Ivins council candidates look back, look forward

IVINS – Community involvement, business development and getting the Ironman 70.3 World Championship are a few of the issues being discussed by Ivins City Council candidates.

Five Ivins City residents are competing for three city council seats in the upcoming 2015 municipal general election set for Nov. 3: Dennis Mehr, Jenny L. Johnson, Crystal Lewis, Ron Densley and Lance Anderson.

Jenny L. Johnson

Jenny Johnson (2)
Jenny Johnson | Submitted photo

Jenny Johnson does not have any specific concerns or agendas in running for city council, she said.

I love my community and just want to help it grow in the best possible way. I would also like to be a voice for my neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens.”

Johnson has lived in Ivins most of her life, and been a volunteer firefighter for almost 20 years.

Johnson has been involved in the PTA, and worked at area schools as a teacher’s aide, a substitute teacher, and a volunteer. She serves on the Ivins Heritage Days committee and the Ivins Historical Society Board.

If not elected, Johnson said she will simply continue to do as she has for years: be as involved in the community as she possibly can and attend council meetings as often as she can so that she can stay informed about what is happening in the community.

Dennis Mehr

Dennis Mehr | Submitted photo
Dennis Mehr | Submitted photo

Mehr has lived in Ivins for almost 10 years, and served on the planning commission from 2008-2011.

During my time on the Planning Commission, we made a concerted effort to review our zoning ordinances and associated design standards. It is satisfying to see how our past efforts have successfully impacted the newer developments and businesses. “

From Mehr’s perspective, the city is functioning well, with a proactive mayor and council that communicate effectively and work well together.

If elected, Mehr said he will support the current efforts of city leaders, commit to listen to the arguments, take time to research the facts, and use good judgment as issues come before the city council.

If not elected, Mehr will continue to support the community and elected officials. 

“Our local government impacts us in so many important ways. Getting involved and being supportive at the local level is a great way to make a difference whether or not one holds an elected position.”

With a background in business administration, Mehr has worked in administration for Intermountain Healthcare, Inc. as a regional assistant operations officer of the medical group. He received a Master of Public Administration degree from Brigham Young University.  

Crystal Lewis

If elected, Lewis said there are many things she would like to accomplish, starting with more community involvement.

“We currently have a very low turnout when it comes to council meetings or any community event,” Lewis said. “I would like to see more people have an input about issues that take place in our community.”

Lewis would like to have City Council meetings allow more time for community members to share concerns and ask questions; and give the public a chance to comment on the positive things that are taking place.

“Right now, people in the community do not feel welcome, or that their opinion or concerns can be heard. I think sponsoring more community events would help bring the community together and perhaps create a more family-like feel, where everyone could feel like they were a part of the community development.”

Lewis would also like to see Ivins be promoted more effectively to businesses that could benefit the city. With a diverse socioeconomic population and growing numbers of residents, residents could benefit from resources like daycare, local grocers and restaurants and a community center with computer access.

Ivins has made huge strides with Family Dollar being built, the SunTran System, and the IceBox opening a new restaurant,” Lewis said. “We, however, could do more to bring in new jobs to the community.

Lewis does not want to compromise the integrity of the city, but rather capitalize on what the city already has. Several hundred thousand visitors come to Ivins each year to see Tuachan and visit Snow Canyon, and the city could benefit greatly by zoning a small portion of land for business development.

If she is not elected, Lewis plans to voice her opinion and promote her ideas to the City Council.

“Community involvement is a must, whether or not I am on City Council,” she said, and she will do what she can to lead businesses towards Ivins.

“I will give my full self to the continued improvement and growth of Ivins,” she said, and she will continue to volunteer and be involved. “Ivins is my paradise and I plan on making sure it stays that way.”

Lewis moved to Ivins in 2011, has a degree in business management, and is completing a degree in elementary education. She has been a small business owner since 1998, and currently operates Crystal’s Creations, selling specialty items to boutiques across the state. She also facilitates parenting classes for families in need.

Ron Densley
Ron Densley | Submitted photo
Ron Densley | Submitted photo

Ron Densley is an incumbent, and has been serving on the Ivins City Council for four years. He considers getting the SunTran bus into Ivins his greatest accomplishment so far, and said if elected, he would like to see the bus routes expanded.

Densley serves on the executive advisory board for Snow Canyon State Park, and is working with legislators to get funding to widen and improve the road through Snow Canyon from the Galoot Campground to the north entrance. Currently, the road is not wide enough for bikers and hikers along with vehicle traffic.

We’re trying to do that to bring the Ironman competition here,” Densely said. St. George is currently the host of the Ironman 70.3 St. George North American Pro Championship, which is held each May; and is in the running for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

In addition to widening the road, Densley wants to get the road resurfaced rather than chip-sealed. “We want to have a nice new surface.”

Densley also wants to focus on finishing the development of Ivins Reservoir by next summer. The reservoir is being refurbished to include swimming in an area fed by clean well water, along with fishing and kayaking.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, Densely said he will be supportive of whoever is elected and encourage city officials to carry out what needs to be done.

Densley is a graduate of Dixie College and Brigham Young University, and worked as developer and contractor for almost 40 years. He is semi-retired.

“I’ve been involved in development so I know how development works and how it should be controlled,” Densley said.

Lance B. Anderson

Lance Anderson declined to provide information to the St. George News.

Resources

  • Ivins City election information Web page

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1 Comment

  • Randys Sister October 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

    If I lived in Ivins, I would absolutely vote for Dennis Mehr! He is a solid, upstanding man with a strong value system.

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