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Episode 2201 Transcript Iron County Commission Seat B Debate WRHSU The Podcast

Updated: May 23, 2022

This is an autogenerated transcript:

welcome to what's really happening in southern utah the podcast i'm your host dan kidder our podcast is all about issues facing southern utah here we will announce your upcoming events talk with movers and shakers in our community about important issues facing beaver iron cane and washington counties and make sure you are kept in the loop with interesting news and commentary of local interest while we welcome folks from all over our goal with this podcast is to give residents of southern utah a place to find out about issues that affect them you can find us on apple podcasts and also on our facebook group what's really happening in southern utah and online what's really happening

hey everybody we are so really lucky today this is an auspicious occasion this is the maiden voyage of what's really happening in southern utah the podcast we've been talking about doing this for oh i don't know four or five months now we finally got all the pieces of gear set up and we are here in the killer communications studios in the boomer building in downtown cedar city utah and the way this came about we started doing some uh local access video we had a tv crew come in here and get everything set up we were switching this thing live we had all kinds of musical guests come in that was hosted by roger alcott and we were also doing uh community interest topics and that was mckinnon hanson and and we may still continue to do that we're still looking at how we can do that but a lot of people came to me afterwards and they said man i really wish i could listen to you while i was driving in my car or while i'm at my desk at my office and so we looked at doing this as an audio podcast so that you have the option to do that it's it's not always real uh convenient to try to watch videos uh when you're driving especially don't do that so for our uh our maiden voyage here we have a very special series of programs coming up this week our first one is the iron county commission cb candidates are in the studio for a debate and i appreciate it i've got steve miller here hey steve how are you and i've got mr paul cousins hello dan so guys i really appreciate you coming in here and i give you props because this is the hot seat man it is not everybody who wants to willingly place themselves in the fire and i can tell you from experience because i have been in your shoes many many many times i once ticked off a u.s senator so bad he remembered it for almost a decade and held it against me oh go johnny isaacson georgia um so i i give it to you guys i've got some tough questions for you so let me real quick run through the rules so that we have a good understanding you see the big timer up there you can both see it okay all right so that timer right now is gonna be set for three minutes i'm gonna give you each three minutes to introduce yourself tell everybody who you are why they should vote for you your experience your background anything that you as a as a candidate think is pertinent to those those voters trying to make a decision and then we're going to start off uh we flipped a coin we got a 10 silver piece here we flipped it and mr paul cousins was the winner so he gets to go first so we have questions for you and i know in the memo i sent you i said three questions but now we're up to five questions each and then there will be a general question for both you so i'll ask each of you a question you will have two minutes to answer that question and when your time is up i am going to turn your mic off all right so nobody gets nobody can come back to me and say hey you were unfair you gave you know so and some more time at the end of that period your opponent will have one minute to rebut don't have to rebut if you don't want to but you have that opportunity if you care to at the end of your five questions uh there will be one question that will be asked of both of you and that will uh have two minutes and then you can uh not have a rebuttal on that stand by one sec

and so at the end of that you'll have two minutes and no rebuttals on that and then you will have two minutes to do a conclusion and uh for closing remarks ask people for your vote uh sum up anything that you feel like you didn't get a chance to cover in the actual debate

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sorry we got somebody trying to get in we got mr jeff richards uh local reporter trying to join us and he said he was outside the studio so we will see if he's coming in all right gentlemen we're gonna get going here and uh i'm gonna start this timer and since uh paul you got to you won the coin toss so we're gonna let you go first so tell us about yourself thanks dan i appreciate your hosting this debate uh i appreciate my opponent mr miller being here as well i'm paul cousins i'm running for re-election i'm the incumbent in this seb just a little of my background i grew up in moab utah uh worked worked with my father a wonderful mother we worked hard we we did land surveying engineering and then we did excavation work so i learned how to work from a young age my father became paralyzed when i was 10 years old with encephalitis about about killed him but we lived through that and it made our family stronger because of it i had to grow up fast luckily my folks had bought raw land and moab when they first moved there in the 50s through high school i was able to with a with the heavy equipment and help from my father's assistance sitting in a wheelchair leveled land sold lots to help pay the bills and and support our family in 1980 i moved to cedar city that was 42 years ago i um i served an lds mission went to college uh came back from my mission um met my wife uh and then in 1987 we started our cabinet manufacturing business and and so that's a little bit of my history 11 years ago i was asked to serve on the planning commission i did that for a year in cedar city i ran and and won a seat on the cedar city council served there for eight years and then i've been a commissioner for three and a half um years and it's been a wonderful experience one thing that uh that running a business as i talked to a lot of people and one thing i believe i think we need more business people in government i i think it's important that the lessons learned in government common sense problem solving having to meet payroll having to meet budgets having to meet schedules learning to get along with other subcontractors on contractors on the job it was invaluable experience and i've tried to take those lessons learned in private industry and apply it to not only my service in the in the city council but in my commission service as well it's blessed me and i believe it's bless the taxpayers as well um i i have a platform for items the first is is protecting the taxpayer second is preventing government overreach the third is protecting our way of life and the fourth is is infrastructure and water i've been passionate about water for a long time i have a track record of working on water i've been involved in five of the eight recharge projects that have been uh constructed between iron county and and periwin including the periwin valley we've worked hard with the with the farmers to help them be more efficient with their pivots i've got a legislature and handgun for them to help them incentivize and then also we worked on the west desert the pine valley project to bring water into this valley and that's a very important topic and hopefully we can address that more but that's me and and i'm grateful to be here boy nailed it right in the nick of time all right let me reset this timer here

