The American Legion Ferron Post 42 and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 42 hosted the meet the candidates night Oct. 23, at the Ferron City Hall.
Unit 42 President Jo Sansevero welcomed everyone and introduced her husband Lou Sansevero as the moderator of the meeting. He then laid out the ground rules for the meeting. Questions were to be submitted on cards. Additional questions were allowed from the audience by the raise of a hand. He then proceeded to call on the candidates to make their opening statements.
Mike Mower representing Governor Herbert a candidate for a second term, was the first to speak. Mower said, "I appreciate being back home in Ferron representing a great governor in the greatest state. I now serve as the governor's Deputy Chief of Staff. I want to thank the American Legion for the Oratorical Scholarship that helped me through college at Brigham Young University. Mayor Joann Behling was one of the first candidates that I passed out flyers for, when she was running for city council. That was my introduction to politics. Gov. Herbert strongly endorses two of the people here tonight, Sen. Hinkins and Rep. McIff. They have done a wonderful job representing Emery County and have helped the state to achieve the terrific results that we have.
"Governor Herbert's slogan is "Results Matter". As you look around the country and you see what is happening in different states you can look at Utah and see that positive things really are happening. When Gov. Herbert took over the Utah unemployment rate was 8.3 percent it is now down to 5.4 percent. This is one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Last year we went through and reviewed every regulation in state government, to see how the regulations impacted business and we changed about 267 of those regulations in order to make Utah as business friendly as possible so that employers want to come here or currently existing businesses want to expand their jobs here and help to grow our economy.
"The governor asked me to mention a couple of things, Gary Conover a Ferron native who serves in the governor's cabinet is the new executive director of the tax commission. And also the governor maintains his strong support of public lands and for coal. Recently, those two areas have come under attack from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. It is estimated they spent one half million dollars attacking Governor Herbert's position on these issues. The governor wants to make certain the public lands remain open for multiple uses. We love and cherish our environment, but we also understand that we need oil and natural gas exploration and drilling.
"When it comes to coal. The governor has been a fervent advocate for the Utah coal industry. We recognize that while in the future it will be nice to have a lot of different sources of power. Right now Utah has some of the lowest power rates in the country and that is because we have coal that we burn here in Emery County and in Carbon County," said Mower.
Mower reminded the group that Gov. Herbert has been in Emery County six times in the last year. "He has had the chance to meet with many of you and you have had a chance to visit with him. On behalf of Governor Herbert he sincerely asks for your vote, so that he and Lt. Gov. Bell may serve another four years. Thank you," said Mower.
Ethan Migliori a candidate for Emery County Commission started out saying, "we appreciate the support the governor has given us over the years he has been a good ally of ours. I am the republican candidate for the open county commission seat. My wife, formerly Heidi Conover, and I along with our children live here in Ferron. About seven or eight years ago I had an opportunity to sell my business to a larger company. I took the opportunity to sell my business and move my family back to Emery County. It has been a good experience for me and my family to be back here.
"My great, great, great grandmother Ferron Cook was the first girl child to be born on the banks of Ferron Creek. Those of you that are history buffs in the room will know who she is. So it has been fun to be back and learn a little bit more about my family history. I used to come over and spend my summers with my cousins in Castle Dale.
"The reason why I'm running for County Commissioner is that since I've been back, I haven't seen a Commissioner, with a strong background in business and economic development. We definitely need those skills in our economy right now. So I want to bring my background in those skills to the commission and strengthen those skills of Commissioner Nelson and Commissioner Horrocks.
"I currently work for the college in Price. I am the director for the small business development center. I spend my entire day working with small businesses, working on economic development issues to help strengthen our local businesses.
"A few years ago I was instrumental in starting a program called the BEAR Project. BEAR is an acronym for business expansion and retention. The purpose of BEAR was to focus on our local businesses and grow them versus the traditional means of economic development, which was to recruit and try to bring companies here. Since 2009 that BEAR Project has created more than 200 jobs and injected more than $2.1 million back into the hands of our local business owners, so they can grow and strengthen their company.
"Just recently, the governor's office asked us to take that program to all of rural Utah and if you have listened to a number of his addresses you'll hear him talking about the BEAR Project.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to run for Emery County Commission. I am excited for that opportunity and look forward to serving you and bringing my skills to help strengthen Emery County. Thank you," said Migliori.
Bill Dellos represented Jason Chaffetz, a candidate for the House of Representatives in the third district, said, "Jason is with the next president of the United States Mitt Romney. Jason is working with Romney's campaign and frequently you will see him on television working with Romney. Jason has asked me to tell you two or three things. There was a lady that asked Jason why he slept on a cot in Washington DC. This is his answer. 'Too often people who are elected to federal offices move their families to Washington and end up losing touch with the people they represent. I am aware of this trend and commit to avoid this trait. I represent Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah.'
Fiscal discipline: The great threat to our nation and freedom is our unstable national debt. Jason is there to make sure this debt gets brought under control. Accountability: Each person needs to be accountable to this great United States of America.
