MANTI — Two “Meet-the- Candidates” sessions will be held Thursday, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. in the Eva Beal Auditorium in the Manti City Building.
Citizens will have a chance to hear from three candidates for mayor and four candidates for city council.
Following a primary election Aug. 10, and the two highest vote-getters in each race will advance to the final-election ballot.
Candidates for Manti City Mayor
(Left to Right) Darren Dyreng, Chuck Bigelow, Shannon Miller
Chuck Bigelow says he enjoys serving others and wants to work in making a difference.
“I want residents to have a voice in major financial decisions impacting their pocketbooks and I want to have open, transparent and candid discussions on the future of what Manti will look like and become,” Bigelow says.
He worked for the Utah Department of Corrections for over 30 years and toward the end of his career served as the warden at both the Central Utah Correctional Facility and the Utah State Prison at Draper.
He has experience managing budgets, applying for and managing grants, managing staff and personnel and overseeing large construction projects.
Darren Dyreng is a sixth generation native of Manti. He graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and received a master’s degree in banking from the Pacific Coast Banking School in partnership with the University of Washington.
He currently serves on the Manti City Council and has been involved in infrastructure projects ranging from rehabilitation of the wastewater lagoons to construction of the Manti City Sports Complex.
“Manti City needs strong proven leadership that understands the unique demands of a rural way of life, and a leader who will protect and secure a robust infrastructure that includes water, power, and wastewater resources,” Dyreng says.
Shannon Miller has written grants and participated in projects in Manti for 20 years, including Main Street beautification, obtaining an elevator and restoring the facade of the Old, Historic Manti City Hall, and creating the Pioneer Heritage Gardens next to the Manti Cemetery.
She has a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s degree in planning. She says her education enables her to understand policy, financial information and planning.
Miller believes working in teams will facilitate solving problems. She says she’ll lead city council meetings in a welcoming and collaborative way.
“Let’s take this opportunity to develop our town intentionally using robust public involvement,” she says. “We can we grow our city thoughtfully while preserving our values and history.”
Note: Steve Rey Sorensen filed for mayor but later dropped out of the race.
Candidates Manti City Council
(Top, Left to Right): Gary Erickson, Jeff Killian, Cory Schmidt, Stephanie Whitney (Bottom): Mary Wintch
Gary Erickson and his family have spent the last six years lovingly restoring his fourth-great-grandfather’s (F. Walter Cox) pre-Civil War stone house. In fact, Gary’s Manti family connections date back to the settlement’s founder, Isaac Morley.
Gary served on the Manti Economic Advisory Committee. As a council member, he plans to help rejuvenate the town, add jobs and further beautify Manti City. He says new businesses would provide additional revenue for the city without burdening tax-paying residents.
“Manti will continue to grow as it attracts new families and expands its infrastructure,” he says. “Preserving our historic landmarks and charming Main Street will become an increasingly important balance.”
Jeff Killian has served as a member and as chairman of the Manti City Planning Commission for the past eight years.
“I’ve learned much about the needs and desires of many of Manti’s residents and the issues that confront our city, including the historic growth we’re experiencing,” he says.
Killian graduated from Manti High School and Snow College. He received a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public Administration from BYU. He was a city manager or assistant city manager in four cities and two states during his 33-year career.
His goals include improving communication with residents by upgrading the city website and expanding the city’s water supplies.
Cory Schdmit moved to Manti in December 2018 with his wife and two daughters. His grandparents lived in Manti in the 1970’s and 80’s, and he loved to visit them when he was growing up.
“The citizens of Manti should be trusted to do the right thing without government intervention,” he says. When necessary, Schmidt feels the city council should work with citizens to develop ordinances and establish policy.
Schmidt says the disruptions over the last 18 months point to areas where we can do more as a city to be prepared and to help our neighbors in an emergency.
Stephanie Whitney and her husband moved from Vernal to Sterling and 2009 and settled in Manti seven years ago. She has five children and six grandchildren.
She says she intends to stand for people’s rights and civil liberties.
“These things do not start in Washington D.C. They start in our local community, county and state in that order,” she says.
Whitney believes in full transparency and accountability of government.
“Morality and ethics matter to me,” she says. “I believe city officials should strive to operate above the minimum bar of lawful requirements. If elected, I will represent the residents of Manti with integrity and honesty.”
Mary Lonnie Wintch
After graduating from Manti High School, Mary Winch received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Utah State University and a master degree in public administration from Brigham Young University.
She lived in large and small cities in various regions of the county heading offices for the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy and Department of Agriculture.
“I love Manti, and am grateful to be back to my roots,” Wintch says. “My education and professional experiences have provided me with tools to contribute to our community.
“I have had the privilege to serve on the Manti City Council for the past four years. I’ve worked hard to address current needs and plan for our future. I would appreciate your vote so that I can continue to work for our city.”