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Voters’ Guide: Hyrum candidates for mayor, city council

October 23rd, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Heidi Hansen

HYRUM—A common sentiment among those running for public office in Hyrum was that Hyrum is a wholesome and beautiful community with great people, and all expressed a wish to maintain that. There are seven candidates in the upcoming election, four incumbents and three newcomers.

“If you’re from Hyrum, you love Hyrum,” incumbent candidate for the 4-year city council seat,Paul James, said. James said that he is running for re-election because he has enjoyed his time in office and thinks it’s a good way to get involved and present a voice for the community.

James said he feels qualified for his position because has served on many civic committees and boards, including the Cache Valley Transit District board of trustees, the Utah Apprenticeship Educational Advisory team and the Hyrum Parks and Recreation committee.

“I would like to maintain Hyrum as a safe place to live,” James said, adding that there are several important things he would like to do in office like improve the water sources of the city and get the library paid off.

Also running for the 4-year city council term are Cynthia Forbush and incumbent Craig Rasmussen. Forbush said Thursday that she “would have to pass on an interview at this time.”

Rasmussen said that the biggest factors in his running for re-election are that he has enjoyed working with the other city council members and the city staff and thinks they have all worked well together.

“I would like to see more commercial growth to enhance the tax base,” said Rasmussen. “We have already made steps along that path; we have a new industrial subdivision that is close to being finished.”

Rasmussen said he felt that his background as a civil engineer helps him understand city government and ordinances, making him qualified for the position.

Running for the 2-year city council term are Kenneth Allsop and incumbent Tom LaBau.

Allsop said that he is running for office because he would like to “give voters an opportunity to vote in somebody with a different perspective.” As a father of a young family, he said he would “like to participate with the citizens in mind.”

“There have been issues in the council that don’t get a lot of citizen input,” Allsop said. “The council should seek citizens input and follow that more. The city government should be more accessible to citizens to guide us through the challenges ahead.”

Allsop feels his professional background as an attorney and the fact that he is from Cache Valley have helped qualify him to run for city council, because he has learned what people in Cache Valley want and has seen how to handle situations well.

LaBau said that he is running for office because he has served in city government for a number of years, three of which have been on the city council as an appointed member, and he would like to continue his public service. In the past he was on the Hyrum planning commission for 5 years and served for 7 years as the zoning administrator, he feels this experience will help him do his job.

“I have enjoyed the challenge of looking at codes and working with the people,” LaBau said of his time in government.

LaBau then said that Hyrum faces “constant change as society changes.” His specialty is land use laws dealing with property rights vs. neighbor’s rights. He said if he is elected he wants to “look at what changes are needed and enact those changes.”

Running for mayor are Bryan Larsen and incumbent Dean Howard. Attempts to contact Larsen were unsuccessful.

Howard said he is seeking re-election because he “wants to” and “has enjoyed working with the people and is enjoying his job.” He went on to say that he has “no agenda other than to serve the people of Hyrum” and that he feels what qualifies him most to be mayor is his “ability to work with the people, though there’s probably some that don’t believe it.”

“If I had the money there are lots of things I’d do differently. We need a new fire station, sub-station… But with these times, how do you raise taxes?” Howard said.

Howard also said that he feels “the people, absolutely, are Hyrum’s best asset.”

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