By Kelsey Keener
Iron County Today
CEDAR CITY–Cedar City Council and Mayoral candidates had the opportunity to debate in the Gilbert Great Hall of the SUU R. Haze Hunter Conference Center on Oct 17.
Employees of the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service organized and ran the event. Taylor Cella and Kenton Pope moderated the debate. Candidates were given either 30 or 60 seconds to respond to questions.
City Council candidates Ron Adams, Bruce Hughes and Scott Phillips, debated first. Candidates were allowed 60 seconds to give their opening statements, then Cella and Pope began asking questions. The topics for debate started with revitalizing Historic Downtown, and included zoning laws, the leisure services budget, the relationship between the city and SUU, water rights, the RAP Tax and recent fires.
Council candidates were given the opportunity to ask an opponent a question before offering their closing statements. Hughes gave his closing statement first.
“This is a big decision when you get a chance to select people to represent you,” Hughes said. “I hope that you want a do-er. If you’ve looked at my 24-year history in Cedar City, you can see that I am a do-er. I am passionate about this town, I am passionate about all of the things that I am involved with. I love the people that I work with. … I think we want a do-er on the City Council, we don’t want a spectator.”
Adams said that he is ready to continue to serve Cedar City.
“I’d like to say that I am fully dedicated and ready to faithfully serve our city with all my heart and soul as I have these last eight years,” Adams said. “I have a big passion for our city. I love Cedar City. … I ask for your continued support, with your vote. You can look up my track record and remember that my goal will be planning today for tomorrow’s future.”
Phillips said that he wants to make a difference in Cedar City,
“I assure you that if I’m fortunate enough to be elected, I will listen to you,” Phillips said. “I care about this city. I chose to live here. I could’ve retired elsewhere but I wanted to be in Cedar City where I could make a difference. And I believe I have the time, and I can make a difference and I’m willing to do so.”
After a brief intermission, the Mayoral debate began. Candidates Ryan Durfee and Mayor Maile Wilson gave their opening statements and then began answering questions about management styles, budgets, the many responsibilities of the mayor, how to show appreciation for employees, tourism, and others.
To close the debate, candidates gave their closing statements. Durfee offered his closing statement first.
“I really would like to serve you,” Durfee said. “I don’t know if I’ll have that opportunity, but if I do have that opportunity I want you to know that it will be sincere and I’m doing it because I feel a debt of gratitude to how many people have helped me … I would like to return the favor.”
Mayor Wilson said she hopes to build on all the progress she has made in her first term.
“I would appreciate your vote on November 7th,” Mayor Wilson said. “I would appreciate the opportunity to continue serving you, to continue with the momentum that we’ve gained and with all the forward direction that we are going (in) as a city, continue with the growth and being able to be prepared for the future, to work towards water, to work towards all of these different items that will make it so we have a sustainable community now and for decades to come.”
CAPTION: Challenger Ryan Durfee, left, and Mayor Maile Wilson faced off in one of two Cedar City candidate debates. Photo by Kelsey Keener