HURRICANE – Three Hurricane citizens are vying for the city’s mayoral seat this election, a seat that Tom Hirschi has held for 12 years. The candidates are: Martin D. Cain, John Bramall, and Jerry Dallape.
To acquaint voters with their choices, St. George News invited answers to two main questions: “Describe some events in your life that made you who you are” and “Why are you running for mayor?” The candidates told their stories and family members or close associates added their perspectives.
Hurricane mayoral candidate Martin Cain, who has lived in town just over four years, calls himself a “Hurricane convert.” After he retired, he didn’t feel he had any roots so he decided to come to Hurricane.
“We needed a home and Hurricane welcomed us,” he said.
Since he and his wife, Mimosa Cain, moved here, their only daughter has followed. Married 41 years, they are also the parents of four sons and have eight grandchildren.
One event Cain said made him who he is today was being a Boy Scout. As a Boy Scout, he took an oath to do what he could for his community and nation and he took it to heart, saying he did not want to shun responsibility.
His missionary service in Tahiti also made an impression on him.
After his mission, he joined the military even though he said he was “not a military person” because he was not athletic.
Cain served 18 years of active duty in the Air Force and two of his sons have carried on that military tradition. Cain is still in the active reserves.
Cain’s first four years in the Air Force were as an enlisted man, but once he received his bachelor’s degree from University of Nevada, Reno, he went to officer training school and later ended his career as a major.
“They found a place for me,” he said of the military.
Some of the things military service taught him were discipline, eating right, getting the job done and not making excuses, Martin Cain said.
In the Air Force he learned “service before self” and has tried to abide by it ever since.
But in the Air Force, his superiors wanted him to be part of the officers’ club but he wouldn’t do it because he wanted to spend the time with his wife and children.
Cain’s military service led to frequent moves. He and his family have lived in Guam, Korea, and Okinawa as well as Alabama, Alaska, California, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas.
He has a doctorate of management in organizational leadership and served as a certified internal auditor for the Air Force, finding ways of doing things that led to less waste and, of course, cost less money. He said he succeeded in this capacity, “not because I was smart, but because I listened.”
“I’m an evidence guy,” he said. “I look at the facts.”
Though he is retired, Martin Cain teaches graduate courses in financial management and leadership for Ashford University and South University.
Her husband is very dependable, Mimosa Cain said, he works hard, is a good listener and always follows through.
“When he has a task that needs to be done, he does it,” she said, and “he is good with the grandchildren.”
And not only is he good with grandchildren, he is a role model for his children, his wife said, adding that they still call him for advice and look up to him, even though he is shorter than them.
Martin Cain’s church and military service, which go hand-in-hand, make him a well-rounded human being, Mimosa Cain said.
He is also a healthy human being. Martin Cain goes on walks, jogs and rides his bike often – “not long, but just enough to keep me healthy,” he said. And he reads regularly, he said, “to learn something.”
Martin Cain did not mull over the decision to run for mayor much. He said a talk with a fire chief inspired him. He has never run for political office before.
In preparation for the campaign, he has been attending all the city council meetings to know the issues the city is facing.
“I’ve done hard things before and I want the challenge,” he said. “I don’t like retiring and playing golf. I’ve got the credentials and can put in the time since I’m retired.”
He is not “one of the good ol’ boys” so he can be more objective, Martin Cain said of himself, and perhaps look at things with a different perspective.
Even though Hurricane City mayoral candidates do not have to identify with a political party, Martin Cain said that he is a registered Republican who wants to keep his guns and thinks the government should run on just enough money as is necessary.
He said he wants to help the city with emergency preparedness and wants the city to remain a good place to raise kids.
At first it did not look like Hurricane City Mayoral Candidate John Bramall would become the businessman he is today. When he started college, his ambition was to become a seminary teacher. He instead turned to healthcare.
¨I like taking care of people,¨ he said, “that’s why I got into it.”
And that is why he got into his three other businesses too; he enjoys movies, ranching and farming. He owns a 25 percent share in Coral Desert Rehabilitation and a 49.9 percent share in Coral Cliffs Cinema. He is also in the farming and ranching businesses, raising hay, grain and cattle.
Of all his business endeavors, John Bramall has been a part of the healthcare industry the longest.
Raised in Provo, John Bramall graduated from Brigham Young University as valedictorian with his health sciences degree, when Bonneville Health Services approached him and said it would pay for his master’s degree (which he earned in therapeutic recreation) because of that achievement. He worked for Bonneville until 1993, and then went out on his own.
“I have trained myself out of a job a half-dozen times,” he said.
He said he is running for mayor because he cares about Hurricane and its future. John Bramall said he has lived in Hurricane for 23 years and half of his children are married to local people, making him seriously invested in the community.
“I both love the city and the people,” he said.
His wife, Connie Bramall, said that he is a kind person and makes everyone feel they are worth his time.
