Carbon County Republican Party Meets Commissioner Candidates

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The Carbon County Republican Party hosted a Meet the Candidate event for those running for commissioner on Thursday evening in the Carbon County Administration Building.

To start off the night, candidates running for Carbon County Commissioner, Lenise Peterman, Jared Haddock, Max Jones and Paul Riddle, were asked to introduce themselves before answering a series of questions.

Introductions began with Peterman, who has been serving as the Helper City Mayor for seven years. She expressed that her focus is sustainability by diversifying our economy, bringing in new infrastructure as well as repairing the existing and taking care of our natural assets.

“All of those items are critical for the future of Carbon County and the future of our children,” said Peterman.

Next, Haddock began by stating that he has been a Carbon County resident for 25 years. He explained that he has vast experience in dealing with large budgets. Previously, he managed a 103 million dollar budget for assets to assist schools in starting up and becoming sustainable.

Jones was next to introduce himself. He began with stating that he was born and raised in Carbon County and currently owns a local business, Wilco Supply. His plan, if elected commissioner, is to halt taxes from escalating as the county has been seeing in years past. He stands by being more transparent, giving the community answers and holding accountability at the county level.

“I want to do and be the voice of the Carbon County people,” shared Jones.

The last candidate to introduce himself was Riddle. He has been living in Carbon County for seven years, while owning and operating a local construction business with another local business in the works. Riddle has noticed problems with the county being non transparent on issues and the property taxes heightening, which he plans on making a difference in if elected.

From there, the night dove right in with community-submitted questions asked by moderator Andy Urbanik.

One question posed was “What experience, knowledge or qualifications do you possess that you believe are particularly relevant to the role as county commissioner and makes you a suitable candidate for this position?”

Riddle began his response that in short, he is a husband, father and business owner. With experience in each of those titles, he explained that it will benefit him in being commissioner since he is able to manage people, money, time and equipment, as well as being able to budget. He conveyed that his experience as a business owner would be crucial to the role as commissioner.

“It is important to have the knowledge and the experience in those fields to be able to make educated decisions,” said Riddle.

Peterman was next. She explained that by serving as Helper City’s mayor, she understands that government is different than a for-profit business. In government, money is allocated for specific funds and must stay in that area. She also expressed that by being mayor she has been able to creatively solve problems and gather funding for changes within in the city.

“Those resources and relationships, and the networking I have been able to accomplish, move with me,” shared Peterman. “I will be able to exercise those same connections at a county level and I hope to expand the impact.”

Next, Haddock explained that he had a valuable experience by being the Economic and Small Business Development Center Director, working on revolving loan funds for all of Southeastern Utah, which kickstarted him on being able to start his own businesses and other non-profit organizations. This is where he was able to manage budgets that consisted of nine schools.

Jones responded with stating he is not yet a politician, but he is a business owner. He expressed that while the commissioner seat is politics, at the end of the day is reverts back to business and numbers. Jones voiced that we need to look at the numbers, fix what needs to be fixed and get back on track.

The next question was “What would be your top priority as county commissioner and how you can elaborate on specific changes or innovations that you intended to peruse?”

“I think out future is being held by Ridge Road,” stated Peterman.

She explained that Carbon County has a need for infrastructure and if elected, she would plan on perusing opportunities with the Division of Drinking Water. Peterman also plans on creating affordable housing with the hope to attract new families and industry.

Haddock followed Peterman’s answer by stating his focus is on small government.

“I don’t like the government getting involved in free enterprise and having an impact on competing on small business,” said Haddock. “I don’t think believe that is the purpose of the government.”

Next, Jones response began with stating there is a lot on the table but the biggest concern to the community is taxes. He plans on identifying what is happening within the county and searching for a result to offset those costs. Other concerns he plans on addressing if elected is the lack of funds for the Carbon County Ambulance garage, the private owners of the Carbon County Airport, the shortage of events at the Carbon County Event Center and the mis-spending within the county.

Lastly, Riddle explained his main focus is to diversify the incoming funds for the county by bringing businesses to the area. By doing so, it would lighten the burden on the residential tax payers.

Seven more questions were asked before concluding the event, varying from their plan on how to build strong relationships with county departments, strategy for attracting new businesses and how to handle conflicting opinions. To watch the full event, click here.

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