OX ELDER COUNTY - By Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist, June 20, 2022
The 2022 Republican Primary Elections for Box Elder County are slated for June 28. All of the county is done through Vote by Mail, but if help is needed two assistance centers are available: Utah State University Student Service building, 989 S. Main St., Brigham City, and Tremonton City Senior Center, 510 West 1000 North, Tremonton.
On the Republican ballot are candidates for two commission seats and the office of sheriff. Those vying for key positions shared a little of their background and their plans and hopes for the county if elected.
Box Elder County Sheriff
Jason Jensen: Jensen is a lifelong resident of Box Elder County and a fourth-generation farmer and second-generation law enforcement officer, with 23 years of experience. He has spent the last 20 years with Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Department of Corrections. He is married with three children and one grandchild.
Jensen says safety and security is his number one priority. “We must preserve the peaceful, secure hometown lifestyle that we enjoy. I will maintain accountability for not only the funds used but also the services that we provide. Transparency is important to me. The more the public is aware of the calls we are responding to the better they can prepare and prevent themselves from becoming a victim.”
He would like to see more effective training that will help create trust and build standard responses when it comes to focusing on mental health and other crisis intervention responses.
He would also address the need for finding individuals interested in a career in law enforcement and the retention of current officers. “I will get to know every employee in the department on a professional and personal basis. Deputies will be recognized for the important service they provide to the department and community.”
Jensen further states, “Becoming affiliated with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is important to me. With the advancements of technology, we not only have to worry about the predators in our community but those who are able to contact our children via the internet, crossing county and state lines. I have every intention to work…to make sure that we are providing these services and investigating these horrible crimes to keep our children safe in our community.”
Kevin Potter: Potter is the currently in his second term as Box Elder County Sheriff. He is married with three children and three grandchildren. He was raised in Tremonton and graduated from Bear River High School. He has lived in Brigham City for more than 20 years.
He says, “I have worked at the Box Elder Sheriff’s Office for 28 years. I worked every job in the office and all of those jobs are learning experiences, from jail, patrol, bailiff, detective, Strike Force, SWAT, patrol sergeant, chief deputy, Internal Affairs, PIO, Emergency Manager and Search and Rescue. I have been a supervisor for two decades with a reputation of holding people accountable, but fairly and consistently.”
Potter said his focus as sheriff has been on supervision and accountability. “To ensure an acceptable span of control and deputy accountability, I added over a dozen supervisors to the office, including lieutenants and corporals, which didn’t exist before. I added a jail division unit, which does ankle monitoring and other duties to ensure public safety. I added civilian booking clerks to free up jail deputies’ time. I added a full-time emergency manager and reorganized civil and transport divisions into one division to streamline duties.”
Potter said he has addressed recruiting and retention problems through competitive pay raises, changes to take home vehicle policies, lateral pay scale changes, increased uniform allowances and giving out recruiting bonus, all without every going over his allotted budget.
“I have made giving 110 percent to the citizens my motto,” he said. That has been done with written surveys, phone app surveys, having deputies assigned to communities, doing school walkthroughs and continuing the DARE program.
Commission Seat A
Tyler Vincent: Vincent was born and raised in Box Elder County and grew up in an agricultural environment. He currently lives in Brigham City and operates Burt’s Autobody and Glass, a three-generation business. He is married with three children and five grandchildren.
Vincent served two and a half years on the Brigham City Council and nine and a half years as mayor, giving him experience in economic development, housing, utilities, social services, aging, arts, zoning, planning, essential services, emergency planning and building. He also served on the Bear River Water Conservancy District Board and the Box Elder County Dispatch Board, is a member of the Box Elder Farm Bureau, worked with Box Elder Emergency Planning and served on the Bear River Association of Government’s Board.
He says running for county commissioner “isn’t the start of my work for the county, it is a continuation of it. I know I have the experience to preserve what makes Box Elder County great and provide my kids and grandkids the neighborhoods, open spaces, economic opportunities and agricultural values that have blessed my life. I have the experience. I have the desire to serve. I’m committed and my record shows it. I love where I live, and I have the know-how to do the work the County needs right now.”
