7 candidates vie for 2 seats on the Washington City Council

The Washington City offices, Washington City, Utah, October 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — This year two of the Washington City Council’s five seats are up for grabs.

St. George News reached out to the seven individuals seeking to fill those seats with question about why they are running for office and what they would like the public to known about them.

The answers from the candidates are shared below.

The seven candidates in the race will also be whittled down to four – two candidates per available seat – in the primary election set for Aug. 10.

The general election will be held Nov. 2.

Ed. Note: This article was updated Aug. 2 to include all seven candidates for Washington City Council.

Kim Casperson

Kimberly Casperson, Washington City, dare unspecified | Photo submitted by Kimberly Caperson, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

This past year has made me realize how critical it is to have local leaders who stand for freedom and defend our God-given individual liberties. I have witnessed family members, friends, children, and individuals in our community experience hardships and health issues from government mandates.

We are a Nation that is governed by—We the people. We are not governed by elites and experts. I will listen to and respect the voices in our community. I understand how important it is for local governments to stand with the people and defend liberty.

What are the most pressing issues that you hope to help address?

My top priority is to protect the quality of life in Washington City which includes protecting life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, property rights, medical freedom, and standing against government intrusion and mandates. Equally important priorities are water, infrastructure, responsible growth, and supporting our police officers and firefighters.

I have met with many local leaders and department heads to gain insight and understanding of the needs of our community, and I have spent hours going door-to-door to learn what is most important to residents in our community.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I am not a politician, but I have a strong conviction to be involved in defending our unalienable rights bestowed by God and to stand for the principles that have made this Nation a beacon of hope and freedom. I love living in Washington City and want to ensure this city will continue to be a safe and beautiful place to live. I aim to preserve and strengthen an environment that allows individuals to thrive in the great city of Washington, and I believe liberty, conservative values, and limited government fosters that environment.

Roger Bundy – Incumbent. Appointed to the City Council in August 2020.

Roger Bundy, Washington City, dare unspecified | Photo submitted by Roger Bundy, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

Born in Washington and being a resident of Washington city for 39 years, raising my five children here, I still believe we live in one of the greatest smaller cities in America. I also believe we can address concerns of the newest citizen along with those who have lived here for many generations. I will continue to ensure everyone gets a fair shake.

During 14 years employed by the city of St. George, I developed a deep appreciation for the challenges confronting city governments, and a strong desire to be part of their solutions.

As a business owner, a professional land surveyor, my firm R&B Surveying has been a service to the community for 16-plus years.

For five years I served on the Washington City Planning Commission; two years on the Washington City Power Board, served as a City Council member and currently serve as interim City Council member.

Because of the variety of experiences in the engineering/land surveying profession and years in elected and appointed positions, my knowledge of of City government are unequaled.

I am committed to devote the necessary time to understand the various issues confronting the Council to make certain my vote is an informed one.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to help address?

The conservation of water resources by implementing reasonable measures for new growth and management of sources through the application of secondary water. To make the most of the available supply that future growth necessitates, conservation measures relating to water need to be implemented as soon as possible.

The management of rapid growth, including:

  • evaluation of the City General Plan to provide for reasonable zoning,
  • continued efforts and expanding improvement of roadways and other traffic measures, and
  • updating of the City affordable housing plan.

Our community’s healthy and necessary growth has brought with it serious congestion problems on our streets. The City needs to address these problems, and at the same time plan for future growth to avoid repeating the current situation.

Continued efforts must also be made for alternative energy resources including Nuclear as is currently in the process by the City as a partner with other cities who are members of UAMPS. This is an example of the dynamic development of Washington City that necessitates planning, vision, and responsible money management.

Achieving these goals requires working for synergy with County and State leaders.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I would like the voters to know that I enjoy serving as a member of the Washington City Council and if elected, I will be dedicated and committed to continue service with my best effort.

Because of my unique combination of experiences working for and with city government, as a businessman, planning the city’s future on the planning commission and leading city government as a council member, developed insights that no other candidate has into the issues, such as water, traffic, and affordable housing, that confront Washington City.

I am by inclination a problem solver, with a unique ability to listen and bring clarity to complex situations, a skill deeply valued during the city’s current growth period. I value the opinions and am civil and respectful to others, even when I disagrees with their positions.

I have also given my time to youth and faith organizations in leadership positions. I am known as a man of my word and independent in my thinking.

Because of my profession, I work closely with the city’s largest industry (Construction), but I have the capability and vision to recognize the needs and goals of the whole community, not just for today, but also in the future.

