Many candidates in the upcoming Nibley City Council election are concerned about preserving green space and maintaining the community’s “home-town feel.” However, one candidate also brought up the issue of supporting affordable housing in the community.
Three council seats are open and seven candidates have filed for the primary election. All three incumbents are running. After the August election, the field will be narrowed down to six people.
Early voting began on Tuesday and will be available at the Nibley city offices, 455 W. 3200 South, through Aug. 13. The city offices are open Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For questions call 435 752-0431.
Here is a look at the candidates in the election and the issues that matter to them.
Tom Bernhardt is running for re-election to the City Council because he has enjoyed serving Nibley’s citizens over the past four years..
He said he also enjoyed working through the budget process and ordinances for the city. Bernhart earned a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in computer science and a master’s from Southern Methodist University in software engineering. He has worked at the Space Dynamics Lab for 11 years.
Key issues in this election for Bernhardt include preserving green space and maintaining the community’s rural feel. Being fiscally responsible with taxpayer money and encouraging appropriate commercial development through current zoning are also important to him.
Ciera M. Stout
Ciera M. Stout moved to Nibley with her family just over a year ago and plans on putting her roots down in the community. She is running for council because she believes everyone deserves a voice.
Stout works as a Medicare representative and holds an associate’s degree with an emphasis in entrepreneurial management. While attending high school, Stout was involved with the debate team and attended all of the community council meetings in her town.
In this year’s election, Stout said key issues for her include preserving Nibley’s small-town feel through sustainable growth and ensuring it is safe to get in and out of the city. She also wants to ensure city-owned green spaces are properly maintained.
Ever since Kay Sweeten moved to Nibley 15 years ago, she has been very involved in community service. Sweeten is running for office because she views that as the next step to giving back.
Sweeten holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from USU. She has served on two school community councils and worked with the Utah Legislature to pass legislation.
Sweeten said growth and its impact on residents in areas such as roads and schools is a key issue to her. Ensuring the city is managed well fiscally and helping citizens engage with policy processes in the city are also important to her.
Nathan Laursen has lived in Nibley for 25 of his 35 years and is running for council as a way to give back to the city that raised him. Growing up in the city, he participated in Boy Scout and community service projects that built many of the community’s parks.
Laursen earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from USU and works at the university as the media program coordinator.
Key campaign issues for Laursen include ensuring Nibley remains a community where people take care of each other, ensuring the city maintains green space as it grows and fiscal responsibility. As part of his campaign, Laursen said he is trying to arrange service projects as a way to get people more engaged in the community.
Tim Ramirez is running for his second term on the City Council because he wants to continue to aid in the development of Nibley as an inviting place for community members and families to grow and prosper while maintaining the city’s home-town atmosphere.
Key issues for Ramirez in this election include controlling growth through good planning, supporting community social events and sports programs and ensuring community involvement and input is considered in the city’s decision-making process.
C. J. Pink grew up in Cache Valley and is running for the Nibley City Council because he wants to ensure there is accountability in the decision-making process. As a person of mixed race, Pink said his background will help him bring a diverse perspective to the council.
Pink worked in the restaurant industry for 14 years and now works as a produce clerk and in irrigation. He said these jobs have helped him develop important skills in teamwork that would serve him well on the City Council. He also works with the local group Families Feeding Families.
Affordable housing is a key issue for Pink in the upcoming election. As Nibley grows, Pink wants to support high density and low-income housing to ensure the community does not face a housing crisis. He said this will be important in making sure the city can support business growth as well.
Larry Jacobsen is running for re-election to the City Council because he is fascinated with the process that finds the razor-thin edge between individual property rights and rights of the community. He came to the valley to earn an engineering degree from USU 41 years ago and ever left. He has lived in Nibley for 23 years and works at Campbell Scientific.
Key election issues for Jacobsen include preserving green space, which he said he has supported in the past through supporting an ordinance that encourages homes to be built in clusters. He said he believes the three purposes of city government are to provide people services they can not easily provide themselves, support parks and recreation and help people to be proud of their community.