Special Election – County Executive Candidate Bios

SPECIAL ELECTION

As a result of the vacancy of the County Executive seat after Craig Buttar’s appointment to Secretary of Agriculture, a special election will be held by the Cache County Republican Party on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at the Cache County Event Center to elect a County Executive to serve the remainder of the term. Participants in this election will include every member of the County Central Committee (Precinct Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Secretaries, and Treasurers) and ALL County Delegates, pursuant to Bylaw 8H2.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE CANDIDATE BIOS (in alphabetical order)

MARC ENSIGN

Phone: 435-881-4441
Email: mkriley39@gmail.com
Website: https://ensignforcachecounty.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Marc-Ensign-for-Cache-County-Executive-107948087540028/

I appreciate the support I’ve received from many of you, along with business, government and community leaders throughout the valley as I ask for the opportunity to serve as your County Executive. Although my experience is diverse, my roots lay deep in Cache County soil. Dad was born in a little home on Logan’s 1st east in 1928. Great Grandpa was one of our county’s first dentists and owned a dairy farm and poultry business. My wife Heidi and I moved back to the valley over 20 years ago when I opened Ensign Toyota Honda on North Main Street in Logan. We built our home in Paradise where we’ve raised 7 children and are grandparents to ten with two more on the way!

Heidi and I are lifelong Republicans, committed to the values of family, faith and serving others. We love our country and are fierce defenders of the Constitution and its protections of free speech, the right to bear arms, personal property ownership and the sanctity of human life. We love people and our greatest satisfaction comes from seeing others succeed. We believe in kindness, patience, courage, and tolerance for all walks of life.

I attended Brigham Young University in Provo where I majored in business. During my career, I’ve built and managed several successful businesses in both Utah and Cache counties. In addition, I’ve served on many business, industry, community and non-profit boards, both state-wide and internationally. I’ve worked with Utah communities to bolster economic development and create jobs. I’ve managed multi-million dollar budgets, both for my own businesses and for private community organizations.

During my tenure as Logan’s Toyota and Honda dealer, I weathered several economic downturns, following the principles of conservation, strict expense control, zero waste and the careful management of all assets, no matter how small. I’ve always demanded a reasonable return on investment and always will, regardless of the difficulty. In private business, you don’t sweep mistakes under the rug. Everything must carry its own weight. As County Executive, I’ll follow these same principles in administering your assets, both tax revenues and non-monetary assets such as our water and natural resources. And I will hold those who work for you accountable.

What else? Bringing private sector experience to the public arena has proven to increase discipline while opening creative options that aren’t generally considered by those entrenched in typical government administrations. There are many things relating to County processes that could and should be consolidated and streamlined, making it easier for residents to do the things they’d like and conduct their business quickly and efficiently. I’ll bring a new set of eyes to scrutinize and improve county practices, ordinances, the functions of planning and zoning, public safety, public transportation and many other county responsibilities. I believe in complete transparency and full disclosure…they are the only way to build trust which is to me, the highest principle in governance. My disciplines of management include complete analysis, thorough vetting, the input of multiple diverse opinions, clear communication, and no surprises.

I’ll bring fresh ideas, a fresh perspective, and a new focus on efficient and effective spending. I’ll bring more diversity of experience along with a strong commitment to move things forward in new and innovative ways. I’ll help position our beautiful communities for the right response to growth, job creation, economic development, educational needs, health-care reform and many other concerns. As a fourth-generation resident of this county, I understand why you love living in this beautiful valley and want to add my influence to protecting and preserving our rural heritage and lifestyle as we face the future together. With the proper vision and planning, we’ll keep Cache Valley Cache Valley. Here are my immediate priorities:

Growth: Cache County’s explosive growth must be addressed immediately. Although the county is developing a long-term plan, any potentially incongruous development should be carefully evaluated. Residents and local, city leaders should be fully involved. I’ll call for the development of community forums to address this and other pressing issues. The voice of our residents and private property owners is paramount here.

Economic Development: I’m glad to see the recent hiring of a County Economic Development Director. Our need for professional economic management is long overdue, and should be steered by both the County Council and a strong, experienced County Executive. It is crucial to support local businesses with government initiatives. Maintaining a viable and healthy economy is the foundation for everything we do. Cache County needs more income-producing assets and less income consuming liabilities. That’s how a growing community’s needs are met. Instead of taxing families, I’ll work to grow the county’s revenue through the incremental increase in taxes generated by profitable, local businesses. This is not a tax rate increase, but an increase in business volume which will naturally produce more tax revenue at current rates.

