When one gets involved in politics in Morgan County it is only a matter of minutes before encountering Larry Hatch. Hatch is easily the most active person in the County in politics. He serves as the Chairman for the Republican Party. Although Hatch clearly communicates conservative values, he has been diligent in ensuring that all voices and all viewpoints be heard, whenever possible. He has also worked to ensure that candidates do not run unopposed in any election. He believes in the democratic system and has found that it works best when at least two individuals debate and communicate to win any elected seat.
Hatch is a candidate for County Council at large A seat, which has a two year term. Hatch is running against Robert Kilmer for this seat.
Hatch was born in Woods Cross. He attended Brigham Young University, served in the Army, and then graduated from BYU with a degree in Agricultural Economics. Hatch has had a diverse career. He initially worked for Idaho First National Bank where he implemented their first computer automation systems. He next worked for UARCO, and Amalgamated Sugar as credit manager.
He then moved to Convergys where he served as credit manager. Hatch left Convergys to become a business manager and after eight years he went into semi retirement. He and his wife then served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Hatch says that “One of my definitions of patriotism is that a person will serve his country in whatever capacity he can for a while and then step aside so someone else can take their turn at it.” He is currently serving as the Chairman if the Morgan County Republican party, but plans to step down from this position whether or not he wins the county council seat.
Below are the answers to questions that will be posed to each of the candidates interviewed who are running for county council seats:
1. Why are you running for county council?
Hatch decided that he would like to be more involved, but from a different perspective than his role as County Republican Chairman.
2. What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
“My main concern is that we need to figure out how to do government from a different perspective than what we have been doing…We need to learn how to get along better. I would like to see government done truly from the perspective of what is best for the people of the county as a whole and not from the perspective of I am here to do … what I want to see done.”
3. What do you think are the major issues facing the county?
Hatch talked about growth as one of the major issues and sees this as a part of what the county will need to face ongoing. He does not see this as the major issue, however. He sees the major issue as a change in the approach to politics to have the focus on what is best for the county instead of the individual politician. He says, “There is too much emphasis on getting elected and staying in office. Operating as though the most important thing is ‘How do I assure that I am going to be reelected?’ rather than ‘What can I accomplish that is worthwhile, while I am in office?’”
Hatch believes the council has been operating well under Chairman Creager’s leadership. He is concerned that some of the candidates are running on just a single issue and that could create problems if these individuals are elected.
4. What changes would you like to see in the county?
Hatch comments that the citizens of Morgan County are “an independent bunch.” He believes that the county can accomplish anything. He would like to see the residents take action on items that they would like to have happen rather than looking to government.
Hatch used the aquatic center as an example. He believes that if the residents want an aquatic center they should look for private donations and other sources of funding to try to make this happen. He says, “Why does government have to be that involved in it. Why can’t we accomplish something like this ourselves, as private citizens… Morgan County [people]…are well educated and fairly well healed. The median income in Morgan is pretty good. I think if we want an aquatic center that what we can do is get together as private individuals and create an endowment fund.” He comments that an option may be that if the school district has land that perhaps the endowment could then be given to the school district to run the center with the endowment fund.
5. What is your opinion on the county attempting to bring new businesses into the county? How would you attract these businesses?
Hatch indicates that while he would like to see more businesses that he is not in favor of just any businesses. He would not like to see large retail box stores. He would prefer clean manufacturing and other businesses like these. He also sees the County as a good place for businesses to have their headquarters and be based in Morgan.
6. How do you feel about the growth in the county?
Hatch sees growth as inevitable. He would not like to see the hills dotted with homes like in Park City. He sees a balance necessary between government control of development and individual landowner rights. He is supportive of cluster developments and using tax incentives to preserve open spaces.
7. How do you feel about the quality of life