City Council candidates met at the Rexburg Tabernacle on Wednesday, Oct. 21 to host a forum for the citizens of Rexburg to get to know the candidates.
Candidates include Jordan Busby, Justin Egbert, Tisha Flora, Vince Haley, William Harding and Sally Smith. All are candidates running for the first time except for Smith and Busby, who are running for re-election.
Candidates discussed six questions regarding the city and what they plan to do on City Council.
“Mostly it’s hard work,” Egbert said. “I’m dedicated to get the job done.”
All candidates were asked what they think Rexburg needs most and what they plan to do about it.
Haley said the city needs growth and zoning changes in order to reduce traffic.
One citizen wanted to know how many City Council meetings the new candidates had been to in the last year.
“I’ve attended City Council a number of times,” Flora said. “I’ve read every minute of all the agendas.”
Harding said although he has not been to City Council meetings, he has read the minutes for them.
A follow-up question asked what makes the candidates feel qualified without knowing the issues on the city council.
“You wouldn’t believe the messes I have to solve on a daily basis,” Haley said.
He said his skills include problem-solving and good communication.
Flora said the major qualifications for running for the Rexburg City Council is to be over 18 years old and a resident of Rexburg.
Another citizen wanted to know how the two candidates hoping for re-election voted regarding the loosening of alcohol laws in Rexburg.
Busby said he was against taking away restrictions on alcohol because he thought it went against the family values of Rexburg.
Smith said she voted for making the laws on alcohol in Rexburg looser.
“We did a lot of research,” Smith said.
Smith said the majority of the community either did not have an opinion or did not care if the laws on alcohol were made less restrictive, citing his research.
She said the hope was that Rexburg might attract more businesses like Applebee’s that serve alcohol by loosening liquor laws.
Candidates were asked whether or not they would plow the roads in the winter or just polish them.
Busby said 10 minutes after plowing the roads, they are often snow-filled again, so there is not much point in plowing the roads until after the snow storm.
“We need to find the very best way to move that snow in a timely manner,” he said.
Smith said there are a lot of cities that do not plow the roads after every storm like Rexburg does.
“If there is not the money in the budget to do it, it can’t be done,” Harding said.
Another citizen raised a concerned about the safety of citizens in case of a natural disaster like the 2014 Rexburg flood.
“We’ve done some repairs in the city to help prepare for the next flood,” Busby said.
Smith said that it was a good experience for her to see how the city came together to handle an emergency like the flood.
“The only thing we can do is learn and go forward,” Haley said.
Joan Hammar, a resident of Rexburg, expressed her thoughts about the debate.
“I think they are a lot more familiar with the issues than we give them credit for sometimes,” she said. “And I hope each one of them, those who were already in and those who are wanting to get in, that their hearts and their minds are in the right place and that they want to do the best they can for the city.”
State Sen. Brent Hill noted how impressed he was with the candidates.
“I’m just here as a citizen, you know, but I thought they did a great job,” Hill said. “They didn’t shy away from hard questions. Sometimes, as you noticed, they had different answers. They’re opposing opinions, but they stated them right up front.”
Primary Election Day is Nov. 3.