Jobs: I want to significantly increase opportunities for our residents to work in Cache County. No one should have to travel over the mountain to make ends meet. Agriculture and manufacturing have served us well over the years, but the rising cost of living demands the development of higher-paying industries. Recently those running for state office in Cache County debated the need for low-income housing. Although I was not part of the debate, I believe the most effective, long-term solution is to create and maintain better-paying jobs by helping bring and relocate the right industries to Cache Valley. As a county, we have one of the lowest household incomes in the State. Families who earn more can afford more. A key part of the solution is to raise the standard of living so that low-income housing will be less necessary as a dwelling option. We want to be a prosperous valley, not one to maintain our friends and neighbors at barely above poverty level incomes.

The technology, medical, aerospace, and communication boom that is sweeping Northern Utah should naturally extend to Cache Valley. Many of these growing companies are looking to expand. We have real estate, a great work-force, a lower cost of living, wonderful recreational and outdoor opportunities, a diverse and professionally managed art scene and the best lifestyle in the state. As County Executive, I’ll form an ambassadorship to reach out to these rising enterprises. As chairman of the Utah Automobile Dealers Association, I worked with the city councils, mayors and city managers of Orem, Provo, and American Fork to relocate and build two Utah County auto malls, using tax-based initiatives. I’m excited to offer that experience to our county’s economic development and job creation efforts.

Property Tax Relief: In talking with many of you, there is significant concern about the burden of ever-increasing property taxes, especially among seniors. Many seniors are on fixed incomes and property tax increases due to rising home values as the county’s population grows have created a financial hardship for them. The Cache County Board of Equalization exists to hear resident appeals to property tax assessments. The five current programs under which reductions are allowed do not adequately address this need.

I would like to explore the idea of proposing an additional exemption for all resident seniors over a certain age (say 65) to reduce property taxes on their principal residence (investment properties would not be eligible). The abatement could be a percentage of the total assessment with a maximum credit available. Although seniors would need to apply for the exemption, it’s award would not be arbitrary and would be granted on meeting the required qualifications (age, residency, income cap -to be debated but certainly much higher than the poverty level-, etc.) The off-set would not come from raising the property taxes of others, but from funding obtained by securing savings elsewhere in the county budget as permitted by the state legislature. This challenge would be taken up by myself and the council.

In addition to these, I will focus on our aging roads and infrastructure, and making sure our water supply is secured for Cache County.

There are many good people who have faithfully dedicated their time and energy to serving this wonderful county we call home. We are forever in their debt. However, times are changing. I believe we need a new skill-set to deal with the more diverse challenges knocking at our door. It’s time for bold, fresh leadership at the county seat. Executive management has been my life’s work. The private sector has taught me many disciplines to more effectively serve the public interest. I have the passion and determination to lead Cache County through the challenges of the present into the opportunities of the future. I will be a faithful steward of, not only your tax dollars, but of your lifestyle, your safety, your freedoms and independent rights, and of your collective and individual voice


DAVID ERICKSON

Phone: 435-770-0283
Email: votedaviderickson@gmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/votedaviderickson/

I am homegrown and lifelong Cache County native for 59 years. I was raised on a cattle and crop farm homesteaded by my great grandfather just north of Smithfield of which I am the 4 th generation farmer on this centennial farm. I was enriched in the deep Cache Valley culture in attending the quality public schools and graduating from USU in agriculture education in 1986. I married my wife Callie in 1985 and we raised 4 children which are all married and giving us the next generation of Erickson’s (7 grandchildren).

We taught agriculture sciences for 31 years at Sky View High School then retired January 1, 2020. We own and operate Crow Mtn Farms, a 300-acre farm and work as an appraiser for a local Ag lending bank.

Our professional service in giving back to my career choices including serving on many local, state and national agriculture committees and Irrigation company boards, secretary and then president of Utah Agriculture Educators Association, Chair’s for the Cache County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers, Cache County School District Agriculture Specialist, and numerous youth program committees.

Our Cache County Service began in 1987 as a member of the Cache County Jr Livestock board. We also served on the Cache County board of adjustments and Cache County Planning and Zoning board for over nine years. We were asked in 2014 to file for Cache County Council representing the north district and have served with gratitude to this date. We have had many opportunities to serve on the following committees for Cache County:

  • Cache County Ordinance Review Committee
  • Cache County Fire/EMS Board
  • Cache County Vegetative Management Board
  • Cache County RAPZ and Restaurant Tax Appropriation Committee
  • Cache County General Plan Steering Committee
  • Cache County Fairgrounds Advisory Board
  • Cache County Solid Waste Advisory Board
  • Cache County Roads Committee
  • Cache County Budget Review Committee
  • Cache County Fair and Rodeo Committee
  • Cache Water District Board
  • National Association of Counties Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee
  • Utah Association of Counties Board