go ahead steve well hello and thank you down for inviting us out here today to uh have this little debate i appreciate it it means a lot to me so with that being said a little bit about me i'm from antabella utah i was there until i was 18 moved here in 1988 and i've been here in cedar city for over 34 years now i moved here not knowing what i wanted to do for sure in life but i'll tell you what this is a beautiful place we live in and because of that you know i've stayed here for 34 years we have a beautiful family i've got a wife three beautiful children growing up very successful we're very proud of them a granddaughter who uh well she has me wrapped around her finger let's let's be honest they do that um you know i attended su sc back then here and uh with my family back to my family i'm sorry about that um let's see we have five generations here now in our family so you know that that shows our roots here and uh this has been a great community it's been very good to me i've i've had the opportunity to serve on the county commission and do charities for people uh fundraisers and then for last 16 years i have an event called the fish and fun event and this is for people with disabilities uh we actually take these participants out we put them on the lake for half a day we go fishing we followed up with a huge barbecue an award ceremony and the utah national guard has been our biggest supporter for you know 16 years and during that time we've got 32 sponsors who have always been there so bottom line is i love to give back to the community i'd love to serve the community and i love to help out in any way possible that's how i was raised my parents raised us to work very hard as well we farmed growing up and you know every opportunity our parents taught us with every opportunity you have give back in life you work hard you have a good hard work ethic excuse me and you work very hard and you'll be successful so we've done that um as paul mentioned his his priorities and stuff i've got some as well um water being number one you know that is a big concern here and it needs to be so we're addressing that uh growth you know the growth that's going on in cedar city right now is amazing when i moved here in 1988 i believe there were three stoplights back then boy has this place changed and it's just been amazing to see the growth and then good jobs for people you know we want to make sure we have a place where people can move uh have a good livelihood and have a good opportunity to work in a good field that makes them a good living and support their families so you know these are what i'm chasing as well and i'm super happy to be here and i appreciate this opportunity awesome time left on the clock all right we're ready to get into the questions here we have got a good selection of questions paul is up first oh my keyboard just decided it wanted to connect all right this question is for you you you will have two minutes to answer this mr cousins when you first round for county commission you stated that you would resign your seat on the cedar city council but instead you continued to serve as both a councilman and a county commissioner can you explain why you did not resign from the city council i will yes i'm glad you asked that question dan um so as as usual in politics you have some heated heated subjects uh during that time uh in fact it was right after the november election the day after we got bids in to replace the snack shack structure at the bicentennial parks and and i had fought for months to the council voted to tear that down and replace it with a smaller building i disagreed with that stance i thought it was wasted taxpayer money the service club called the qantas club built that about 30 years ago it was a nice structure but had solid grounded concrete or block walls i felt like we could remodel that structure for probably a hundred thousand dollars that's my wheelhouse i've been in that that field for years um felt like we could do that i felt like we were misled with some of the information that we received said that said it was sinking said it was settling i was so upset one night i went out after a council meeting and spent two hours of the headlights on my truck digging holes into the footings they were dry as a bone i i got my dander up a little bit i and i i had and anyway soon after that they burned that structure down and and it's called it a fire training exercise and and we and they did that once in a while yes but a lot of people started calling me saint paul you're a conservative voice we need you on the council and uh and so i made the decision to stay and just so people didn't know i was doing it for financial gain i took and donated the twelve thousand dollars we received as a councilman i donated a three thousand dollar check to kansas creek services the children's justin justice center of the family support center and the um it was the karen's share and i decided to stay on the commission and and a lot of people didn't want somebody to be appointed that hadn't actually been elected and uh i knew i could take a hit politically with this decision but if faced with the same decisions today i would make the same choice and i'm glad i did all right

