Mt. Pleasant names Draper ‘leader among us’ reappoints fire chief
By Rhett Wilkinson
MT. PLEASANT – The vote wasn’t even close.
That was a vote to once again make Sam Draper the chief of the Mt. Pleasant fire department, said Brian Beck, who was voted as the assistant fire chief himself.
Noting that Draper has been a “dedicated” member of the department for more than 20 years, and calling Draper “a leader among us,” Beck and fire fighters honored Draper with a huge plaque the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Mt. Pleasant city council meeting.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without Sam,” Beck said before presenting Draper, who is also a city councilman, with the plaque.
“A lot of it is to the guys in the department and a lot of it is to my wife,” Draper said. “I think we have one of the best departments in the county and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The recognition of Draper marked the first volunteer of the month recognition for the city, Mayor Michael Olsen said.
“We would have put it on the agenda, but then Sam [would’ve known] about it,” Olsen said.
To start his presentation, Beck said “Sam doesn’t know about this.”
In the lead-up to the meeting, Draper began wondering why so many firefighters were coming to the meeting. He figured they were just attending the meeting, he said.
Draper’s wife hid successfully before the meeting and she showed herself as Draper was being honored.
Later in the meeting, the council approved the election of Draper as the fire chief.
Also in the meeting, which was held on Zoom besides in-person, Police Chief Jim Wilberg said that most of the time he feels the department he leads is shorthanded. Councilman Kevin Stallings had asked if that was the case.
Councilman Rondy Black said the council has looked into getting Wilberg another officer. Wilberg replied that an investigator would be good.
Wilberg added that he hasn’t been able to do items in his role of police chief, like updating his department policies.
“So are you saying that your need for an investigative-type person is more important than having someone patrolling at night?” Councilman Justin Atkinson asked.
“Oh yeah,” Wilberg said.
A “discussion/action” item from the fire department will be added to each Mt. Pleasant city council meeting agenda long-term, Olsen told the Sanpete Messenger. The department became the third in seven weeks for a “discussion/action” item from it to be added to the meeting agendas long-term. The other departments are power and public works.
In other meeting action, Stallings said a Christmas event would see cars going through the Mt. Pleasant Aquatic Center parking lot. Stallings added that COVID-19-related restrictions mean that the event should be as “simple” as those responsible for the event can make it.
Also in the meeting, Power Superintendent Shane Ward said the he is looking at diversifying his portfolio.
He talked about solar power, saying that in Tooele, solar is being deployed by a private company at $31.45 per kilowatt hour. However, that would “help us out,” Ward said, referring to the city, “but not do the job like this Carbon Free Power Project.”
The CFPP is a nuclear power option administered by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. Mt. Pleasant City is a subscriber to the CFPP.
“Let’s put some solar in there so we don’t have all our eggs in one basket,” Ward said.