His explanation was that Victor Iverson was voted to be the Republican candidate by 67 percent of the Republican Party county delegates. Because of the super majority winning percentage, Mr. Iverson not only became the Republican candidate for the general election but was also selected to fill Mr. Drake’s remaining term. It seems all is fair in love, war and politics.
Let’s be clear. If the Washington County Republican Party wishes to use whatever means available to get their candidate elected in November, that’s politics. If they want to assert that their candidate is the best qualified, that’s something that needs to be challenged directly for the sake of the residents of Washington County.
In this county, it seems the Republican Party feels compelled to install Mr. Iverson as the incumbent and heir apparent. This is technically legal, but is it fair?
Mr. Lang claims Mr. Iverson was appointed because of the overwhelming support he received at convention. He also points out that Mr. Iverson is trusted and respected for his experience. Mr. Iverson was student body president at Dixie State, a city councilman in LaVerkin and an employee for Sen. Mike Lee. What Mr. Lang fails to comprehend is just how little Mr. Iverson’s experience prepares him for his current assignment. As a county commissioner, he must know about a very wide range of subjects relating to the operation of county government. These include the court system, department of motor vehicles, department of transportation, drivers license division, drug court, economic development council, metropolitan planning, and the list goes on. Mr. Iverson will be learning his job for years to come.
This response to Nick Lang’s opinion column justifying the interim placement of Victor Iverson to the open seat is not meant to besmirch Mr. Iverson. It is intended, however, to set the record straight on qualifications and on whether this is a thinly veiled attempt to give Mr. Iverson, a loyal GOP activist, a leg up in the general election.
His opponent, Paul Van Dam, on the other hand, has experience at the county level and state level that would serve Washington County well. If experience were the real basis for such an appointment, Mr. Paul Van Dam would be appointed. Mr. Van Dam has been the Salt Lake County Attorney and spent four years dealing with the civil and governmental issues in Salt Lake County. Later, during his term as Utah’s attorney general, he experienced how local and state issues combine and ultimately relate to federal matters. In addition to extensive and relevant experience, great value to Washington County would be realized by having a commissioner who has and can again bridge the partisan divide.
Mr. Lang’s characterization of Mr. Iverson’s selection as the best Republican choice for interim commissioner also overlooks the broad experience and connections of former St. George mayor Dan McArthur, who would have been a fine short-term selection. However, the political urge to “stick it to the opposition” was just too great to resist. Indeed, a recent interview with Mr. Iverson revealed that the commission position would be a part-time position for him so he can hold another job.
So, politics prevail and the commission chamber will remain an echo chamber instead of a creative, deliberative chamber with a full-time commissioner.
Della Lowe is chairwoman of the Washington County Democratic Party.