mr miller you have one minute to respond to that uh you know that's the most i've ever heard of that story i'm gonna be honest with you i i know there's a lot of conflict on that um my understanding is that you're not supposed to serve two elected positions at the same time um i haven't dug too much into it and the reason i haven't is you know i'm not here to criticize anyone for any of their doings or anything like that we're here to run a clean campaign and and i'm glad he had an explanation that was nice because i had no idea that's kind of how things went so i appreciate that all right

this one is for mr miller

mr miller you've stated your intention to provide raises to county employees specifically to sheriff's deputies are you prepared to raise property taxes in iron county to accomplish that well uh you know starting with that um i am prepared but that's not the first goal you know my goal is not it to go in and raise taxes my goal on that whole situation there is to get some retention built uh the morale is down right there it is with all county employees right now and uh as far as pay it's devastating you know we need to get them on a level playing ground with everyone else across the state when it comes to county deputies and jailers and stuff so you know i'm not going to say no it's not an option but i think as long as we can get retention built up there and that hundred thousand dollars we spend on each deputy every year or each deputy that we hire is a hundred thousand dollars and if we can build some retention we can save that hundred thousand dollars every year however much that might come out to be and we can use that towards the raises it's not necessarily about raising taxes for the deputies and the jailers any of our first uh first responders as a matter of fact but what we want to do is make sure it's fair playing ground and then we need to keep them in that position we spend a lot of time a lot of money to get those people in that position and they do that because they love to serve the public you know that's why they're there you know we've got one guy out there living out of his truck because he simply doesn't have enough money to afford a house right now because the cost of a new house and that's what to do with low pay so yeah i would like to get that up and that is one of my goals absolutely for first responders i want them to be taken care of but i'm going to look at every avenue there is beforehand it's not about raising taxes and that's the last thing i want to do but if that's the only thing we can do and i need those we all as a community need the first responders to be there when we need them we'll we'll make that decision when it comes time all right

mr cousins you have one minute to respond so on this on this subject last year and and we've seen record inflation uh last year i actually proposed we do a mid-year budget opening which has never been done in the history of iron county and i propose that we give the sheriff's deputies and and and some of the attorneys and that that hadn't had some increases for a while uh a 10 raise and that brought them up to where they needed to be in in in the averages in the state but we've with record and everybody's seen what's happened with i mean wheat has doubled in a year wheat prices we've seen what's happened with rents and home prices and it's just gone insane and so um i proposed that and that was actually six months early during that mid year it was a six month early raise and that so it applied for that half of the year plus the whole next year and uh we we we have meetings with the bud or the sheriff planned uh to look at this again to because they are low they we need to adjust them again and we're in plans to do that the sheriff's got a presentation for us so we can retain our officers all right

sheriff's deputies sorry not officers mr cousins this question is for you you've been criticized for considering purchase of land for a new jail from a contributor to your campaign can you please explain how that purchase came to be and do you think that you should have disclosed that the land was being purchased from a contributor to your campaign yeah i laugh at this a little bit because i've been in public service for 10 years and never in the history of my service i've ever had anybody raise their hand and say i took a campaign campaign donation i took a 400 donation from this individual four years ago i can't remember what i had for breakfast yesterday let alone four years ago i was criticized for that it was interesting i looked up just for fun i looked up the cedar city council campaign reports from 2019 and three individuals on the city council took took 500 donations from a certain company in cedar city and they voted on multi multi-million dollar projects since not one of them have ever ever raised their hand and said i need to disclose i've never seen it happen it's just not something that happens

i uh i i just it's it's insane to think if if i was really influenced by a 400 donation four years ago why would i have voted on the smead property to be the first property i don't think i would have done that because that individual had nothing to do with that property the property we're looking at now out north of fiddler's canyon is a property he happens on and this this individual happens on a lot of property in iron county he owns a lot of it and so the chances of finding a piece and that piece it was it had no influence it uh it just happened to pete we've had criticism that we should have used the sitler piece but that means that that would move the jail closer to the homes not further away and this piece is up out of the wash where there's no flood damage there's some that have talked about moving the jail further north but there's no utilities out there and yes we could maybe buy that land for a thousand dollars an acre instead of 50 000 an acre but it's 20 plus million dollars to get utilities to that site it's probably 20 to 40 million to build a new underpass under the freeway to exit anybody's driven under that little underpass knows what i'm talking about the access would be would be hard so there no there's no influence there all right mr miller you have one minute to respond um you know i do disagree with this a little bit um going to all the meetings from day one this last year of uh of the gel sites and stuff um you know this was not one of the original four sites it was announced uh that site right out there right now was actually an automall drive down lower and then it was switched out or if you want to call it a bait and switch however you want to put that but this was done without anybody knowing i've talked to these residents out in fiddlers and i feel they're concerned this is the reason i ran to begin with but with that being said this other side there is power up nearby there i know that i've looked into this as well so you know the 20 million dollars keeps coming out of being we need 20 million for this we need 20 million for that i disagree with that i would like to see some more hard numbers on that because there is power there and i think we need to be transparent with these people we can't be doing this and as far as that owner you know it does what it is right now but we'll figure it out all right

