Iron County Commissioner R.L. Gardner and J.C. "Doc" Hansen are vying in the Republican primary for the right to meet Democrat Jim Case in November.
Gardner and Hansen see multiple land use, continued growth and industrial development and the resolution of the county landfill situation as the most pressing issues facing the area during the next four years.Gardner, a native of Cedar City, was elected to the commission in 1988. He retired from his post as assistant attorney general for Utah representing Southern Utah University, CEU, Dixie, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College and Utah Valley Community College in 1990. He says he enjoys working for the people of the county and feels his contacts with state government officials will be a valuable asset during the next four years.
He is interested in completing work on the county landfill and said the public will be notified soon of a preliminary hearing concerning the new Armstrong pit at Iron Springs, which will be a countywide landfill. The new landfill could be in use as early as 1993. He also stressed the need for further work on flood control, not only for Cedar City, but many areas of the county.
Gardner is pleased with the work of the Iron County Human and Natural Resources Advisory Board, which was recently formed to discuss land use, including wilderness land use, hunting, outdoor recreation and other interests. Gardner says the group was instrumental in working out a plan for gradual grazing allotment cuts rather than immediate cuts in the Parowan area.
He says he supports the water conservancy district, and as growth continues, a new wastewater plant to include Enoch and Cedar Valley will be necessary. He is pleased with industrial growth during his first term. The Anderson-Hickey plant in the Industrial Park west of Cedar City will eventually offer 100 jobs, and a Sodium-Azide plant near WECCO also west of Cedar City will soon employ up to 45 workers.
Hansen has operated an equine veterinary clinic in the Iron County area since 1971. Before moving to Cedar City, he worked with horses in the Midwest and California. Hansen said he has had an interest in running for "the commission for a long while" and has strong feelings that "people aren't well enough informed ahead of time concerning county government." He wants to work on communication between people throughout the county and the commission.
Hansen also believes that county government needs less interference from the state and more power to handle local government affairs. He cited traffic warning lights and crossing guards at local schools, which are determined by the state based on traffic studies. "I think local people know what's best and should be allowed to take care of problems like these," he said.
Other areas of concern to Hansen are water conservancy and usage and toxic waste in the county.
Another important issue centers on land use and the ability of private owners to use their land. He said prairie dogs in the west end of the county and other protected species hamper land use by individual owners.
Hansen would also like to see continued promotion of clean industry to southern Utah, an effort to improve the morale of Iron County employees, and the development of a countywide flood control plan.
"Iron County needs to take the lead in establishing a master plan and long-range goals that we want. We need to decide what our goals are and stress quality more than quantity."