Marissa Thayn

Marisa Thayn, Washington City, dare unspecified | Photo courtesy of vote4thayn.com, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I do not have special interest ties, a business, or an employer who will gain if elected to council. I am not accepting campaign donations and running completely on my own dime. I want to ensure the voters that I am transparent and ethical and will serve the community in that same manner. I also believe that as a woman I can offer unique perspectives and highlight concerns that may be overshadowed.

As a wife and mother I have had different experiences that I trust will help foster a vision for our community that unites all of us. These roles have also developed me into a person that listens and is open to collaborative ideas and willing to do the work to reach fulfillment.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to help address?

Transparent and ethics within the governing body. If elected and while working with other council members I hope to pass a city ordinance discontinuing the practice of elected officials involvement with winning city contracts. When elected to office your intent should be to serve not grow your business.

  • Prioritize essential service and quality infrastructure. Securing water for our future and ensuring our streets and utilities are up to par.
  • Smart development and growth that maintain our hometown and agriculture feel, while honoring private property rights. Bringing in strategically placed commerce that can provide better work opportunities and build our sales tax base.
  • Working with area developers and the Housing Authority to build more housing options for citizens in all stages of life.
  • Developing a program with Southwest Behavioral Health that offers mental health education seminars free to our citizens to help educate on warning signs and services in our area. In addition to a program focused on our first responders to not only service their mental health needs, but also ways to diffuse situations when dealing with an individual suffering with mental health issues. Hoping to ensure a safer environment for our first responders and citizens.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I was raised in Southern Utah and I have lived in Washington City for the last 15 years. My husband of 21 years and I have four children. My bachelors degree is from SUU and I have worked for the public mental health agency, school district, and owned my business. I served on the Washington (City) Fire Relief and Charitable Organization and Crimson Cliffs Booster Boards.

I’ve been elected to serve as both a county and state delegate for my precinct. I have been fortunate to volunteer and serve in numerous capacities throughout our community. I have attended city council meetings since I moved into the area and consistently for the last six months.

I’m at point in my life where I can dedicate full time hours to being a public servant to our community. I’m passionate about building bridges between city government and citizens. I believe I have the skills and talents to accomplish a collaborative vision that will unite our community. vote4thayn.com

Ed Tracey

Washington City Council candidate Ed Tracey, Washington City, Utah, Dec. 1, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I am right for the job because I have a proven track record of getting things done. My entire life in Washington and Southern Utah has been engaged in creating meaningful community experiences. I understand that the decisions reached by local governments have real consequences and therefore will work to ensure the community receives the best outcome possible.

Unlike most candidates, I am not a life-long Washington City resident. This doesn’t mean I love this community any less. If anything, I appreciate Dixie more than ever because I know what a special place this is to live. Additionally, I believe my time living outside of Utah taught me a lot about what works but also, what doesn’t work. I am ready to implement unique and innovative solutions to the pressing issues of this community.

I understand the most important government is the government closest to home, which is why I am willing to do all that I can to ensure we preserve our quality and way of life.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to address?

As mentioned previously, it is important to me that we protect the quality of life in Washington City. This is accomplished by doing the following:

  • Smart development and growth. Growth in this area is inevitable, but can be beneficial if planned properly, starting with infrastructure. We need to ensure that our roads and utilities can meet the growing demands placed on them.
  • Connected to the point above, it is important to support our first responders and ensure that they have the resources needed to properly protect and serve the city of Washington.
  • Developing and securing a plan for water, including conservation tactics and management.
  • Economic Development. Commerce opens new employment opportunities to youth, individuals re-entering the workforce, and many more. Economic development through properly planned and placed commercial and retail centers will help alleviate the burden placed on tax payers, and sales tax strengthens the community tax base.

What would you like voters to know about you?

The first thing I want voters to know is that my heart is in the right place. I hear and understand the concerns of this community. I believe in this community.

I am a conservative who believes in limited government, individual liberty, and fiscal conservatism.

I am a community man. My involvement with the community has taught me what it means to be from Dixie. I am the Director of Streetfest/First Friday. I am also a board member of Washington City Cotton Days, Washington County Fair, and the Southern Utah Heritage Choir. In addition to what I have done in this community, I proudly served the American people through 12 years of service in the United States Air Force.

My life’s experience has given me the opportunity to develop the skills and abilities to be an effective public servant to this community.

To learn more about my campaign, please visit www.voteedtracey.com

Bret Henderson

Washington City Council candidate Bret Henderson speaks to perspective voters at a meet the candidate event held by the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, St. George, Utah, June 27, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

I have a great love for Washington City and for the people that live here. My reason for running for city council is simply to serve my community. I would like to do these things:

  1. Preserve our heritage
  2. Protect our quality of life
  3. Guard our individual liberties
  4. Ensure well planned growth
  5. Careful and Frugal use of city funds
  6. Promote an attitude of service in Washington City Government

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to address?

