Iron County voters will chose one new county commissioner at the polls Nov. 6 because the incumbent candidate was defeated in the Republican primary in September.
Voters will choose either Republican Richard Messer or Democrat Roy P. (Pug) Urie to serve a four-year term. Messer defeated Commissioner Gene Roundy in the primary. Republican incumbent Jim Robinson has served eight years on the commission and is running for re-election unopposed.In the County Sheriff race, longtime Sheriff Ira Schoppmann is being challenged by Joseph C. Cwik.
Messer and Urie are both interested in seeing steady growth in the county and think the commission needs to be in better touch with each city in the county.
Messer would like to see better relationships between communities such as Enoch, Kanarraville and Parowan.
"We need to work as a cohesive group to solve problems such as housing for our college students, flood control, road maintenance orderly growth and other problems. We need to solve them together," he said.
Urie suggests that the commissioners need to meet with the individual cities and review mutual problems, "working on a planned agenda perhaps quarterly and solve problems before they get out of hand."
Messer, 52, is a lifelong resident of Cedar City and has operated Messer Upholstery for 27 years.
Messer says the county needs to continue to grow in an orderly way. "We will grow whether we plan for it or not, and I feel we need to place more emphasis on development in the area, inviting good clean-air industrial growth and companies that will offer good paying jobs to employees," he said.
He says the county needs to take a close look at its master plan and zone areas to make room for more residential areas given the current housing crisis.
Messer would also like to see work on a plan to prevent flooding in residential areas but at the same time move water where it won't do damage like was done in the Sun Bow subdivision in August of l989.
"The longer we wait to deal with the problem the larger it will get and the more difficult it will be to handle," Messer said.
He is also concerned with county road maintenance and says a committee needs to be established to recommend action especially in heavily traveled areas of the county. He says he has the time to devote to serving the county well.
Urie, 70, is also a lifelong resident of Cedar City and after retiring from U.S. Steel in l976 after 27 years continued working in a private surveying company he owns with a partner.
Urie says he is qualified to serve because of the many hours of public service he has donated throughout his life. He served on the Cedar City Council in the mid 60's filling a four-year term and is active now on the Iron County Planning and Zoning Commission and is currently serving his third four-year term on the State Board of Water Resources.
"I think we've had good steady growth and the best way to grow is steadily so we can handle the growth and provide the necessary services," says Urie, "Plus we need to serve those that are already here and provide better jobs and opportunities for them," he said.
Urie feels the county needs a full time County Engineer to work with planning and road development and he says the weed abatement program needs to increase to eliminate noxious weeds that are destroying farming and grazing lands in the county.
Urie is also concerned with the formation of a water conservancy district and currently serves on a committee working to form the district in the county.
"We met with the special services committee of the legislature two weeks ago to see if we can't overcome some of the difficulties that have prevented us from setting up a conservancy district especially on Coal Creek," he said.
Urie sees the job as much more than a 20-hour-a-week or 10-days-a-month responsibility and says he is ready and willing to put all the time necessary in to the job.