Our goals for Cache County Executive:

  • Equal voice for all towns, cities and county residents
  • Foster growth that makes sense and maintains the high standards of Cache Valley Culture
  • Make fiscally responsible decision’s
  • Solidify Cache County’s General Plan

LADD KENNINGTON

Phone: 435-760-5346
Email: laddkennington@hotmail.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ladd-Kennington-for-Cache-County-Executive-105690744847291/

My name is Ladd Kennington. I was born right here in Logan, UT. I spent my formative years on a 100-acre farm in Afton, WY. An area my ancestors helped settle with other Mormon pioneers. On that farm I learned several very important life lessons: there are no short cuts in life, and there is no substitute for honest work. I have always tried to live by Ronald Reagan’s ideals of living heroic dreams.

I was fortunate to attend and graduate from Utah State University with a degree in Business. I have been pleased to be on the Cache GOP Executive Committee for the last 5 ½ years, and on the Utah Republican State Central Committee for the last 1 ½ years. I have enjoyed being part of Republican campaigns and meeting elected Republicans from the entire state. But mainly I have loved meeting with, serving, and engaging with the fine Republicans across Cache County.

I have spent the last 15 years in the transportation industry in various forms including the corporate headquarters of Flying J, and currently LW Miller Companies. I have been proud to see the transportation industry get the recognition it deserves during the Covid-19 pandemic. Being involved in this industry has given me chance to be directly involved all aspects of business including budgeting, logistics, HR, personnel, rates, productivity, and profitability. It is a challenging but vital industry. Can you imagine the teamwork it takes to manage 100’s of semis, trailers, drivers, and personnel considering a semi costs $150,000 dollars, pulling a trailer that costs $100,000 dollars, being driven by an employee that is regulated by the state and DOT, while getting 7 mpg, burning diesel that costs $3 a gallon, all while trying to make a profit at pennies per mile? We are talking about tens of millions of dollars of assets and activity every single day. This has given me the chance to deal with all kinds of people and situations, from federal officers, to state officers, to business owners, to police officers, to hirings, to firings, to accidents, to shops, to insurance brokers, to lawyers, and to lawsuits. Leadership and teamwork are an absolute must in this environment.

I have never met anyone I agree with 100% of the time. I am sure there are things I have done and will do, that others would do differently. However, do not doubt, you will always know I take positions based on my principles of honesty, integrity, and character.

My dear friends. I believe elected officials have a greater obligation other than to just make decisions. I believe elected officials have an obligation to lead. I believe that Republicans in Cache County yearn to have a leader. A leader that is willing to lead with moral clarity. There should be no doubt who Republicans are and what we stand for, and it should come from the top. I believe from the very depths of my soul that Republican ideals are the last line of defense in a troubled world. We truly are as President Lincoln rightly said, “the last best hope of earth.” My friends, make no mistake about it, I am ready to lead.

My name is Ladd Taylor Kennington, I take strength in knowing that a loving God will support me in whatever is placed in my path. It is my hope and prayer that I can earn your vote to be the next Executive of Cache County.


DAVID ZOOK

Phone: 435-890-9239
Email: zook.david@gmail.com
Website: https://davidforcachecounty.com
Facebook page: https://facebook.com/DavidZookCountyExec/

David is running for County Executive because he loves Cache Valley and wants to preserve what makes it great. His priorities include public safety, transportation, economic development, preserving our open spaces and water, and protecting the public’s tax dollars by modernizing County operations.

David Nephi Zook of Logan is married to his true love Andrea Heninger Zook. They have seven children, including 3 adult girls and 4 teenage boys.

David is a proven conservative and has served for many years in the Cache County Republican Party in positions ranging from Precinct Chairman to County Chairman. He has also served two terms on the State Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party, where he fought to preserve the caucus system.

David currently works as the Nibley City Manager, where has served as that city’s full-time chief executive for the past 9 years. He also currently serves on the Cache County Economic Development Advisory Board, as a board member for The Family Place, and as Past Chairman for the Cache County Economic Development Alliance, an organization he founded while he was serving as Chairman of the Board of the Cache Chamber of Commerce.

David has previously served on a number of educational, charitable and civic organizations, including the Hyde Park Planning Commission and as President of the Logan Lion’s Club.

Mr. Zook has 24 years of experience in his field, having worked for 15 years in county government prior to his experience at Nibley City. In the past year, David earned a national award for his management of the public’s tax dollars and was awarded the prestigious Credentialed City & County Manager designation. David has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and has also served as a professor of Public Administration. He also has a graduate certificate in Economic Development.