Jurisdiction between Duchesne County and the Uintah-Ouray Indian Tribe has become a major campaign question. The economic future of Duchesne County has been affected in a negative way because of boundary changes in the Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation.
County Commission seat AB. Curtis Dastrup, 57, is running as a Republican. He is a rancher by profession. He has served on the board of directors for four different corporations and on the mosquito abatement board.
Dastrup stated, "We need to define the parameters of the county so that we know where we can work with the Indians in terms of taxes, business licenses, etc. By working with the local tribe to define these things, we will know where we stand. There are a lot of good Indian people who are as confused with this situation as we are."
Charles "Smiley" Denver, 53, is Dastrup's Democratic opponent. He is the owner of the Sears Catalog Sales store in Roosevelt. He has served on the Roosevelt City Council for four years and worked closely with the Duchesne County Search and Rescue, and Duchesne County and Roosevelt City fire departments.
Denver feels that the greatest challenge is the jurisdiction issue. "I have Indian ancestry and was raised in Fort Duchesne on the reservation with the Indians. I have an edge because of this and feel that I might have a better chance of negotiating with them. Also, I would like to put a countywide lobby program in place so that when the need arises, we have the resources and capabilities to state the Uintah Basin's priorities."
County Commission Seat B
Gene Ostler, 41, is running on the Republican ticket. He is a rancher and professional Realtor. Ostler sits on the board of directors for the Uintah Basin Board of Realtors and served on a special committee with the Dry Gulch Irrigation Company.
Ostler supports the current County Commission in the countywide addressing system, culinary water projects and development of the 911 emergency system. Ostler feels that economic development is a problem. "By keeping our high goals in education and our college-level students home, we can attract businesses. An educated population will attract economic facilities."
Rick Reynolds, 41, Democrat, is an oil field lease operator. He served as a Utah highway patrolman in the Uintah Basin for 51/2 years and is a Vietnam War veteran.
According to Reynolds, "Duchesne County is in a state of limbo because of the tribal jurisdiction issue. We need a better working relationship with tribal leaders; this will be difficult because the tribe has its own internal problems. It is a no-win situation for all parties because oil companies have curtailed their drilling. I would like to see Uintah County, Duchesne County, Roosevelt City and Vernal City unite and work out a joint venture with the Uintah-Ouray Indian Tribe."
Herbert Wm. Gillespie, 40, Republican, is running unopposed for Duchesne County attorney. Gillespie has served as Roosevelt City attorney and deputy county attorney for Duchesne County. He was appointed Duchesne County attorney March 1987, when Dennis L. Draney was appointed as judge in the 8th Judicial District Court.
Sheriff Clair M. Poulson, 43, is running as the Republican incumbent for Duchesne County sheriff. He has 20 years in law enforcement, eight of those years as Duchesne County sheriff.
"I have consolidated Duchesne City Police Department and Myton City Police Department in the Duchesne County Sheriff's Department. This provided more manpower with big increases in dollars. We are the first in the nation to provide a teamwork approach on sex abuse cases, which has been very successful."
Rick Harrison, 34, is running on the Democratic ticket. He has worked as a Duchesne County deputy sheriff for three years and with the Utah Highway Patrol for two years. He has a bachelor's degree from Utah State University in history and has done graduate work in public administration. He has been involved with the Officer Friendly program, McGruff the Crime Dog, and has been the Special Olympics torch run coordinator in Duchesne County.
Harrison feels that "reorganization of the sheriff's department is essential to ensure efficient use of tax dollars and avoid wasteful practices."