December 12, 2017 marked the last meeting of the current Hildale City Council before the newly elected Mayor and Council Members take their seats in January. The outgoing Council Members, Carlos Jessop, Edwin Barlow, and Elmer Johnson, along with Mayor Philip Barlow were offered a gesture of thanks by incoming Council Member Maha Layton and members of a citizens group, RISE. They took the opportunity to thank the out-going members for their service, offering Thank-You cards, inviting citizens to sign them, and encouraging fellow citizens to express appreciation during the public comment period of the meeting.
A statement from RISE said, “Despite all that has happened in the past, these men served an important role in our community. Today is a chance for us to come together to model good behavior and show appreciation for the civil duty that members of our town served.”
The new Mayor Donia Jessop and Council Members, Maha Layton, Jared Nicol, and Jvar Dutson won by substantial margins in the November elections. While the mandate for a new direction is clear, there is widespread appreciation for the good that was carried out by the former council. The new candidates have been engaged in training processes to bring them up to speed and the official swearing in is scheduled tentatively for Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Political debates and contests always seem to have elements of unpleasantness, but it is refreshing to see gestures of kindness and civility such as this. Despite disagreements, there is always room to appreciate common ground. This gesture on the part of RISE is an excellent example of that, and may be a good indication of the type of future in store for the Short Creek community.