mr miller this question is for you we've heard many times how serving as a county commissioner is a full-time job you are currently employed as an insurance agent how will you devote the time necessary to do the job of a county commissioner and maintain your insurance business you know that's that has been brought to my attention of course um i'm not the first one to run for a county commission seat nor would i be the first one to have two jobs as a county commissioner um being in the insurance industry is an amazing job because you get to pick your own hours you choose when you work i could work every evening i could work every morning it doesn't matter when i work my business is pretty much around the clock so there is no conflict with my employment at all it actually frees me up a lot more than anyone else would have the opportunity to do with a full-time job working under someone else so that's one of the great things about being self-employed is you can work with that there's absolutely no conflict with that at all and i know i can serve the public and that's what i want to do you know i want to serve them and i have the time to do that i have no children at home like i said our kids are grown and stuff we're empty nesters and my wife is self-employed as well and i'll tell you what we can work around different schedules and we can make things happen so not an issue at all all right mr cousins you know on that i ran my cabinet business for 33 years and i ran out through the time i served as a city councilman it was difficult really as involved as i was was with water projects it was it was a tough tough lift but as a commissioner i can't imagine it even though it is considered a part-time job i can't imagine trying to run my business and be a county commissioner there's no way i probably spend 50 hours a week as a commissioner to do it right and do a good job we're going up to the legislature to work with legislative issues i worked on the heroin issue when they were trying to make secondary water metering requirement and i devote a lot of time to this and i know what it takes to do it to be able to drop everything and run and and and and the different issues that come up the meetings we have to go to evening meetings early morning meetings we we're in pair one this morning looking at the fairgrounds at 7 30 planning some different issues with some of the changes we're making so it's it's it's a difficult thing i'm not saying it can't be done but it's uh i to do it right it's it's a difficult thing to run a business and be a commissioner all right thank you mr cousins this question's for you water has been top of mind for everyone in the past few years how will you approach the issue of ensuring iron county has enough water for the next 50 years i have a track rec a 10-year track record on this on this subject i was elected in 2012 and appointed by mayor burgess to the water board and i'm very passionate person i'm very involved i ran heavy equipment when i was younger so when we do projects i love jumping on the machines helping lay pipe getting involved i planned the quiche paw creek recharge project i went down to st george i bought a head gate box drilled it out bought did the gate we took our county employees out there we did that whole project and it's been a great success and that's the way it's been with the other other four projects i've been involved in the western rock project in a water meeting one night starting in 2012 i got tired of the recharge projects being on the agenda every single month without doing anything finally in 2016 i said i'm tired of talking about those let's go do something i went out to western rock talk to the owners they let us we laid pipe i found some used pipe at the airport some 33-inch concrete pipe we laid that in about two weeks it was a it's been an amazing project those pla those those projects are in place now so when we have excess water from the snow pack on the mountain that they're available to recharge we recharged enough water in 2018 and 19 for about 20 000 homes that year and it was incredible we've worked with the farmers i've been the legislature to get money to help them be more efficient with the lepas system and then with the west desert project we've uh and you know water is going to growth is going to be determined by what water we have if you have the old water the 1934 and older you can develop land and but if anything newer than 1934 is going to be difficult because it can be forfeited by the state engineer who controls water rights and so growth is going to be everybody asked me that question what about the growth and it's going to be determined by water rights and the priority date and it's a free market thing and i don't think that we should pick winners and losers in regards to who gets to do what it's going to be controlled by those market forces okay mr miller well you know and i paul i i give you credit you have done a lot with water and there's no doubt about that and you know we've you guys have a plan in place right now and everything and i can appreciate that and i think it's a good thing um i know you're talking about water coming over and everything else from walmart valley pine valley and everything i think you know it's been an amazing job that everybody's done to make that happen um you know but i think i think it falls back to the general plan we need to come back to the general plan and we need to have some stuff put in place for the future not for just plan a we need to have a plan a b and c there's no doubt about that in my mind so um i do appreciate you doing the work i that you put into this and everything as far as running equipment doing things on your own i think as a county commissioner you need to delegate that work out i can operate equipment all day too i've done it for years but on the flip side of that that's our counties and that's our county's job as employees job to take care of that stuff and i i'd like to see them put to work more often on that