Jason is a good representative. He has the experience and knowledge Utah needs and I think Jason will be a much better representative for us than Jim Matheson.
Home Land Security: Jason agrees with Romney that we need to protect this nation with a strong military and a strong national defense. Thank you," said Dellos.
Kay McIff candidate for State Representative said, "It is always a great privilege for me to be here. I know most of you, not all. Kay McIff is my name. I have served in the State House of Representatives for the last six years. I left a flyer on the table, that lists a half-dozen things that I'm interested in.
"This is actually a very important time in our country's history. Friday night we had a guest at our place at Fish Lake from Denmark. He is a reporter. My son-in-law, a professor at Southern Utah University and this reporter from Denmark flew into Los Angeles, went to Las Vegas and then came to Cedar City. His express purpose was to report on the American presidential election. So I had a chance to visit with him about this election, and how defining it is. He said understand that in Denmark our income tax rate is 60 percent. He said our government supplies everything for us like Health care. Most of the industries and virtually everything is government operated. We in America don't know how far down that path we want to go. Some of us think we've gone too far, already.
"A lot will depend upon activists in national politics. This next time around. It will be an influential time in our nation's history. I am satisfied that we want to preserve free enterprise as wide open a system as possibly we can. It worked well for our forefathers. I think it will continue to work well. We'll wait and see. Another two or three weeks, then we will make some important decisions in the state. It will determine what we will do with immigration, what we'll do with Medicare. It will determine the direction we go in so many arenas. I am more interested in the philosophy we bring to the table.
"Let me just mention that it is a privilege to work with Mike Mower. He is a great tribute to this county. The same I would say about David Hinkins. They are great to work with. We hope that in this next time around we're going to get some additional funding for education. It is a great privilege to represent you. Thank you so much," said McIff.
Sam Singleton running for Ferron/Clawson School Board Position said, "It is a great pleasure for me to be here tonight. All of you know me and I appreciate the American Legion Auxiliary and all that they do in our community and for making this possible for us tonight.
"My life has been spent in education. I grew up in Ferron. Went to school here. Did all my high school here and went on to college. as soon as I graduated from high school I did not want to leave Ferron. I wanted to stay here and so that summer. Two of my high school teachers Max Peacock and Alan Tuft were going to BYU, summer school. So I went to BYU and went to summer school and boarded with two of my high school teachers. I did this for two years. I finished my college degree in three years. I was then able to return back to Ferron.
"When I started to teach, the kids that were seniors at that time, were eighth-graders, when I was a senior. We had a lot of things in common. I was not a science teacher, during that year of teaching at South Emery high school, they didn't have someone to teach eighth grade science and so in a small school, you had to teach what you were assigned. During the school year when we got to the part of the book about the human body and human reproduction. I was just as naÃ¯ve as the eighth-graders and one particular day. When we were on that subject I had words on the board for them to define and made everything possible for them to get into the book so that I wouldn't have to talk. I got up to tell them you may now begin to study. Instead, I said, you may now begin to reproduce. That is not the only error I made while I was teaching.
"I've appreciated very much working on the school board and just recently we had a meeting and I was able to meet with our new State School Superintendent Mark L. Menlove. I am very impressed with him. He will take over at the first of the year. I've been very dedicated. In the years that I've served on the School Board. I have only missed six meetings," said Singleton.
Sen. David Hinkins candidate for the State Senate introduced himself by saying, "I live about three miles east of here in our little community called Molen. I'm glad to be in Ferron. I was born and raised in Orangeville. I went to South Emery Junior High School. I am thankful to be able to serve you in the Senate at the Utah State Capitol. I am fortunate to belong to the Rural Caucus. There are three of us in it. There is Sen. Oakerlund from Monroe, Senator Van Tassell from Vernal and myself. Between the three of us, we control three quarters of the State of Utah, geographical acreage. The odds are against us. There are 29 senators and there are three of us that are rural Utah folk. The Rural Caucus is growing. Several other senators want to join the Rural Caucus. Senator Oakerlund is running for the majority leadership. Senator Van Tassell is going to run for Assistant Whip.
"I have been thanked many times for the improvements on state Highway 6. I would like to take credit for it. But, I serve on the committee that appropriates a lot of the money. My hat goes off to Ex-Commissioner Bevin Wilson. Bevan Wilson served on the road commission for 12 years and he was able to get rural roads on our list. We owe great gratitude to Bevan Wilson who was our Commissioner and if you ever get a chance thank him for his work on rural roads. He was released from the Road Commission Board two years ago. Bevin was replaced by Eddie Cox from Fairview. Hopefully we can still get our rural roads done. Rural roads are very important. We spend a large amount in road taxes compared to people who live in Salt Lake. Most of us commute a lot further, 50 to 100 miles a day to work and pay a lot more in sales tax to the roads and we get very little of that money back.
