[Courtesy photo]

Utah state residents will begin receiving ballots in the mail this week and election officials are urging voters to make their choices and return their ballots as soon as possible. All mailed ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2. Voters may also leave their ballots in a drop box at the Clerk/Auditor’s Office within the Grand County building (125 E. Center Street, Moab) during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Greg Halliday grew up in Murray, Utah, before joining the Utah National Guard. Halliday served in Panama and was stationed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. He retired from active duty in 2005 as a Sergeant Major and purchased property in Castle Valley with his wife. Halliday has worked as an army medic, practical nurse, EMT, soldier and worked as the road manager for the Town of Castle Valley. Halliday is currently a Grand County commissioner and fruit farmer.

Grand County brings in a significant amount of money to Utah’s tourism economy, but appears to struggle to be heard at the State Legislature. How do you plan on building local political power?

Our state senator and two representatives are the key to being heard, but it is difficult as none of them live here. Another route is the Utah Association of Counties (UAC). I am involved with veteran issues in the county, as well as a member of the Castle Valley Fire District.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how tenuous some aspects of the local economy are. How would you work to strengthen local businesses in the future?

This year was a real anomaly; we have not been challenged by this type of event before. Given everything that has occurred, I believe that we have done very well to contain the virus and maintain viability within our business community. In the future, it is clear that adhering to the CDC guidelines really works. Diversity in business would be a great goal and to that end the County Commission has given Economic Development to the Travel Council as an additional duty since the Travel Council attends industry trade shows, where manufacturing companies looking to expand are exposed to Grand County as a good place to do business.

What’s an example of a great ordinance or political move you’ve seen in the last few years here in Grand County?

When the County Commission modified our present form of government to meet the requirements of the State of Utah, as per HB 224. It was unfortunate that we could not have done this two years ago. [Also, the] Dark Skies ordinance.

Development and zoning changes are hugely important, particularly along the county line in the Spanish Valley area. If you could change one thing about how Grand and San Juan counties work together, what would it be and why?

I would change the county lines to match where people live, as was done by Emery County when they annexed the City of Green River on the east side of the Green River. All of Spanish Valley should be in Grand County, since they receive most of their services from Grand County.

How do you plan to involve Grand County residents who feel left out of the decision-making process?

I am always open to discuss county business with local residents. District #4 is unique, in that it encompasses so much of the county outside of the Moab/Spanish Valley area. The only other seats on the Commission that cover that much area are the “At Large” positions. To that end I sit on the Thompson Springs Water Board, the Conservation District, and Transportation Special Service District and listen to the concerns and comments from District #4 citizens as well as respond to emails.

How would you evaluate a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure?

As an example, the Grand County Commission recently approved the construction of a new building for the Emergency Services Special Service District. I voted for that infrastructure. Financing was critical as was a location. Both of these were met to my satisfaction, so I supported the construction. This will be a great asset to the City of Moab, Town of Castle Valley and Grand County in general.

If elected, what three steps would you take to put our city on a firmer footing for future growth?

The Grand County Commission has already taken concrete steps to mitigate the impacts of the COVID pandemic on our County. Still the pandemic has and will continue to have significant impacts on the viability of our business community as well as the health of our citizens. We must maintain vigilance regarding the threat of the COVID-19 virus and to put the County on firmer footing for future growth.

If you received a $1 million grant to use in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

I would say that since this is a one time only grant, I would use the money to pay off public debts. That way we would not start any program that would need additional funding in the future and would save a lot of taxpayer money in the short and long range. My personal issue is why don’t we have a senator from each county? We have 29 counties and 29 senators, why not one from each county?