A familiar face on Ephraim council now serving as mayor
By James Tilson
EPHRAIM—Ephraim has a new mayor, although he is a familiar face with years of service in the city council.
John Scott, councilman for nearly eight years, took the oath of office at the council meeting last Wednesday. Scott is taking over for the Richard Squires, who resigned because he is leaving the area to become the principal of a private school in Davis County.
“You will see great things happening in the city of Ephraim in the next five years,” said Scott. “Ephraim is on the cusp of going from a tier one city to a tier two city. We have investors that are excited, because Ephraim has been designated [by the federal government] as an “Economic Opportunity Zone.”
Scott explained the city would have to carefully guide Ephraim through this transition period, and he had great faith in the council to do the job. “The council is extremely adept at plugging into what the residents want, and don’t want. I respect their opinions and views, and will be through my tenure.”
New businesses and industries will be the engine that drives Ephraim’s transition. According to Scott, new businesses will be attracted to the economic opportunity and pull in new population. “The residents will see more jobs,” he said.
Scott described how his time on the council taught him respect for the job of the council within the city government. “Don’t vary the council process. Mayors get into trouble when they start making unilateral decisions. I think it’s extremely important the decisions we make go through the filter of the council.”
When asked what his vision for the future of city government under his tenure, Scott said, “We’ve got to communicate better, with our residents and with one another in city hall and our department heads.”
Scott continued, “We need to have a vision of where Ephraim needs to go, to have some structure in place. That will come from planning and zoning and from a general master plan. We’re going to work hard to update that.”
While Scott was quick to praise all of the departments and staff at city hall, he had particular praise for director of public works Chad Parry and chief of police Aaron Broomhead.
“Chad Parry is probably one of the most well-versed public works directors in the state,” he said. After taking office, Scott toured the city’s works with Parry, and came away impressed. “Ephraim has around 100 miles of piping, in order to pipe all our [culinary] water down to the community.” The city public works department is in charge of maintaining all the pipes, plus the roads, sewers and all city grounds.
“We had a great police chief in Ron Rasmussen,” said Scott. “But Chief Broomhead has brought to Ephraim a wealth of experience and a unique perspective of how to bring a department closer together. The officers have a kindred spirit for one another.”
“When we went through the crisis with our police department,” explained Scott, “the dream was that we would have a fully staffed department. The last two years, we’ve added two officers, something we’ve needed to do for some time. This council had the tenacity to find the money to pay for the officers so that we’re not stressing out our police department.
“Our residents need to know they’re safe.”
Scott was born in Winnemucca, Nev., although he spent most of his youth growing up in Las Vegas. When Scott graduated from high school, “I got as far away from Las Vegas as I possibly could.” Scott started his undergraduate career at Washington State, took a two year mission, and finished his bachelor’s degree in history, communication and education at Utah State.
While at Utah State, Scott married his wife in 1984. Scott continued his education at BYU, earning a master’s degree in educational leadership. He was hired after school to teach in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Institution, where wandered from Wyoming, Texas, Salt Lake City, before settling in Ephraim 20 years ago.
Scott’s appointment to mayor leaves his council seat open. Although the election this fall will determine who will take the seat starting in January, the city must fill the open seat for the remainder of the present term.
Ephraim is accepting applications until 5 p.m. on Aug. 21. Applicants should fill out the general city application, available on the website at http://www.ephraimcity.org. Or interested persons may pick up an application at city hall.
Completed applications should be sent to Leigh Ann Warnock, 5 South Main, Ephraim, UT, 84627, or emailed to Leighann.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The council will interview all qualified applicants and make an appointment in a special meeting on Aug. 27 at 5:30 p.m.