"I am the father of four children and a grandfather of nine. I am in the Senate because I want to see my kids have as good a life as I've had. I have had many opportunities living in the United States. I really appreciate the opportunities I have had to better my position in life. I would like to see that continue not to just my children but to the children of Emery County and southeastern Utah. Thank you," said Sen. Hinkins.
"I am Bruce Funk, a candidate running for the office of School Board Member representing Ferron and Clawson. The reason I filed for the school board office was not to run against Sam. I filed first that morning so that anyone else that filed would be running against me. All of the offices for elected officials are open and on that, I don't think there's any entitlement. I think we have to earn those offices back. If we're running for an office. We should be weighed upon our merits and what we can bring and offer. I am a graduate of Utah State University with a degree in secondary education in physical sciences. I taught a number of years in the Duschene area in the high school and junior high school, combined. Much like the old South Emery, I taught upper math, chemistry, and the junior high science classes.
"I have done direct negotiations with the superintendent for teacher salary negotiations. I have had a lot of experience in education. It is of prime importance to me. I have a daughter that now teaches in the high school. She does an outstanding job. I know what is taking place there. I have a number of relatives that are in the teaching profession here in the county. So I'm aware of what is going on. I have six grandchildren in the system and soon I will have nine in the system. I know what is going on. I have been out and talked to numerous teachers. I know of their concerns. I know they are good teachers. I know they need support. They need someone who will listen to them. It bothers me when we lose good teachers because we may want to spend $3,000 to go up to Lagoon to experience physics. Rather than doing a program that would sustain a teacher. I look at things very differently. I think that boards many times become rubber stamps. I am not that type of a person as anyone who knows me will tell you.
"I am the one that brought investigators in to look at the voting machines. I wasn't the only one In the United States that saw what was going on. I do have a strong Interest and a strong commitment to give a 100 percent.
"In my heart, one of those deep concerns is, when you are called in and told we need to hold your child back, we suggest you do that. I followed that suggestion. Realizing later, why did that teacher, wait until the end of the year to tell me that? Those are things that need to be looked at and how do you avoid that and bring the best education possible to the students and support teachers and staff. Thank you," said Funk.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth incumbent candidate for county commission said, "I would like to thank our American Legion ladies auxiliary for hosting us here tonight. My husband and I have been married for 37 years, and I want to publicly thank him. I did not do that in our last meeting, except to say that he really has stepped up to the plate and learned to cook. Since I have been a commissioner, he does his own laundry, but he doesn't dust very well yet. He has been such a great support to me, and I want him to know how much I appreciate him. We have lived here in Ferron in for 27 years. We raised our family here. We have four children. we have six grandchildren. Another grandchild is due at any moment. Four years ago, I didn't just wake up and decide to run for county commission, it started a long time ago it started when I was little girl and joined the American Legion Auxiliary under my dad, who was a Korean War Veteran. He served honorably in the Korean War in the Air Force. It wasn't until this year when I was looking through the records trying to get benefits for our dad that we realized he was actually a hero. We never knew about that, because he never talked about it. He received two silver stars and a bronze star.
My patriotism and my service to my country started a long time ago. It was through my American Legion experience that I ran for school offices and was class officers and student body officer. I have always been engaged in my community. Community service is important to me.
"I feel like I have been an effective Commissioner in these last four years. I feel like we have accomplished a lot as a commission. We have a full-time economic development department that works on economic development. It is important in our community and we will continue to work for all opportunities for economic development.
"In the past four years we have improved the infrastructure in Emery County. There are a lot of areas in this county that needed us to step up and do some remodeling. I appreciate the opportunity to be here tonight," said Commissioner Pitchforth.
Gary Petty representing Scott Howell a candidate for the US Senate said, "Scott Howell apologizes for not being able to be here tonight. He is a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Gary then read a brief statement from Scott Howell.
'Scott Howell was born in Provo raised in Salt Lake City and spent his summers in Castle Dale on his grandfather's farm, where he learned the values of hard work and church. Scott graduated from Skyline high school and the University of Utah. Hired during his junior year of college, Scott spent 34 years working for the IBM Corporation managing worldwide teams of employees.
'Motivated to improve education, Scott was elected to the Utah State Senate in 1990 receiving over 60 percent of the vote. He served for three terms. Scott is a former member of the Intermountain Healthcare Board and the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee.
Scott wants to end the gridlock in Washington. He is still passionate about education and believes in fiscal responsibility, reducing our debt and balancing the budget. He continues to fight for working-class families. He wants to make Social Security, sustainable, protect Medicare and protect our landscape for future generations. Scott and his wife, Linda, are the parents of four sons and have four grandchildren. He and his family are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. Scott has outlined his plan for Utah and for our country in what he calls the three Es, economy, education, and comprehensive energy policy. Within that framework key issues have emerged, balanced-budget, job creation, Medicare, education and energy.
'Scott has spent some time in Emery County this summer. He has been down to our public lands, meetings, he knows what the issues are in Emery County. I don't think there's a better person to represent us here in Emery County at this time with our public lands and issues that are going on. He asks for your vote and your support in November," said Petty.