Water: We need to continue developing any and all water resources to ensure that we have enough water for our existing residents and to sustain future growth. We also need to continue to improve our conservation efforts.

Growth: I think that growth is inevitable. We need to make sure that it is well planned and managed and that we are thinking forward in regards to infrastructure to accommodate the growth.

What would you like voters to know about you?

  • Married to Rachel Cooper Henderson since 1990.
  • 3 children: Max, Mic, & Maycee.
  • Moved to Washington City in 1979.
  • Graduated from Pine View High School in 1985.
  • Served a mission in Winnipeg Canada for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1988-1990.
  • Graduated from Dixie College in 1990.
  • Graduated from SUU in 1993 (BS Social Science & Secondary Education).
  • Member of The Utah National Guard from 1986-1994.
  • History teacher for Washington County School District from 1993-2004.
  • Utah Licensed Contractor since 1993.
  • Utah Licensed Realtor since 2012.
  • Owner of Bret Henderson Construction.
  • Owner of Henderson Real Estate.

Please see my website at BretHenderson4CityCouncil.com

Brandon Hart

Washington City Council candidate Brandon Hart, Location and dare unspecified | Photo submitted by Brandon Hart, St. George News

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job? I have lived in Southern Utah for eighteen years now and have a background in business, having owned two companies privately while working as a business consultant for others during that time. I believe I am well suited to fill the available seat on the Washington City Council because I have spent most of my career looking at the end from the beginning, and then developing and executing a plan in a way that gets us where we want to be.

This process requires vision, organization, management, and problem-solving skills, all of which I feel are critical in a city that is experiencing the kind of growth, and challenges, that we are at this time. I believe that my background in business management, my passion for service, and genuine love for this country and The Constitution provide a solid foundation for leadership that I intend to use for the benefit of everyone who lives in Washington City now and in the future.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to help address?

Water and growth are the prevailing challenges that need to be addressed both in Washington City and the surrounding areas, and I believe there are some commonsense solutions on how we can address both of those which I have shared on my website.

At the local level I believe one of the prevailing issues we need to address in Washington is the city’s reputation of being “difficult” to deal with among commercial and residential developers. This reputation, especially among commercial developers, has had a negative economic impact on our residents who ultimately absorb the tax burden themselves when revenue from commercial businesses, and sales tax they collect, isn’t being generated.

I know that efforts have been made recently to change our approach to these issues at the city level, and I am personally grateful for that, but I do think we can do a better job of shifting our culture from one of servitude to service. I intend to lead in that charge as a member of the council, and will do my best to shift our attitude and approach at all levels in our city government to one that is more understanding, helpful, and service oriented.

What would you like voters to know about you?

There seems to be a prevailing ideology that is being pushed by many politicians and the media, that if you happen to have a different point of view, or disagree with someone, then that person must be your enemy. The word “hate” seems to be tossed around a lot these days and if there is anything I am vehemently against it is any ideology, political tactic, or policy that attempts to divide Americans by stripping away our individuality and uniqueness and places us into generalized groups or classes.

I believe that every citizen, regardless of their skin color, sexual orientation, religion, or political persuasion deserves to be treated fairly and equally. I want to make sure that everyone, especially those who feel they are in a minority in our city, feels that their voices and opinions will be listened to and considered every bit as much as anyone else in the community.

If elected I will do my best to uphold the rights and privileges that are afforded us through the U.S. Constitution and the accompanying Bill of Rights. I will strive to defend liberty at all costs and fight against laws or ordinances that seek to infringe upon or violate those rights.

Website: thehartofdixie.com

Damen Sargent

Why do you think you’re the right candidate for the job?

Washington City Council candidate Damon Sargent, Location and dare unspecified | Photo submitted by Damon Sargent, St. George News

If elected I can promise you I will serve with integrity. I will follow all laws, policies and procedures of the city. I will ABSOLUTELY not use this position for personal gain of any kind.

What issues are the most pressing issues that you hope to help address?

I believe water and growth are the two most important topics on most community members’ minds right now. I think that residential growth needs to be slowed, especially high density residential. I think the city of Washington needs to come up with ways to conserve water and do fast.

What would you like voters to know about you?

My name is Damen Sargent. I was born and raised in a small rural community in northern Utah. I went to North Summit high school and graduated from Utah Valley University. I have lived in Washington City for almost 20 years. I met my wife here, we got married at Staheli farm. We raised our kids here, two of which are still in Pine view schools, and I plan on retiring here.

I believe having a vested Interest in the community and absolutely nothing personal to gain from the position would make me a great candidate. I would love the opportunity to serve my community and help protect the beautiful heritage of this amazing city.

For all of St. George News’ coverage of 2021 municipal elections, click here.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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