there are no rebuttals sir but you can use part of your time from your next question to to answer anything that you would like but this question is for mr miller mr miller you accepted a campaign contribution of 135 000 from steve gilbert and his companies which are currently in litigation with iron county for around 6.5 million dollars of unpaid taxes what will your approach be in dealing with this litigation if you were elected as a county commissioner well this gets asked often and i understand everybody's concerns and thoughts on this um you know i didn't know steve gilbert personally when this all came about i knew of steve gilbert if you've been in southern utah at all for a long time you know steve gilbert and cindy gilbert uh very well known um i was approached and asked to go meet with mr gilbert so i did not knowing his intentions or what his thoughts were during that discussion he he invited me and said i would like to you know help you out financially with your campaign this is my first run on it i i'm still dead deer in the headlights look sometimes let's be honest so um you know you're always happy to help have help um after that after we met a second time little did i know the donations that would come in from him and his companies and i'm very appreciative of them they do a lot for this community they they uh hire or they they take care of a lot of people who work for them and give them an opportunity for a lifestyle that's very well in cedar city so you know they do great things as far as the money goes not not what i had a plan i had no idea what i was getting i'm very appreciative for it though we we definitely won't spend it all and what we don't spend will go back to mr gilbert and his wife but you know as far as the litigations the taxes and stuff that's that's in litigation with the state right now the county has nothing to do with that and me if i get elected as a county commissioner there's no there's no strings of tied to this we had an agreement that we would not there's no favors there's no strings attached nothing he's going to spend his money because he believes me and enough enough to do that i'm good with that and you know mr gilbert will do what he wants with his money as will anyone else that makes a donation so absolutely no favors no strings nothing there and and i'm proud that they're willing to help me out all right mr cousins okay steve i have an issue with this one um you say we have nothing to do with this county as a board of adjustments as county commissioners we have the authority to waive or adjust or settle those kind of issues that is not up to the state the state state yes sets the values but we are very involved in county as county commissioners and i don't know how you can take that kind of a donation and be objective and not have to accuse yourself on those issues we absolutely do have the authority to wave and to adjust or settle those kind of cases and i can't talk much more about it beyond that because it's confidential because of because of the nature of the the thing but i um having been accused of accepting 400 dollars four years ago on a land deal with the jail i don't envy you haven't answered that question over and over again why you took 38 times more money than has ever been donated in the last six years in the iron county commission race that's that i i don't envy you having to answer those questions all right this one's for mr cousins you have been criticized for your involvement in selecting the new jail site and for the public not being involved in discussions about the jail until after the very last stages do you feel that the public should have been better notified about this process can i take part of my time dance school sure you can do it with yourself so real quick we did look at a lot of sites um when you got to look at a site it's like walt disney when he had to find find his property for his theme park in florida he didn't go out and announce the world he was going to buy property sent people in little little realtor groups in to buy little pieces and they put it all together when we go to buy jail property we don't go out and announce to the world that we're gonna look at this piece because somebody will swoop in there and buy it out from under us raise the price and then make money on the county that's not responsible for us to do that it would be irresponsible we did make an offer on the smead site it was owned properly it was totally above board and we we made an offer on that site and in our due diligence we found that the soils weren't ideal for that heavy of a building so we looked at other sites but i would like to ask mr miller a question and maybe he can take part of his time with this but um and maybe if i ask that question i'll go a little further because i've got a little bit more time but this is a difficult topic and it's very emotional for people i actually the gel out in fiddlers right now that was the last cabinet job i installed before i started my own cabinet business in 1987. um but but and it's and it's worked out there it in and once back when i worked on that job there's hardly any any houses around it but it's filled right in around it i believe that my first choice is is in the north the the loves out and and to correct mr miller uh when we called it the automotive site we were being very vague on purpose because that very reason we didn't want to know exactly which piece we were looking at for the same reason i just mentioned and so that's why we did it that way it wasn't a bait and switch it was it was something we have to negotiate to protect the taxpayer in the in the in the financial and then we can go through the but my question for mr miller is this excluding all these other factors without utilities and those things if you had to pick between the smead site and the and the auto mall site right now which one would you choose to build a gel on

um you know what that's that's a tough one now that i've educated myself on the gel and what it entails and i've spent numerous numerous hours out to the jail spent time with the sheriff spent time with the jailers the deputies and everything and educated myself you know i am not opposed at all out for going out by my home and smead you know because i have educated myself and spent the time yes i came in hot to begin with there's no doubt about it you know we just built that home a couple years ago so um looking at the having the sheriff's deputies and stuff right in your neighborhood protecting you a little better because they're right there on hand um i i would be i'm not opposed to either one but i would i'm fine with it being out by smead i think right now there's a situation with the people out in fiddlers that needs to be addressed and handled correctly and uh i don't think that has been yet and they they brought their education to plan commission and they let they they were heard and it was good all right

