A powder keg of emotion, concern and controversy that the current Millard County Commission has been sitting on won't likely explode before the general election, nor is it apt to do so after two new commissioners take office in January.
All four candidates say they're opposed to building a proposed waste incinerator facility near Lyndyl, although some say they're willing to look at another location if it won't affect the human environment.Democrat Neal R. Dutson and Republican Frank Baker, both of Delta, will vie for the two-year seat on the commission. The winner will replace Warren Jensen, who lost out to Baker at the Republican county convention.
Candidates for the four-year commission term are Democrat Nord O. Brockbank and Republican Jer'E Brinkerhoff, both Fillmore. The winner will succeed Abner "Abe" Johnson, who chose not to seek another term.
Holdover Commissioner Mike Styler, Oasis, is in the middle of his four-year term.
Although the county traditionally votes Republican, Democrats figure to have a chance - evidenced by the outgoing Johnson, a Democrat, who has been a popular commissioner.
Another county office up for grabs is the recorder post, where either Democrat Marshal Talbot Day, Fillmore, or Republican Linda F. Carter, Meadow, will fill an unexpired term of LaVoy Martin, who resigned.
Dutson, 31, the youngest of the commission candidates, began his career as a real estate attorney and then founded his own business eight years ago.
But, Dutson doesn't think one has to grow old to gain experience and has been on the political stage before, serving on the Delta City Council.
"As a public official, what is important is being in touch with the people," he says. "The majority don't want the incinerator, so even if I personally supported it, I would publicly oppose it in carrying out the wishes of the people."
Dutson sees industry as the county's most crying need but realizes you can't sit back and say, "Come to our door." Rather, you have to sell it, he said.
Dutson said if funding were available, he'd like to see a full-time professional who could sell the environment, the people, the area and the work force. "Unfortunately it (funding) isn't at this time, and you don't promote industrial development with a few ads in a magazine."
Baker has been heavily involved in civic work. He currently owns a cattle feedlot, a farm and a sporting goods store.
Baker's qualifications include serving as director with Intermountain Farmers and a tenure on the local school board.
"I'm a little old-fashioned and a little modern," Baker said. "I don't like to be behind the times, but I don't want to run an experiment station. I have the ability to make sound, honest decisions with the people of Millard County in mind."
Baker's highest priorities are promoting agriculture, particularly a packing plant, and industry that will offer higher paying jobs rather than minimum wage.
Baker is opposed to the incinerator at the proposed location but would favor it if it can be built in a more remote area.
Brockbank, 66, is a retired school administrator. He began his education career in Fillmore before moving to California where he was a school superintendent.
"I've never been a politician, although I must admit a superintendent's job in California is political." He cites a long list of volunteer experience and says he works better as a volunteer and was disappointed to find out that county commissioners get salaries.
"I feel very strongly that we should keep the people informed as to what is going on by published agendas. I dislike getting something on the street corner."
Brockbank said he is "vehemently opposed to the waste (incinerator) thing. I don't want waste to come through, but if Millard is the ultimate designation, it is ludicrous. If it hurt one person or one head of livestock . . . it isn't worth it."
Brinkerhoff, a former member of the Fillmore City Council, operates a service station and trains race horses. He was a zoology major at Southern Utah State College, taught school a year, and has been president of the area Chamber of Commerce.
He believes recreation facilities are highly important to the people as well as helping entice industry. "When industry comes in, they look at the schools, living conditions, taxes and recreation."
He said he favors building a road across the desert from Kanosh to Crystal Peak to provide better access for mineral development.
Regarding the incinerator issue, Brinkerhoff asks rhetorically, "If you had a cabin, would you build an outhouse above a spring you are using?"
He said he doesn't like the idea of its being built next to a water supply but would consider another site.