By Craig Bennett
Iron County Today
PAROWAN–Newly elected Parowan Mayor Preston Griffiths will face some challenges as well as opportunity and growth in the future.
“I like it, it’s going to be challenging to be the mayor. I know it will have its moments, but for the most part I think I’m going to enjoy it,” he said.
When asked how concerned he was with the lack of moisture so far this winter, the mayor said, “I’m very concerned, not just because of the damage done to the four-bay and the flood channel, but the lack of moisture we’ve had. I think it’s going to be a real big concern this summer.”
In response to restoring the cities pressurized irrigation system, “Its coming along, it’s in the permitting stage right now, so as soon as it’s permitted then we’ll open it up for bidding and then hopefully get on it as soon as possible.”
Griffiths went on to say, “There has been some frustration because some people say that we’ve had such a mild winter that they are concerned with the lack of work on it, but its because we can’t do work on it until we have the permits to begin. That’s the issue. Any work done before we receive the permitting, we don’t get reimbursed for. It’s government ‘red tape’.”
As far as transparency and cutting back on spending in the city , “Just making sure the public always knows what is going on and as far as spending, just try to trim things up a little bit and try to reduce spending without cutting services. I think we can do that.”
In regards to revenue through tourism, “ I think that is a big thing. That is going to be the next thing on the list to start working on. We need to get more involved with Brian Head and Cedar and these other communities, which I know we’ve done in the past, we’ve been involved with them but try to promote Southern Utah all together.”
The current police chief Ken Carpenter has announced he will be running for Iron County Sheriff. In response, Mayor Griffiths said, “If he runs and gets elected as Iron County Sheriff, we’ll have to replace him. It’s just one of those things. Unfortunately, Parowan has always been a training ground for other agencies and so we get someone trained and then they move on. It’s all just part of life.”
Griffiths served 21 years as a police officer in Parowan with the last nine years as Chief of Police. “I believe that public safety is an ongoing issue with any city. I believe that we have an obligation to protect citizens, their rights and property, and to treat citizens with respect.”