this question is for you mr miller you have said that you originally got into this campaign and we kind of just answered this because of plans to build a new jail near your home you've also stated in town hall meetings that you've since changed your mind about the jail will you please explain how your position has evolved on the subject to the jail even though you just kind of did yeah i just kind of did um you know like like i just mentioned i i was pretty furious at the beginning of this because in my opinion and i understand what you're saying about not letting people know to a degree um but if you're going to put it next to a neighborhood there should be some flyers put out to those residents to give them a little warning hey we just put money down on this first site you locked it in we should have been notified somehow somewhere instead of finding out the hard way so with that being said um you know educating myself has come a long ways and i still have a lot to learn being the first time running for a campaign as for a commission position i'm still learning every day there's probably a lot of people out there that have forgot more than i'll ever learn but with that being said um you know i've already mentioned that it would be fine it would be fine right there i don't have an issue with that anymore but i think i think that we really need to address this situation in fiddlers a little better because understand i understand what you're saying again about the land and not letting people know so they don't swoop in but that owner already had that land locked up it wasn't going anywhere because he owns that and it zoned r1 right so with that being said why do you want to take away those multitudes of homes that can go there because these big stores that they want out on the north end they go off roof counts and so if there's not enough homes there these people will not see the stores they want to see out there the targets the costco's whatever it may be but we are growing very fast and we all know that so you know i think uh i think that's something that really needs to be negotiated with these people out there right now if that's what you're gonna do i won't have a say in this you know i do as a citizen i can voice my opinion but if i am elected i still don't come in until january we know this is going to be a lot farther ahead than that so that's where i stand okay mr cousins actually the land out there at the automall site hasn't been locked up we haven't even made an offer yet we know what they're we're not we know what they're asking for the property but that hasn't that been responsible to do that until we until we see if they can be rezoned this me the difference between that and this meat site the smead site was already zoned item one which was which allowed for a gel this one doesn't so it wouldn't be responsible for us to make an offer until we have the conditional use permit in the zone change and so and we have been open we've had we've had numerous meetings we had a big meeting at the at the great hall we had a meeting at the at the heritage center and we had a meeting uh several we've had a lot of meetings we've been very we had a meeting at the jail you and your wife attended steve and and um we've been very open very transparent uh unfortunately a lot of people are busy with their lives and they don't always notice things are happening until it affects them right so they jump in and and a lot of people have been upset about i've said go watch the videos go watch the meetings and they come back said you know i'm still not happy but i understand now so that's that's where we're at all right mr cousins according to an allegation today uh you quote tipped off frank nichols for unpaid taxes to cedar city can you explain what interaction occurred between you and mr nichols over his delinquent taxes nine years ago he's really desperate i i don't even remember what happened i according to what i read

maybe maybe if somebody owed money and i said hey you might want to pay that and they paid it wouldn't that be a good thing i think that'd be great i i don't uh and i guess this goes back to the 400 donation that that everybody's dragging up but i don't i don't even honestly remember nine years ago i mean i don't know where they got that somebody obviously fed that information this this individual out there that has set up a website to smear me and mr miller i'm a little disappointed uh the signs have been placed next to mine saying you know talking about website i'm really kind of disappointed that you haven't haven't disavowed this mudslinging this negative i can go to every single one of those allegations that's on that site and and and it just it just they're totally baseless they they've spun and i'd love to have another debate where we talk about every one of them dan but it's just it's ridiculous what what individuals are stirring up to try to slander me and um and i i and i call on your campaign to tell them to stop it and because you haven't and it's it's it's a real disappointment this individual digs and digs and he's what's sad is our one of our county employees that's in a supervisory position today called me and said paul i can't get my work done this individual is doing grammar requests every day trying to make us dig up old records we can't do our job in the county because he's harassing us every day he wants it and the other thing i got in there was a little dispute with uh with the women's uh canyon creek services and i was sent as an email by an individual that works there that was so outrageous i never even responded to it and then they do a grammar request and and and post it as if it's truth i never even responded to this it's ridiculous all right mr miller your rebuttal sir well as far as this individual putting signs up by your signs and stuff like that i had no idea he was even putting up signs we both know who this individual is but i will be the first to step up and say he is not affiliated with my campaign whatsoever you you guys have an enemy thing going on from years past before me so you can't put this on my campaign um as far as what he puts out and everything everybody has a free voice to say what they want um i don't i don't keep track of it i don't even know what you're talking about the 400 i don't even get on facebook anymore i hate it because there are so many slanderous things going on i see no reason for that i do not have time for that we are running a clean campaign and the last thing i want to do is sit and argue with people so um i think you should reach out that individual and understand that my campaign's not involved and and canyon creek you know that's that's between you guys not me and i do know the story there and you guys can handle that

