Hildale mayoral candidates share their expectations for the town’s future
HILDALE, Utah (ABC4) – Like many other cities in southern Utah, Hildale is growing and choosing the next mayor is a big step in the city’s future.
Hildale City sits on the border of Utah and Arizona, neighboring Colorado City. It was once home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, only about 10% of FLDS followers live here, according to incumbent Donia Jessop, saying a lot has changed since the arrest of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, especially with the United Effort Plan or UEP.
“The property values have increased dramatically, the community looks a lot better, it’s beautiful, the fences are falling, the houses are being finished,” says Jessop.
Jessop left the FLDS church before becoming mayor four years ago. She says she’s moved on since Jeffs’ arrest and that’s what she wants Hildale to keep doing.
“The demographics have changed, we have a completely different group of people living here, the goals are different, we are not geared towards religious goals,” says Jessop.
It focuses on economic development, accessible education, housing for the growing workforce and water that currently contains radium.
“The number one priority for the next four years will be the water supply system, we need to change that and get fresh spring water in our taps and use the water from the well to water our land,” says- she.
Jim Barlow shows up against Jessop. He says he has lived in Hildale his entire life and believes his extensive business background could benefit the city as it continues to grow and diversify.
“I worked in Los Angeles for 12 years and about 10 years in Phoenix, and I have no problem with ethnicity or what people believe in as long as there are decent, decent people out there. is what makes the difference, ”says Barlow.
Barlow says his goals are to tackle the water problem, create more opportunities for potential business owners and separate from the UEP Trust.
“I think there has to be a full trust audit, and the reason I’m talking about trust is because it is connected to the city, it controls the city, politics should be totally separate from it. ‘someone’s church, someone’s trust, “he said. .
Jessop and Barlow say they are delighted to see the results tonight and for the future of the city, despite the result.