City Council candidates share their vision for Hildale’s future

HILDALEFive candidates are running for two seats on the Hildale City Council. The two elected will begin their four-year terms of office in January 2022.

The candidates appearing on the ballot are:

  • Jared Nicol (Incumbent)
  • Brigham Holm
  • Derick Holm
  • Terrill Musser

Council Member Maha Layton chose not to pursue re-election.

The general election will take place on Nov. 2. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 22, with voter registration forms either dropped off in-person at the Washington County Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. or postmarked by that date.

A candidate’s forum will be held Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Water Canyon High School gymnasium. Members of the public will be able to meet and ask questions of City Council and mayoral candidates.

To understand their priorities and qualifications, St. George News asked each candidate the same three questions. The following responses are in the candidates’ own words, lightly edited for clarity and conciseness.

One of the candidates, Brigham Holm, did not respond to St. George News at time of publication.

Derick Holm

Hildale City Council candidate Derick Holm, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Derick Holm, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I’m committed to living here and I love this community. I’ve been involved with city politics for two years now. I care about the community, and I want it to continue to be a safe place to live. I’m a local contractor, and I’ve served for two years on the Hildale Zoning Commission. As a city councilman, I will vote no on any commercial properties planned in residential areas, and I’ll vote no on any more halfway houses or addiction treatment centers.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to address?

I think city lighting is an important issue. I’m pretty on board with the dark skies idea. I would like to protect our water as much as possible. I’m committed to protecting our water as much as the city can, and I’m pretty passionate about it.

If elected, how would you direct Hildale’s economic and community development?

I’d vote yes on any sort of legitimate, good growth that isn’t too big or phony. I have a pretty good sense about authentic growth versus phony growth, and that comes from my experience as a contractor and serving on the planning commission.

Terrill Musser

Hildale City Council candidate Terrill Musser, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Terrill Musser, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I have a long-term vision of Hildale being a healthy and growing community with a high quality of life and a place where our sons and daughters want to return and build prosperous lives and futures. In the past six years since returning to Hildale, I have served in many community organizations – working on projects such as the Cottonwood Park Restoration and the organization of the Fourth of July Celebrations promoting the revitalization of our town through bringing our people together.

I am essentially an optimist and am driven to promote this vision for a healthy community. This vision involves building bridges between different factions, sound and transparent financial management, ongoing improvements of public works and a healthy climate of living together in mutual respect and responsibility. 

If I am elected, I will be a servant to the town and not a “boss.” Hildale has lived through a “boss” situation of leadership in earlier periods of its history, and it almost destroyed our town by driving over half of our population at the time, including me, away. Now we are coming back with a vision of broad-based leadership and community participation that is a much better way.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to address?

  • Water is a prime issue. We must ensure a reliable supply of clean water and adequate water pressure for all.
  • A sound solution to the problems with animal control and safe, responsible ATV use.
  • We must improve and maintain drainage in the watershed of Short Creek by keeping our creek beds clear of brush and trash at all times to minimize flooding.
  • Improvement of inter-governmental relationships. We must work together with all the various boards and committees that oversee diverse areas of our community life.
  • Growth is occurring in Hildale and the broader region of Short Creek. We need to promote proper planning with parks and recreational areas and adequate infrastructure overall to accommodate this growth. Healthy activities for our youth are a must. If we do this wisely, this community will be an ever better place.
  • To maintain a good quality of life, we must have good jobs and an educated population. We must work with the school systems in our area to help raise our students’ performance in mathematics and reading to statewide levels so that they can be competent to fill the jobs of the future.

If elected, how would you direct Hildale’s economic and community development?

If I am elected, I will work to ensure Hildale’s healthy economic and community development so that the whole town overall wins. We need to grow at a stable and continuous pace and not let ourselves be overly swayed by any one particularly powerful or wealthy interest or group. We must not show undue favor to anyone – all have equal rights and responsibilities in our community.

We must make conscious, deliberative choices as a council and a city and a people, decisions that do not move us backwards to the old ways of doing things.

I will work with our schools to provide our youth with a highly competitive education so they will join a highly competitive workforce, creating an ever-improving standard of living. We need to provide healthy and well-planned recreational activities, so that irresponsible ATV driving does not create a public nuisance. 

I will listen, provide input and then act on constructive decisions by our city planning board with regard to our infrastructure. I will talk with the people of our community to hear their concerns. And within the limits of good judgment, I will act on their concerns to the best of my capabilities.

Jared Nicol – Incumbent since January 2018.

Hildale City Council candidate Jared Nicol with his daughter, Gracie, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Jared Nichol, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I believe I am the right candidate for the job because of my experience and my commitment to the city of Hildale. I have served a four-year term and have been a part of many accomplishments made by the city. Many things we put city resources and funds toward are projects that are outside of the city and get labeled as “community” projects. It is clear that these “community” projects involve and benefit city officials and their family and friends. I will continue to push the focus and resources and funds of the city to be on items and projects that originate, benefit and center around Hildale City.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to address?

The most pressing issues I see for the city are having leadership that is wanting and demanding transparency and disclosures from all city officials and staff. We should not allow big decisions to be made outside of the public eye and we should not allow backdoor deals of any kind. We also need to have leaders that will put the focus where the City Council has asked it to be. The council needs to band together and not allow the mayor and city manager to spend a majority of time and resources on items brought to them by their family and friends while items and direction of the council gets postponed and forgotten.

If elected, how would you direct Hildale’s economic and community development?

If elected, I will direct economic development by having an economic development coordinator that will work with potential businesses coming into town. I will also make sure we are properly staffed to address any issues for developers wanting to help improve and add to Hildale’s housing market. Property distributions by the UEP Trust have created many issues for a stable housing market to exist. New development and new housing is key to creating a real housing market. A healthy housing market will help the population of Hildale stabilize and grow, ensuring that businesses have quality local employees.

Darlene Stubbs – Write-in candidate

Hildale City Council candidate Darlene Stubbs, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Darlene, Stubbs, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

With an understanding of the history of this community and its former and current residents, I believe I have the energy, relationships, resources and desire to continue the positive trajectory of Hildale. Although still a small town, Hildale has a rich but complex history and current state of affairs. Having spent the majority of my life in this area with boots on the ground, I believe the perspective I continue to gain has uniquely prepared me to take on this challenge.

I have encouraged, and will continue to encourage, citizen engagement in local governance and showcase the natural beauty and economic potential of Hildale to my fellow citizens and the world.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to address?

Assisting in putting frameworks in place that encourage economic activity through tourism, industry and residential expansion to handle it, while keeping Hildale the unique and serene place it is. This can be accomplished by combining citizen input with strategic partners in planning, finance and commerce, which I believe is possible with proper communication and networks.

In terms of lifestyle, the community is dealing with many challenges such as animal control and ATV noise and safety, both of which I believe can be addressed with more citizen engagement and the public buying into solutions. This will take effort and time that I am committed to spending.

If elected, how would you direct Hildale’s economic and community development?

I will work in tandem with local business owners – from the smallest to the largest – to make our town business-friendly and attractive to investment from both the community and outside investors. Mobilizing our substantial workforce locally through social media and other platforms can help everyone involved benefit from a lifestyle standpoint.

Our community is situated ideally for outdoor recreation, but needs the infrastructure, systems and relationships built to handle the influx of people and industry in a sustainable way. As your representative, I will commit the time and energy to develop these items.

Having experience in event planning and community engagement, I intend to keep bringing events such as airport fly-ins, running events, community clean-up events, parades and other opportunities for our citizens to enjoy one another’s association.

For all of St. George News’ coverage of 2021 municipal elections, click here.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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