by Billy Clouse
Last night, October 18, the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service hosted the final debate for Cedar City Council before the election on November 7. The debate was moderated by Leavitt Center Executive Council members Kenten Pope and Taylor Cella.
Below are the opening statements for each candidate, followed by the Leavitt Center's live stream of the event.
“My name is Bruce Hughes, and let me apologize for my part in the landscape pollution that’s been going on around town, especially the nine signs that I have with my mugshot on them. I learned through the primary that signs are a necessary evil even though they are pollution in our society. I have discussed thoroughly with my wife, and we have a singular event coming up in Cedar City with the Open House for the Temple; we have expected up to 200,000 people to come to our town. So we have decided, Melody and I, we’re going to start the ‘Melody and Bruce Hughes Sparkle Program,’ and we will have all of our political signs down by October 27, the opening day of the Open House. We invite all the other candidates, Mayoral and City Council to do the same. I think it’s important that we put our community ahead of our own personal interests, and this is one thing we can really do: beautify our town, make it look good for the visitors who are coming. Let’s make Cedar sparkle, let’s put our community before our own personal interests and take down those signs.”
“Thank you so much. My name is Scott Phillips, and I am a 44-year resident of this community. I’m a proud graduate of Southern Utah University, and I have lived and worked in this community for over four decades. My platforms are really quite simple. I want to save and maintain our historic downtown, I think that’s very important to our community. I want to ensure strong public safety for our communities to make it a walkable, pedestrian-friendly, safe place to be, work and play, and I want to make sure that we can continue economic growth to make sure we have jobs for students who want to stay here. I came to Southern Utah University, fell in love with this place and wanted to stay here. I went to graduate school, came back, and have been fortunate enough to call this home for over four decades. I understand what Bruce is saying — signs do work. I’m not sure I can buy into the October 27, but, you know, 10 days later is not so bad. I think it’s important for people to know that we do have things going on in this community, so I’ll have to contemplate that one for sure, Bruce, but we’ll see how it goes.”
“I’d just like to start off tonight by thanking the Leavitt Center for hosting this event. I’d also like to thank my dear wife of 39 years for her support in campaigning again for City Council, and my family for all the things they do because family is an important aspect of our community, and I have a lot of interest in maintaining our community to help with our jobs and other things, and to keep up quality up for families and raising our children. During my terms — both terms — I’ve always worked with the highest ethics and integrity to make the best decisions, and I plan on doing the same as I move forward if you see fit. I’ve taken action to upgrade our infrastructure through my terms and also to work with local businesses and help them succeed in our community.”