all right this question is for mr miller according to your campaign finance report on march 9th of this year you paid the iron county board of realtors 315 dollars for affiliation it appears to observers that you used campaign finance funds for membership in this organization in direct violation of utah code 20a 11104 section 1b subsection 14 which prohibits personal use of campaign funds for a quote membership fee for a professional or service organization did you use campaign funds to pay for your membership in the iron county board of realtors uh no that came out of my personal account being part of the board of realtors came i used to be in real estate for a lot of years so i was a member way back when and stuff but absolutely not that came out of my own funds you know i've been taught that you keep an eye on all that money you take care of it and you these are the laws you obey and i do um that's the first i've even heard of that one that's that's a new one coming up and obviously um this debate seems to be getting uglier and uglier by the day and and it's really sad because i don't see why we can't run a good clean campaign without trashing people without things coming out allegations things being said one way or the other and seeking people on other people you know this is not what campaigning is for a campaign is set out there so the people can find the best individual that they believe in to go run in that position and handle their job so you know it's it's quite amazing to me to to hear these little things just like your 400 thing honest god didn't know a thing about it till you brought up and i still don't even know what you're talking about so um i would i would like to call out on mr cousins to let's let's run a clean campaign let's get let's get these people that you've got out there trashing on me and stuff as well and and and you know what i'm talking about um i can bring up several different meetings that things have been said and done um but i challenge you to a clean campaign drop it all i'm not out i'm not out after you i don't dislike you i don't have anything against you let's run a clean campaign let's let the citizens decide who's going to be best i'm not taking it away from anything you've ever done or do let's just run a clean campaign that's all i can ask okay mr cousins we have run a clean campaign i've i have not engaged if you've noticed i used to engage a lot on facebook with comments but on this stuff i haven't engaged i i you can't find a like a comment or anything if anybody does say something i've tried to spend a lot of time on my website it's got a lot of great information paul you can go read about my record my platform my goals what i've done there's articles embedded in there you can click on there's there's the water reports there's the groundwater management plans and i've just what i have done is if i do respond to anybody i say look go to my website read what i've got there if you have further questions call me so that's all you'll ever see from me so we have run a very clean campaign i can't help if others want to comment on different things and i i honestly i've been not working i don't pay attention to that stuff i didn't know anything about this donation or or whatever it is they're accusing you i haven't i have no id i don't know the law and i don't care i don't all right uh this is a general question for both candidates you both will have two minutes to answer this and there will be no rebuttals uh and since you went first i'm gonna let mr miller uh have first crack at this um iron county has seen unprecedented growth and this has led to taxing of our current infrastructure and resources how will you approach the issue of growth in iron county if you were elected to the county commission well as far as growth goes we got to go back to the general plan that hasn't been updated since let's see 1995 wow what a long time it's been since that's been updated uh for the county so we need to go back and we need to put together a new plan with that general plan and and we need to make sure that we have things in order for this growth we need to we need to manage this growth somehow again mr cousin did mention the waters and stuff um yeah you know we don't want that to get out of hand we definitely don't want that to get out of hand and the growth is tremendous right now and it's it's quite shocking to watch this subdivisions after subdivision go in i think we're what are we at 30 subdivisions right now i believe in iron county so you know the growth is insane but we need to go back to the general plan no matter what with the water with the growth and everything else and that needs to be reestablished and looked at and put back into place so that's the part that makes me nervous is it seems like there's not a good plan it's just kind of how about it and and i'm speaking freely about this what i do know i still have a lot to learn but there's a lot of good people out there that understand this better than i do that can help me with those sources but that's kind of that's where i'm leaning right there all right mr cousins i'm so happy this came up because i've been chomping at the bit to answer this we've been working we work on our general plan every month it's not that it hasn't been we the responsible way to work on general plans or master plans whatever you want to call them is to take them piece by piece when i was first elected we were working on the belt route that goes from highway 56 going north we know the one that goes to hamilton for it this one's going to go north up through the the millsaw by the de millsod farm and around and curve around to just north of enig and uh we we did that early so that we can get developers and stuff to work around our plans we can buy right-of-ways and easements and different things we we worked we've got a septic tank survey going right now but with summit and newcastle and that's part of our general plan is to see what kind of density we can do with septic tanks another thing is water we've my my master plan for water is action i have a record of it go look at it that's my record with water and i don't like to talk about things i like to go do them another thing we're doing is affordable housing we're working on we pass on our 4k ordnance where you can do a subdivision with smaller lots so these kids they can't go from zero to 500 000 they