Paradise candidates vie for votes

PARADISE — The future of Paradise lies in the hands of the voters. This year’s election for mayor of Paradise and four town council seats is heating up. The primary election has come and gone and now the ballot has been narrowed to four candidates for the four-year seat on the council, two candidates for the two-year seat. Last but not least there are two candidates for the position of mayor.To help the citizens of Paradise make up their minds the city held a meeting to meet the candidates. Each candidate had six minutes to introduce themselves, and answer five questions about what they would do while they are in office should they win the election. Gayle Baker, Calvin Hoover, Kyle Smith and Don Snyder are the candidates for the four year seat. Baker was unable to make it to the meeting, and was unavailable for comment.Hoover was a man of few words; he chose to give up most of his time and just said that he has lived in Paradise for a long time. Hoover said that he felt that it was time that he got involved with the community.Smith said that he was born and raised in Paradise and his experiences working for Casper’s Ice Cream will help him if he wins the election. Smith, 35, is the youngest candidate and he said he could make up for his lack of experience with his love for the town.Snyder works at Utah State University in the applied economics department. Snyder said his training as an economist will give the town council an advantage when dealing with financial issues if he is elected. Snyder reminded current town council member Dale Anderson that he is a micro economist and that the joke book that he gave him was funny but didn’t apply.The candidates for the two year council seat are Jay Rinderknecht and John Stark.Rinderknecht said he has worked for telephone companies for 37 years and his best qualification for the position is his involvement in agriculture. Most of the candidates as well as Rinderknecht said that they would like to try and keep Paradise as it is now as a small agricultural town.Stark said that his qualifications for the council seat stem from his years of service on the city’s planning and zoning commission. He said he just tries to do his homework before coming to town meetings and is a hard worker.The two candidates for mayor were the last to introduce themselves.Suzanne Summers, a third generation Paradise resident was the first to answer the question of budget maintenance with more than just the same “don’t spend what you don’t have” comment. Summers brought up the idea that there is a lot of grant money out there to be had for small towns.Last but not least candidate for mayor Leland Howlett was up to bat. Howlett said he is an engineer and works at Thykol, he said that he is a rocket scientist, which he chuckled at. Howlett also mentioned that there is a lot of money in grants but that the town needs to be able to save money to be able to match the grants in order to actually qualify for them. Howlett said he is not around a lot but is a hands on guy. “I’ll put on rubber boots in the middle of the night and play,” Howlett said. He also said that he has no conflicts of interest so he can be independent and objective.

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