other planning projects and feels it is important to work with the communities around us.

Greg Aldred
Mr. Aldred stated that he should be appointed because of his commitment and because he is a team player. He offered his congratulations to all those who were newly elected. There are a number of great applicants. He is a long time resident and is very involved in the community. He has respect and the ability to work with department heads. He has a high regard for the fire and police departments. He has been involved with the Planning Commission and building department. He understands land development. He feels he brings expertise and alternative energy is a passion of his. He has background in arts and believes in supporting and has worked with our youth. He is honored to be a Dixie Sunshiner which is part of the St. George Chamber of Commerce. He has recently been asked to be a part of the citizens advisory committee for Congressman Chris Stewart and he was a Southern Utah campaign director for Attorney General Shawn Reyes. He has a supportive spouse. He has passion, time and experience to do the job. He thanked those responsible for the prayer over the City.

Diane Adams
Ms. Adams stated she applied at the request of several people. She is grateful for all of the planning that it has taken to get St. George where it is. When you plan for change and growth is going to make the difference between great success and just being ok. Her diverse background in financial services have given her a unique opportunity. Working on a team that does mergers and acquisitions has taught her how to listen. She appreciates the Mayor’s platform of listening, planning and business, and education. She looks forward to being a worker and would love to invest her time to make St. George as good as it can be.

Bette O. Arial
Ms. Arial stated that she is delighted to participate this process. She is an incredibly proud baby boomer and is a decedent of six Cotton Mission families. She loves this
St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Seven

town, it’s history, it’s progress and it’s future. She respects those who have always lived here and delights in those that are coming. She is grateful for past leaders who have made St. George what it is. If selected, she will serve with vision and optimism; she does not want to create divisions. She believes she brings a breath of experience in government and policy making. Her history includes managing constituents services and outreach for Congressman Hansen, co-founder of the habitat conservation plan steering committee, working with all affected parties on the endangered species act, Washington County for Women and Families, public affairs specialist for the Arizona Strip BLM, founded the Arizona Strip Interpretive Association, is Vice President of Government Relations for Energy Solutions, worked extensively with the Utah Legislature, on the boards of 20 Chambers of Commerce, was elected in a city wide election to the State Board of Education, was on the community impact board, committee for consumer service, Utah Foundation, Utah Humanities Council, Utah Arts Council, President of the Celebrity Concert Series as well as trustee of Dixie College. A 20 year member of the Rotary, and currently on the Utah State Political Ethics Committee. The city’s annual financial report shows that it has been well run. As the economy improves the City’s debt service is manageable and St. George has a bright future.

Maureen H. Booth
Ms. Booth stated that timing is everything, she is the right person at the right time and she does not have to campaign. She enjoys serving and has served on the Dixie College Board of Trustees for eight years, she served on a mission with her husband for three years. She is not a company owner, she does not work, she has time. She is not afraid to tell it like it is and she is a woman. She has an art background, she loves the arts. She believes there is not a qualification to serve on the City Council, you have to be willing to learn from each other. She is smart and honest. She has lived here for 60 years. Her experience in life and as a citizen of St. George is something that nobody else has. She sees this as an opportunity to serve and to pay back for being a member of this wonderful community for so long.

Edward R. Baca
Mr. Baca stated that he is grateful for the opportunity to be considered. He has spent over 50 years in public service and the last 10 years serving the citizens of St. George. He is strongly committed to helping those that are week and encumbered. He would like to help cultivate and integrate the community. He appreciates the interaction with all applicants and feels it is important to say they are here because they chose to be here. He feels strongly that there is an obligation to represent and include all other religions and treat all others with respect their points of view. He
works for issues. He recognizes that the City has many issues they are working on. He is very pleased and appreciative of the platform Mayor Pike has established. He believes we are moving toward a more transparent community, he would like to help with that. He has experience with different groups and has represented the City during trying times, bringing people together. He is still active and has the desire to serve, he is willing and able to do that. He wanted everyone to know that he has not only talked about running, he has done it.

Councilmember Pike stated that he read all of Mr. Baca’s letters of recommendation. He thanked Mr. Baca for his service and for the lives he has changed.

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Eight

Mayor Pike advised that the interviews are now complete. Any discussion that the Mayor and City Council choose to have will be done publicly according to state law. He stated that he appreciates the impressive people that have applied. There is much work that has been done by the applicants as well as the Council reviewing the applications. This is something that needs to be taken seriously and there has not been any discussion regarding these proceedings in a closed meeting. He hopes that everyone that will respect the process, which follows state law, and that they will all respect the applicant selected. He asked the City Council if there is any discussion.

