Six talk priorities in battle for three Harrisville council seats

Oct 14 2011 - 12:14am

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Grover Wilhelmsen
Michelle Tait
Paula Knighton
Jeff Lemberes
Jeff Pearce
Gary Robinson
Grover Wilhelmsen
Michelle Tait
Paula Knighton
Jeff Lemberes
Jeff Pearce
Gary Robinson

HARRISVILLE -- Six people are vying for three seats on the Harrisville City Council in November.

Grover Wilhelmsen, Michelle Tait and Wayne Crowther's seats are all open for the Nov. 8 election.

Wilhelmsen and Tait are seeking re-election; Crowther recently resigned after moving outside of the city.

Challenging the incumbents are Paula Yamasaki Knighton, Jeffrey Clark Lemberes, Jeffery H. Pearce and Gary L. Robinson.

Knighton is a cost account manager at ATK with 20-plus years of service on Harrisville's zoning and land-use board.

She said maintaining the city's rural atmosphere while providing necessary income for residents should be Harrisville's top priority.

Knighton is happy with the way the city is being run and believes her experience on the land-use board will help her keep Harrisville the great city it is.

"I don't think we need major changes. We just need consistency and to keep on the way we are," she said.

Lemberes is a deputy sheriff for the Weber County Sheriff's Office and has been working as a resource officer in Washington Terrace. He said he has been impressed by the efficient way that city is run.

Lemberes said he believes Harrisville city operations go through the mayor too much, when more operations should go through the city council and the city manager.

"I'd like to see the city council take back control of the city," he said.

Lemberes believes his experience as a resource officer in Washington Terrace qualifies him for the city council.

"It's a very professional city," he said. "They run it by the book, and I'd like to see our city run a little more like that."

Municipal service is nothing new to Pearce. He has been involved with the city council, been chairman of the planning commission and been on the volunteer fire department board for years.

Pearce believes the city council needs to be doing more to encourage commercial growth in Harrisville.

"We need to be ahead of the game and take care of the bills."

He said he has been researching connections with the chamber of commerce as well as businesses in an effort to find out how to encourage companies to come to Harrisville.

Pearce said he is more committed than others running for city council.

"If you look at who's been coming to the meetings in the past two years, I've been to practically every meeting."

Robinson is a financial analyst who served on the city council four years ago.

As one of the residents affected by the recent sewage overflow, he said fixing the sewer problem is No. 1 on his list of things to do if elected.

Robinson wants the city to find a way to fix the sewage problem as well as notify residents of the potential risks of having a basement on Liberty Avenue.

Robinson is the only person running for city council who has been affected by the sewage crisis, and he believes this qualifies him above other candidates.

Tait is a rural letter carrier who has been on the city council for five years. She was elected for four years and then appointed to a fifth year after a council member resigned.

She believes the city's budget is the most important issue in Harrisville.

"Making the money go so we have enough for the projects people need is a big deal," Tait said.

She believes she understands the people of the city and can say where they want their money to go.

"I've lived here, and I have experience," Tait said. "I know our families. Our budget supports the family atmosphere of Harrisville."

Wilhelmsen is a small-business owner and a music teacher who wants to balance the city budget without losing the essence of Harrisville.

"I don't want to lose out on things that are important to residents, but we need to stay in the black," he said.

Wilhelmsen has been on the city council for four years and believes his prior service sets him apart from other candidates.

Wilhelmsen also pointed out that he is the only resident from the north end of town running for city council.

"I represent all of the people on the north end, and they feel comfortable talking to me."

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