Six candidates will vie for three seats on the Moab City Council in the next election on Nov. 5. Incumbent candidates Rani Derasary, Kalen Jones and Tawny Knuteson-Boyd will be joined by challengers Kenneth G. Minor, M. Bryon Walston and Kendall Jenson.
Here at the Moab Sun News, we heard from readers who wanted a deeper look at the candidates. We’ll be presenting a profile of one candidate each week leading up to the election.
This week, we spoke to Kendall Jenson via email.
What's your personal background? How did you get to Moab, or when did your family get here? What sort of work have you done professionally?
I have lived in Moab three times. In the early sixties, my family lived in the Holiday Haven Trailer Court while my father worked on the road to Arches. I loved growing up in this family-friendly community. During the summers, I worked for my uncle herding sheep and cattle for Charlie Redd of La Sal.
In 1999, my wife Terri and I came to Moab where I was employed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a seminary teacher for high school students.
Later, after training volunteer teachers for the Church Educational System in southern California, I retired and we returned to Moab.
This town and its people are part of us. It is good to be home. I now enjoy helping our visitors discover, understand and appreciate our amazing area as a tour guide for a local business.
What neighborhood do you live in? Why? Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?
My wife and I live a few blocks east of Dave’ s Corner Market on Crestview Drive. We know all of our neighbors and their children and that’s what we like most about our neighborhood.
What’s an example of a great ordinance or political move you've seen in the last few years here in Moab?
I’ll pass on this question and say that this is one of the reasons I am running for Moab City Council. I hope to be a balancing influence as proposals are considered and decisions are made by this powerful body.
If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?
I would restore property rights to the owners and allow the collective wisdom of the free market and personal initiative to work for the health and prosperity of our community.
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?
I intend to be proactive in seeking out the concerns, needs and recommendations of citizens. I check my email daily and encourage people to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you saw a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure in our city, how would you evaluate whether that project was worth implementing?
Great question! I would review, along with our experts, our most immediate infrastructure needs along with the long-term needs. Does the proposal meet one of those needs? If so, can we afford it? Should we budget for it to be built at a later date? Are there potential problems if we delay? These and other questions are crucial.
If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer footing for future growth?
I will make decisions based on what would be best for our community as a whole, including families, individuals, property and business owners and our bread-and-butter: visitors.
I will find ways to incentivize investors to build affordable housing to meet the needs of families and individuals who work to keep our businesses working.
I intend to do what is necessary to rehabilitate and improve our aging infrastructure. I will do all I can to encourage our citizens, county and city officials to unite, cooperate and compromise in moving forward on a bypass around our community for truck traffic.
If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
No doubt about it: I would propose that we use it to continue updating our aging underground sewer system which would allow us to continue to meet the existing needs of our community.