Councilmember Hughes stated there are great applicants, he was very impressed. He cannot see anyone on the list that would not do a good for the City, however, he cannot pick more than one. One thing he has always tried to let people know is how the City really works. It starts with the community to bring issues to the City Council, we are all in this together. He stated that Ed Baca comes to all meetings and makes great comments, he is not there to try to tell the City Council what they are doing wrong. You can be involved without being on the City Council. During the recent election, we saw that it was the will of the people to have a new Mayor who has outlined a vision for the City and has promised to make some changes. The citizens overwhelmingly elected Councilmember Randall and elected Councilmember Bowcutt. He has reviewed the applicants and has kept an open mind. One applicant has risen to the top time and time again.

Councilmember Randall stated that she has reviewed the resumes several times this week. So many of the applicants are extremely qualified. She feels the Council will do the best to pick someone who will work best with them to serve the community of St. George.

Councilmember Almquist stated that the most important question on the application is if they are an American citizen. What happened tonight is indicative of what it means to be a great member of the United States. He stated that he knows many of the applicants. He would like to work with everyone that has applied, but has to pick one candidate. This is the most difficult decision he has had to make while on the City Council.

Councilmember Bowcutt stated he applauds those that have applied. The Council has to make the decision and will do what they feel is right for the City. He thanked the citizens who were there cheering on the applicants.

Councilmember Hughes stated that at the Planning Commission meeting, there were residents who are concerned about their neighborhood. One thing he said to them is that regardless of the position, it is ok to think differently but be agreeable. He asked the applicants to understand that they all have more in common than they have differences.

Mayor Pike advised that the City Council did 80% of the work before today reviewing the applications. It is important to know that he spoken to each Councilmember individually, which is allowable, and has said there are no politics. He doesn’t want the Council to vote for someone just because it is the politically expedient thing to

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Nine

do. He wants them to choose person that best represents the citizens of St. George, not the City, but the citizens.

Councilmember Almquist stated he is hoping that people can really see that the Council is not the enemy inside. He looked for a candidate of someone who is going to be strong to work with others in the City. Whomever is selected has a big job. He is very appreciate of everyone who is here tonight.

Mayor Pike advised the City Council has a ballot marked Ballot 1 with the names of all 24 applicants. He requested that each Councilmember cast their ballot for the one applicant they would like to appoint. He will then read the vote of each Councilmember. If the vote is unanimous, no further vote is needed, the applicant appointed will be sworn in immediately. If the vote is not unanimous, there are several things that can happen. If the Council votes for only 2 candidates, another ballot will be taken between the 2 candidates, even if the vote is tied. If the vote is for 3 candidates, then all 3 candidates will qualify for the second round of balloting. If the vote is for 4 different candidates, he may call for further discussion, before the second round of balloting. If a second round is needed Councilmembers will use Ballot 2. In this round, if 1 candidate receives a majority that candidate wins. If the second round results in a tie, he as Mayor, will have the opportunity to cast a vote in accordance with City ordinance to break the tie. If there is no majority vote, there will be further discussion and resolve the appointment at that time.

Mayor Pike read the votes for Ballot 1 as follows:
Councilmember Bowcutt - Diane Adams
Councilmember Almquist - Bette Arial
Councilmember Randall - Bette Arial
Councilmember Hughes - Bette Arial

Mayor Pike advised there will be a second round.

Mayor Pike read the votes for Ballot 2 as follows:
Councilmember Almquist - Bette Arial
Councilmember Randall - Bette Arial
Councilmember Hughes - Bette Arial
Councilmember Bowcutt - Bette Arial

Mayor Pike thanked everyone for how they conducted themselves. He stated that this was difficult and they have been waiting for this day since November. He is pleased about the fact that there are a number of positions on different boards. He will ask a number of the applicants to possibly be serve on a board or commission. During the next election, there will be 3 open Council seats. Elections show the will of the people, and at that time, it will show how they have done today.

City Recorder Christina Fernandez administered the Oath of Office.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to adjourn.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Hughes.
VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a roll call vote, as follows:

St. George City Council Minutes
January 23, 2014
Page Ten

Councilmember Almquist- aye
Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Randall - aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Christina Fernandez, City Recorder