The new mayor and city council members of St. George hope to make Dixie State University a vital element of the community.
Jon Pike was elected as mayor, ending a 20-year-long term of Mayor Daniel McArthur Nov. 5. Michele Randall and Joe Bowcutt were elected to fill two city council seats.
As well as serving as the town’s new mayor, Pike is also a member of DSU’s board of trustees, and he wants to use his connections with the school and state to help the city and the university grow as one.
“My goal is to encourage businesses and the city to support Dixie,” Pike said “It would almost be like them being business partners in a way.”
Pike said there are many ways businesses and the community can support DSU.
However, he wants to start small by having local businesses and homes display the Dixie State logo. He also encourages businesses to offer discounts to students and faculty members.
“I think it would be wonderful to look over downtown St. George and see it ablaze in red,” Pike said.
Pike would also like to see the city work with the university in creating internships through the local government.
“There is a lot of opportunity for the students if we could set up internships through the city,” Pike said.
There are multiple areas in the local government students could intern for. Like IT, accounting, recreation, energy, water and the list goes on, Pike said.
While Pike will be the mayor in January, he cannot run the city by himself, and that is where the city council comes into play.
Pike said the new council is excited and ready to help the city and school.
“I think this is going to be a city council that is very friendly toward Dixie State University,” Pike said. “I am excited to see what they will allow happen.”
Randall and Bowcutt were elected as new city council members to join the others whose seats were not up for reelection this year.
Randall said she would like to give the students a little more freedom when it comes to events they plan.
She said student government members had recently gone to the city council to discuss holding a spring break concert on city property, and some council members were worried about the event.
Randall said the discussion and reasoning behind the skepticism of the council was a little out of hand.
“I am a believer in trying things out,” Randall said. “It could be fabulous; we don’t know. If problems arise, we will handle them then.”
Bowcutt said he wants to see the campus expand and wants to work on zoning regulations to allow this to happen.
“I am going to do all I can to allow the school to grow,” Bowcutt said. “There should be nothing to prohibit the growth.”
Bowcutt said he is in favor of allowing businesses to come closer to the campus and thinks more on-campus housing is necessary.
All the candidates agree Dixie State is an important part of this community and should be taken into consideration when the council makes decisions.
“Speaking for myself and the council, I can say that we are excited to help the school and the community grow as one,” Pike said.