By Kelsey Keener
Iron County Today
CEDAR CITY–Fred Rowley recently concluded a four-year term as a Cedar City Council member. When he was elected for the position, Rowley’s two biggest goals were securing water and bringing in clean industry. Rowley said that although not everything he wanted to get finished was, there were two significant projects he helped facilitate.
“I think we did some wonderful things concerning water,” he said. “Councilman Cozzens and I essentially worked together on the projects, and one was opening up the gravel pit last spring that we put in. That pit was too close to the runway; waterfowl were getting in the way. So we’ve got another pit that right now this storm water is going in and being stored away.”
In addition, during Rowley’s term a system was put in place to keep water from Coal Creek from going into a salt lake and becoming unusable. Instead the water now goes back into the ground for storage.
Rowley said the economy made it difficult to accomplish his second goal.
“We really spent this last four years still recovering from a bad economy,” he said. “Although we did get a few good companies in and some new jobs, not as many as I would’ve liked.”
Before moving to Cedar City, Rowley was on the Santa Clara City Council for two years and served as mayor of Santa Clara for four. He said he made the decision to run for Cedar City Council after seeing a new storm drain project and realizing he missed serving the community.
“It was the year they were putting a new storm drain down 300 West right there between the Randall L. Jones Theatre and the (SUU) Science Building,” he said. “I was out riding my bike and thought ‘man I miss this.’”
He also said serving on City Council can sometimes effect personal relationships.
“I saw this more when I was mayor, but it does happen that sometimes you actually have to vote against the wishes of some of your dearest friends,” Rowley said. “And that is a very sad time. As time has gone on, I’ve been able to rebuild those friendships. I’ve found that as long as people understand that I’m not trying to do to enrich myself or do something for me but I’m just doing the best I can with the options I have, they’ll eventually understand.”
Rowley said he not run for reelection because he did not want it to influence his decisions.
“When I ran for mayor in Santa Clara, before I ever started, I made a vow I would only serve one term. That way never would a decision be made that was based on reelect-ability,” he said. “I’ve seen a few of my friends on councils have one attitude, and then at election time they just kind of change their behavior and that’s something I never wanted to do.”
Rowley also said he particularly enjoyed getting to be part of the process of the construction for the Beverly Taylor Sorensen Center for the Arts and the Cedar City Temple.
“We didn’t get a lot of involvement in those things but we were able to sometimes be part of helping get that done and get the planning and zoning straight,” Rowley said. “They are two things that are going to change the future of this city and it was just fun to be part of that.”
Rowley intends to run for a county commission seat during this election cycle.
“It would involve me quitting this job, because I think that it is a full-time job,” he said.
Rowley is currently the Elementary Math Specialist for the Iron County School District, and he taught math in Santa Clara as well as in Cedar City before taking this position. He visits the elementary schools in Iron County once a week and helps elementary teachers with what they need to be able to teach math effectively.