St. George’s mayoral candidates debated about public concern over drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, water conservation and public property changes at the Gardner Center Tuesday night in anticipation of next month’s election.
Although there were many empty chairs and about 75 community members present, Mayor Daniel McArthur said It was one of the best turnouts they have had.
A question was asked about the possibilities of a new recreational facility like the one in Washington, which is operating at a loss.
“Most rec centers operate at a loss; we should maintain what we have,” Contending Candidate Jon Pike said.
Both candidates agreed the private sector would profit from such a center if there is a community need.
“The city should not be in competition, [if there is a need] then the private sector can do it,” said McArthur.
The candidates were asked for their feelings on the Lake Powell pipe line and what they foresaw happening with the project.
McArthur and Pike said if it became a necessity, they would be in support of such a project.
It should be researched and not done at max cost, Pike said.
They both favored working on local water conservation first.
A hot topic is the old Electric Theater, located on 68 E. Tabernacle, purchased by the city. Both candidates suggested it could be turned into a preforming arts center to support all local acts.
A question concerning the good ol’ boys of St.George was brought to the floor. The Mayor said he is content with current city operations.
Pike said he could see room for more communication within the community for bidders and community involvement in general.
Both candidates were friendly and run close in their optimism for the city of St. George.
The Mayor talked about living his life here and closed with expressing his love of St. George.
Pike expressed his concern for St. George needing a set vision, more transparency and defined values.
“It would help set [a standard] and hold ‘us’ accountable,” Pike said.
On the sidelines after the debate Pike explained his closing remarks.
“Yes, that is why the question about the good ol’ boys was asked. It would leave less for the public to wonder about when something happens in the community,” he said.
The November ballot for St. George also holds two city council seats and a $185 million Special Education Bond.
Many students said they planned to vote. Others were surprised there are upcoming elections.
“Really, who are the candidates?” Darin Small, senior communication major from San Diego said. “No one really knows much about them. Do I vote for the best sign?”
Small not the only one in want of information.
“I might be a communication major, but I did not get the communication about an election.” Emily Flegal, a junior communication major from St. George said, “I’m kind embarrassed. I guess I didn’t pay attention to the signs around town.”
Some students are ready to vote and confused about why otherswouldn’t want to vote.
“Why wouldn’t you vote?” said Mike Nelson, a junior communication major from St. George.“It’s vital to be involved in the community because they make decisions on local issues and vote on local laws.”
Jenessa Nielsen, a senior English major from Spanish Fork, is adamant about voting.
“Yes, I vote,” she said. “Last year was the first year I was old enough to vote. I plan on always voting.”
According to the Washington county website, there is still time to register to vote in the November elections, but not much.
If you would like to vote in the Nov. 5 registration, at the County Clerk office is your only option.
If you are not registered to vote and would like to vote in the Nov. 5 elections, you must register in person with proper ID by Oct. 21 at the County Clerk office, located at 97 East Tabernacle. You may still register online or by mail, but you will not be permitted to vote in this election.
Qualified persons registering in person after Oct. 7 but by Oct. 21 can vote only day of in person at their assigned precinct. See the website for a list of excepted registration identification.