Two ads in local newspapers criticizing the current city administration have brought the political climate in Ephraim from moderate to hot.
In a half-page ad, Keith C. Keisel, an Ephraim businessman who formerly served one term on the City Council as a Democrat and a half-term later as a Republican, has announced himself as an independent candidate for mayor.Keisel was a leader in the campaign against an administration-sponsored $3 million bond issue for a street improvement project that failed in a special election by 73 votes.
In the Republican caucus several weeks ago, he was defeated for the party's nomination for mayor by Gary Anderson, Sanpete County extension agent.
In his ad, Keisel, who worked energetically and successfully to bring the Gunnison Regional Prison to Sanpete County, said that he had been asked to run as an independent by numerous individuals who are dissatisfied with some phases of city management and want a change.
In his announcement, Keisel was particularly critical of City Manager Alan Grindstaff and Councilman Barry Baker, who were principal proponents of the street project.
Keisel says he wants to see honesty, open discussion, better communication and competence in city government. He's retired now, he says, and would be a full-time mayor.
Keisel called Democratic mayoral candidate Craig Rasmussen an unknown who only recently moved to Ephraim. Of Republican candidate Gary Anderson, Keilsen said, "Shall it be more of the same?"
The second ad is signed by Vail H. Nielson, Thomas Hansen and Neil M. Larson, three of the five voting members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and City Councilwoman Elaine N. Reid, a nonvoting commission member.
It accused Grindstaff of going over the heads of the Planning Commission in making some decisions rather than following the required procedures.
The ad said, "There are management problems in Ephraim; budget problems, parking problems, honesty problems, communication problems. What are the citizens of Ephraim going to do about it?"
City officials are now considering what, if any, response to make to allegations of misgovernment.