I travel for hot springs. That’s to say I seek out hot springs whenever I travel and wherever I go. I am sure part of that love comes from my childhood memories of our beloved hot springs located right here in Washington County, Pah Tempe. In fact, one of my earliest memories ever is traveling down the twisty road between Hurricane and La Verkin to the hot pots, as we referred to them when I was young, to meet my mother coming from California. It was the summer of 1980, and I was just 4 years old.
After a long and sordid legal battle, the Washington County Water Conservancy District obtained control of the hot springs that for many, including local native American tribes, are sacred waters known for their healing properties. The hot springs, currently still under research by the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S), are a special, unique place that should be protected, and enjoyed. The Washington County Water Conservancy District representatives have told me that they hope to one day return the hot springs to public use but have also gone on record publicly stating that the amount of salt and minerals that are deposited into the river are detrimental to crops and make the water undrinkable. Once completed, the research from the U.S.G.S. will make recommendations on possible mitigation of the saline coming from the hot springs and into the Virgin River.
Ultimately, I would like to see the hot springs reopened to the public, which I believe can be done with some concerted effort, creative thinking, and coordination with the towns of La Verkin and Hurricane. As a Washington County Commissioner, I would not only personally work to ensure these beloved springs be returned to access to the public but I would also be sure that my vote to appoint any new members of the Washington County Water Conservancy went to board work individuals who understood both the sentimental and practical value of the springs to its citizens. Costs to desalinize the spring water could be mitigated through fees to use it, something I’ve not heard proposed but could be a win-win for all of us to be able to access the springs and also use the water for both drinking and irrigation.
Two other issues I’ve discussed during this campaign are sheriff’s officer’s wages and proposition one. I believe I have had a positive effect on the conversations on both of these issues.
Sheriff’s officer’s wages have been depressed for many years. They had no raises for five years but were finally increased this year after it became a primary talking point early on in my campaign. I can’t take the credit for it, but I do believe having made very public the fact that the County Commission secretly hid away over $2 million during that same five years may have motivated them to take action. I am very glad that the commission finally voted to increase officers’ wages after such a long drought of increase; however, they are still not where they should be. As I strongly believe in equal pay for equal work, I will continue to promote increases to that of the officers in our county in the municipal departments.
Similarly, through four debates, I saw my two opponents change their positions both from stating that they were going to vote for proposition one to saying that they were voting against it. I feel this is largely because I came out strong against it, stating that I did not support any new taxes and that we did not need the new tax if we removed the proposed Northern Corridor from the budget. This “no new tax” position resounds with folks of all political persuasions. I believe we don’t need more tax revenue; we just need to spend what we collect more wisely.
Once my opponents realized that my position was more consistent with their traditional conservative constituents, I watched them move their positions in my direction. And I stand by that position. I am glad to see my opponents convinced of this opinion; however, I believe this is one more example of how I’ve been the most consistent in my positions. My position against the proposition one tax is consistent with my position against the Lake Powell Pipeline and all the increases in taxes and fees that it represents.
So although I do believe I can win this election, I would like to point out how just my running has enhanced the conversation on a few very important issues.
If you were still not convinced that I will be your best choice for Washington County Commissioner, please check out JoshWarburton.com for my detailed positions on many issues. And I ask you to please consider voting for me to be your next Washington County Commissioner. Thank you.