can jump to maybe a smaller home smaller lot and then jump to a bigger one later on with and build equity we've got we've got mike worthen working on some some infrastructure planning we've got we've we just adopted a new ordinance with our setbacks for flood when we had these flood events we found that we didn't have room to maintain the flood channels with homes we created new setbacks for new subdivisions so we can work on those we are working on new road standards we're finding our roads are not holding up in some of these subdivisions so a couple of our contractors came and said there's better ways you can do it we adopted those we are working on our general plan all the time just because we don't have 1995 updated it doesn't mean we're not working on every day that is absolutely not true we we take that a piece at a time and the cedar city did one for two years they changed it a week later it's just all right time is up thank you sir all right uh but i'm gonna let you continue because you get to have your closing remarks and you will have two minutes for that me yes sir all right thank you dan appreciate the time to uh to be here with mr miller and dan appreciate you doing this you know as i've talked to people and if people have seen what i've done and my work ethic it's it's um i appreciate u.s senator mike lee endorsing me for re-election and saying i'm the one of the hardest working public servants he's ever seen i i'm grateful to have us or i mean utah senator evan vickers who's a majority leader who endorsed me carl albrecht who's a representative over in ridgefield he's one of our new great great man endorsed me i've got all of the republican mayors in iron county endorsing me for reelection including the mayor of enterprise brand mayor humphreys i've got i've got the county auditor county treasurer county assessor county recorder county sheriff and county attorney all endorsing me for this election and i appreciate them and and because they've you know i've i've had a reputation sometimes of or been accused of not being able to work with people and i don't think those individuals would come out with a public endorsement if i wasn't good to work with and and uh and you know i've i have over 40 of the biggest ag producers in iron county endorsing me in this race because they know what i've done and i've worked well with them um through culvert i want to mention kovald real quick we you know we could have taken the easy path and just shut down and listened to what the government wanted us to we closed businesses and but we took the approach that every employee every worker is essential anybody that's trying to provide for their loved ones and their families they're essential and that's what we try to do you know the four things um protect the taxpayer i have a record of that look it up protect our way of life prevent government overreach and the water and infrastructure i've worked on i've got a record i would appreciate your vote i'm paul cousins paul check me out and i appreciate this thank you thanks sir all right mr miller all right well i do appreciate the time down mr cousins being here this is uh this has been a new eye opener to say the very least this is the first time i've ran a debate like this so thank you for that opportunity um you know what i'm bringing to the table is is not all the experience the mystery cousins has because he's had the opportunity to be there and i appreciate that you know so that's what i'm looking for is that opportunity as well um what what i'm not gonna sit here and talk about i have some very good endorsements i'm not going to lay them all out that's neither here nor there to me what you won't hear from me is i i i because you know what it's about us as a community i want the citizens to be involved have a voice and i want to hear their thoughts because i think as a commission there's three of you in there and as a commission to listen from the citizens of iron county and take that and put it to use or do the best you can do to make it the best for iron county is the most important thing i can bring to this table i believe in listening i could learn more from a rancher who's been doing it for 80 years about water than ever studying anything because those people have done this their whole lives i'm looking forward to the opportunity i hope i you know the people really feel and understand me that i do care about the citizens i care about giving back and i want to hear from you that is so important to me um like i said it's not about me yes it's about me as an getting elected but it's not about me after that it's about the community so let's bring that together again you can go to my website as well we have a great website there as well we've we've got some fantastic people that put things together along with our videos and stuff and i want to serve the public so on june 28th is our only vote june 28th primaries so please steve miller for iron county thank you thank you gentlemen i appreciate both of you coming into the studio today the the reason you know you guys both mentioned that this was tough because one of the things i've noticed for several years and it's funny you mentioned that the snack shack because that's actually what woke me up and got me involved in local politics uh in cedar city and iron county um the way that was handled just lit my fire um but i've noticed that there's all kinds of forums and they're kind of fluffy and they're kind of light and there's not a real debate and i'm a washington dc animal so i i really love a good debate and i think it's good to get those tough questions out there so you guys can address them and and have that opportunity so thank you for taking part in our maiden voyage with the what's really happening in southern utah podcast and thank you all for listening and uh we will be having on friday we will have mr bleak and we will have mr griffiths right here at this table and they will be coming in and answering hard questions i don't have as many hard questions for them they've been kind of on the down low it's been running stealth campaigns but i'm going to see what i can i can pull out of what's going on and have them answer some tough questions so gentlemen thank you very much for coming in and thank you for participating and all of you out there thank you for listening

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