San Juan County is having a contested race for county commissioner in District 1 this year. Monette Tangren Clark, a Spanish Valley resident, confirmed Wednesday she is running for the 4-year office, under the banner of the new, moderate United Utah party, according to a statement from the candidate.
Clark faces off in November against 16-year incumbent Bruce Adams. District 1 is the northern part of the San Juan County and includes Spanish Valley, La Sal, Monticello and parts of Blanding.
Growing up in Spanish Valley, Monette Clark is a 15-year county resident and a fourth-generation descendant of La Sal and Moab pioneer families. She served on the San Juan County Planning Commission, 2007-2011. Clark is running for the commission to give voters a choice on the November ballot. She says she is committed to serving San Juan County citizens. “Bruce Adams has run unopposed term after term — he’s stale — we need to catch up with the 21st century,” she said in an email.
Clark says she will work for “a crystal-clear, transparent, and citizen-friendly county government.” She says she has no illusions about the stern challenges the new commission faces in 2021. The budget is operating in the red. General Operating Reserve Funds were drained to nothing by federal lawsuits.
A property tax increase set to go into effect in 2020 was suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency. Clark said she would look for alternative ways to make up deficits. The bigger picture shows county revenues have been falling over the past decade, as property values have fallen and mineral lease income dropped off. “It’s no secret that economic development is San Juan County’s greatest need,” Clark acknowledged.
The county’s pandemic recovery to a “new normal” should be built upon new technologies and green energy, she said. “The greatest untapped natural resource we have is sunshine.” Clark would work for business diversity, including solar farms, expanded food production with technologies like hydroponics and small-footprint “green towers,” more public-private partnerships, and creating worker-owned and -operated businesses. “The worker-owned model is proven to create livable-wage jobs that will support families.”
Clark’s campaign kicked off Wednesday, July 8, with a virtual town hall hosted by United Utah. She plans to have more events in August and September. For more about Clark’s platform, visit her campaign page on Facebook, @monetteclarkforcommission.sanjuancountyutah or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about the United Utah Party can be found on their website, unitedutah.org.