John Bramall served on the city planning commission and has served as a city councilman for the last 12 years. Other leadership experience he brings includes six years as chairman of the Central Utah Chapter of the Utah Healthcare Association, an organization he has been a member of for the last 30 years. At the state level, John Bramall received the award for Republican of the Year in 2000 and Businessman of the Year in 2001.
With his hands in four businesses, John Bramall has a good pulse on the economy. For instance, before the recession hit, he sold a house to his daughter and son-in-law for less than market value. They questioned why he was doing it, to which he explained he was selling it to them for what it would be worth in a few years – and that is exactly what happened. Today its market value is online with his selling price.
“Pride and greed build bubbles,” he said, “and bubbles pop.”
One of his goals as councilman is to get companies here who want to stay here, John Bramall said. Two of the companies lured here during his time as councilman were Litehouse and Orgill, he said. As councilman, he said he also helped get the splash pad behind the community center. He would like to see two other splash pads installed in town – one at 2600 West and one at Dixie Springs – because he said he loves seeing the sense of community in different parts of the city.
As councilman, John Bramall said he has worked to minimize fees and has not voted to increase taxes.
“He is a great businessman and knows how to administrate,” Connie Bramall said. “He is a good people person and he knows he can’t please everyone. He will put the city first.”
A request by his 7-year-old son this summer made Hurricane City Mayoral Candidate Jerry Dallape do something he would not usually do.
“I want you to be Ironman,” his son told him a few months ago and to accomplish that feat, Dallape grew a beard, which he is sporting today.
He grew up in a small town in Illinois called Collinsville, working at his father’s convenience store. His father was an entrepreneur, operating many different businesses over the years, including a pizzeria, a video rental store, a maid service and several others, but the convenience store has always been the “bread and butter,” Dallape said.
If he would have stayed in his hometown, Dallape said he probably would have taken over the convenience store, but he had other things in mind because he did not want to “ride on his father’s coattails.”
One of his major formative experiences, he said, was managing fireworks stands for his father during the summer while in college. He made enough money from those fireworks stands that he did not have to work during the school year. He said he is proud to say his parents did not pay a dime for his college education.
While managing the fireworks stand, Dallape said he felt like it was something he was good at, seeing that he could take it in a positive direction, which he did, expanding from one to three locations. Working for his father those summers was almost a better education than college, he said. A chemical engineering major at first, he switched to advertising, realizing, he said, “if I learn to sell a product, I can work in any business.”
Dallape admits he did try his hand at some businesses in college. Some were successful and some were not, which taught him valuable lessons he said – mainly that when things go awry in business, do not give up but instead go in another direction.
Since graduating from college, Jerry Dallape has worked in retail management, working at K-Mart before starting at Bed Bath and Beyond, where he has worked for the last 16 years, currently as manager of the St. George store. He lived in Salt Lake City before moving to Hurricane, going on a camping trip to Snow Canyon that made him decide he wanted to live in the St. George area. He has lived here, he said, for a little over nine years and his company, Bed Bath and Beyond, has tried to get him to move elsewhere but he does not want to.
Dallape’s job is enjoyable to him because of the variety, he said. He does everything from human resources to cleaning bathrooms.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
Dallape said his store has a good retention rate because he puts people in the places where they will excel and then stands back and watches them work.
“He has a knack for knowing people’s potential,” Stephanie Robeck, senior department manager at St. George’s Bed Bath and Beyond store, said.
“I like to have fun, but when it’s time to get serious, it is time to get serious,” he said.
Dallape is a hands-on, personable manager who makes employees feel they can come to him for anything, Robeck said.
She has no doubt he would be a good mayor based on what she sees day-to-day at work.
“He would be conscientious and take everyone’s feelings into consideration,” she said.
Besides work, family is very important to Dallape, which is one reason he enjoys Utah and its family-oriented atmosphere. He is the father of four boys, ages 16, 13, 9 and 7, who he said keep him busy.
“I had no grey when I came down here,” he said jokingly.
Dallape is running for mayor because, he said, he is ready for a new challenge. He also has his boys in mind when it comes to his political ambitions, which he said he has always had.
“I want their future in town to be positive,” he said of his sons.
He wants Hurricane to keep its small-town feel and thinks the city needs more entertainment and dining options. He said there is not a lot of variety in restaurants and that many residents go to St. George to eat and go shopping and that his retail experience would help him try to lure such businesses to town. He would like to see Hurricane City keep the tax revenue it is losing from its residents shopping in the St. George area.
Additionally, he said some of the things that make him an attractive candidate are that he is not a career politician and he is coming from the private sector. In preparation for the campaign, he has become more active in the community. For example, to understand water issues, he has been attending Washington County Water Conservancy District meetings.
“I want what is best for my family and I think what is best for my family is best for the community.”
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