He says he knows that to protect what makes Box Elder great takes more than passion, it takes knowledge, tools, skills, relationships and experience. “Growth in the County is inevitable and only with calculated planning and purposeful economic development can growth be controlled, and our county’s heritage protected.”
Boyd Bingham: Bingham said his roots are deep in Box Elder County. “My mother's ancestors were pioneers who settled in Brigham City. My father's family started farming in Honeyville in 1918. I care about this great county.”
Bingham has served on the Board of Appeals and been elected three times to Honeyville’s City Council. He is currently in his second term as Honeyville’s mayor. He has served on numerous boards related to land management, water, and finances. He also operates a farm/ranch so “I understand the mechanics, challenges and successes of business.”
Bingham says, “The main reason to seek public office is to listen to and serve the people you represent. Discussions before decisions should take place in open meetings where the public is welcome. I welcome transparency.”
He wants more notification on public hearing, allowing citizens opportunity to attend or be able to share useful information prior to decisions being made.
“In a recent general plan survey, our county reported that 93 percent of respondents expressed support for the protection and preservation of agricultural lands and operations,” he said. “This involves much more than appreciating agriculture. Some leave the agricultural business because they choose to, but many are pushed out because of poor planning by their elected officials. How land and water resources are managed is of the utmost importance.”
Having varied land use in the county makes it a great place to live, according to Bingham. “We should support and celebrate our differences. We can all see growth coming and with it, change. As we move to the future, the clearest and strongest way to do it is by having a good sense of our past.”
Commission Seat B
Curtis Marble: Marble lives in Corinne and is the youngest of four children. His father came from a family of eight; his mother from a family of 11. Both were born and raised in Box Elder County. He comes from a farming heritage and 35 years ago purchased 40 acres from his mother. He sold a few prized possessions to purchase his first tractor and disk and now farms 300 acres. He worked for UDOT during the day and farmed at night. He knows what it is like to work hard and succeed.
Curtis has served the county by being on many boards and serving as Board President. While in these positions he has been able to review budgets, work with managers to ensure they stay within the constraints and keep projects on time and on or under budget. He believes that Box Elder County cannot grow faster than its infrastructure. He is willing to listen to those who need to be listened to and to those who need someone to reach out too. He is trustworthy and believes in an honest day’s work and an honest day’s pay. He brings a listen ear and communication skills to the table to help defuse any conflicts that may arise.
Curtis said he looks forward to working with fellow commissioners in doing what is in the best interest for the people.
“Together we will keep Box Elder County going and prepare it for development, while preserving its rural atmospheric charm,” Curtis stated “I will work as hard for you as citizens of Box Elder County, as I have worked to start my own business and develop it. I am not a politician, but I have spent years serving our community. I look forward to representing you as your County Commissioner Seat B.”
Lee Perry: Perry was born in Brigham City and now lives in Perry. He and his wife have four children, with two additional children through marriages. They have one granddaughter.
He worked for UHP for over 31 years, 14 in Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties as the Section Commander. He retired in 2020.
Perry also served in the Utah House of Representatives from 2011-2021. He is currently a Box Elder County emergency services volunteer; on the Perry City CERT team; and a peer counselor on the States Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team.
Perry said he is running for county commissioner “to give back to the county that has given so much to my family.”
He lists his priorities as, first, dealing with growth. “I believe we must be stewards of responsible growth and I am committed to work with all stake holders, i.e., water providers, transportation infrastructure, education providers and employers, realtors, developers and others) to develop best practice policies for responsible growth.”
Second: “We need to work with and support our strong agricultural and manufacturing communities.”
Third: “I am committed to responsible spending of citizens’ tax dollars and to helping keep Box Elder County a safe community to live and visit.”
Fourth: I believe tourism is something we can continue to promote and build on as the dollars spent by visitors can be used to keep our taxes lower.”
Perry also thinks improvements could be made within the commission. “We can improve the openness and transparency of county government by improving accessibility to the county’s codes, meeting information and improving election disclosure laws. I will work to live stream commission meetings so people can participate without having to come to the courthouse from outlying areas in the county.”