EPHRAIM—Ephraim City has seen recent changes in three department head positions.
With Leigh Ann Warnock retiring in July as Ephraim City recorder after 18 years, Candice Maudsley, who has worked for the city for 10 years in utility billing and finance, took over the position.
Jon Knudsen replaced the now-retired Steve Widmer as head of the finance department, and Ephraim just hired Sean Lewis as the new city planner to replace Devon Fowles, who left in April.
Maudsley spent five years working in utilities, then spent another five working in the treasurer’s office. She moved to Ephraim as a teenager and later married her husband, Jon, from Manti. They have two children, Hannah and Justin.
Three years ago, when Warnock began planning her retirement, Maudsley began being groomed to take over as recorder. “I’ll soon have my Certified Municipal Clerk certification,” she said. She also plans to continue her education until she gets her Master’s Municipal Clerk certification, which would quality her to be a clerk anywhere in North America.
Being a recorder has its challenges. For example, a council meeting can take up to three days to prepare the agenda. “Every week is different,” she said. “Like last week, where there were 16 major agenda items to discuss.” She is also now serving as secretary for the Airport Board and will become familiar with the functions of the airport.
She will continue to attend conferences hosted at Southern Utah University for the three to four years it will take to get her master’s certification.
In her own time, she loves interior design. The Maudsleys live in a pioneer home, and Candice is in charge of all the “artsy stuff.”
Knudsen has been in Ephraim since 2002. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children. He worked for C.O. Building Systems for 10 years, then got his bachelor’s degree in accounting and was hired as accounting manager at Snow College, where he worked for seven years.
After accepting the position with Ephraim City, Knudsen had about six weeks overlapping with Widmer. “Being the treasurer of a city is more responsibility than I had at Snow,” he said, “However, both at Snow and here at Ephraim City, I have great people to work with, and that is making the job a pleasure.”
Challenges facing Knudsen include budgeting, working on new utility rates, grants, loans and city financing. “We think the electric utilities fund may run a deficit this year,” he said. “The council decided not to raise rates, and it may take another five years to make that department run with a surplus.”
Another challenge is water rates, let alone water availability. “Our water funds will be super tight this year,” Knudsen said.
Lewis, formerly of Ogden, worked as city planner for Summit County for 12 years, and in the planning and zoning department in Salt Lake City for two years. He received a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University and a master’s degree in public administration, and he is certified as a member of American Institute of Certified Planners
“All cities face the same problems with growth and zoning,” Lewis said. “My job is to understand and balance the city ordinances relating to planning and growth with citizens’ rights and desires to use their property.”
Lewis said the city will never have a time when growth isn’t occurring. The challenge is to manage that growth with people’s expectations. “People may have a ‘not in my backyard’ mentality,” he said, “which means they don’t really look at how their property can affect neighbors and the community. We have to follow the ordinances and keep the public notified of what the rules are and why those rules are in place.”