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I am in the process of completing my first 4-year term as a Moab City Council member. I view public service as a privilege, and running for City Council in 2015 was my first pursuit of public office. I built my 2015 campaign around citizen concerns, based on talking to residents, business owners and City staff alike. Since getting on the Council, aside from attending our regular meetings, I have served as the City representative on:

•  the Moab Tailings Project Steering Committee (2016-present);

•  the Canyonlands Health Care Special Service District (CHCSSD) (2017-present);

•  the Grand County Emergency Medical Services Special Service District (GCEMSSSD) (2018-present);

•  and Grand County’s Trail Mix Committee (2016-2018).

I also served on the board of the Moab Area Community Land Trust (2016-2018), which helped inform me about the critical role of long-term deed-restricted housing.

Being on the City Council you enjoy some personal accomplishments but learn that most accomplishments are group efforts, either of the entire Council, or smaller teams of Council members, staff and/or other community members. We’re fortunate to have smart, engaged and thoughtful individuals to collaborate with. Since coming onto the City Council in January 2016, the most rewarding aspects of Council work for me thus far include:

•  Collaborating with fellow City Council member Kalen Jones to learn from Park City and Salt Lake City staff and Council about their efforts to combat climate change. In turn, garnering Mayor & remaining Council support in 2017 to advance Moab’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, explore ways to partner with Rocky Mountain Power, Park City and Salt Lake City; and invest in a sustainability director to make this work happen.

•  Collaborating with County Council member Mary McGann, City Council member Tawny Knuteson-Boyd, and former County Council member Joette Langianese in successfully lobbying the US Congress for increased funding of tailings removal at the Moab UMTRA (Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action) project. Efforts in 2017 and 2018 brought annual funding from $33 million/year back up to $45 million/year, allowing the project to rehire for at least 23 positions that had been lost when funds decreased. Our lobbying efforts appear poised to garner the project $45 million in 2019 as well. If we can hold funding at this level in coming years, it will help tailings removal happen by 2027 as opposed to 2034 or later, and save the project $150 million.

•  Going door-to-door in the Spring of 2018 to 120 businesses on or adjacent to Main Street to help inform owners about the Moab Downtown Plan, Moab Parking Plan, Hwy 191 North End Widening Project and UDOT hotspot funding. Fellow Council member Karen Guzman-Newton joined me for 9 of these visits, the rest I did alone.

•  In an effort to help inform residents and local businesses about issues that concern them, after the door-to-door work above, I started a series of email updates for residents summarizing Council meeting packet contents and noting other meetings of importance. Any resident is welcome to be added to that list; simply shoot me an email ( and ask to be added to my meeting update email list.

•  Setting up the Water Conservation & Drought Management Advisory Board, as a Council, to help advise the City on our water resources moving forward, and investing in studies to better assess how much water the City actually has, so we can live within those bounds.

•  Acquiring the property and committing the funds to build at least 80 affordable housing units at Walnut Lane, with the current Mayor and City Council.

•  Supporting efforts initiated by the preceding Council - and impressive City staff members - to carry out funding and successful completion of the new Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2018.

•  As a Council, increasing City staff wages based on salary survey research.

•  Taking the initiative to schedule meetings to offer residents an opportunity to give additional input to Council and ask questions of experts. These meetings included: June 29 & 30, 2016 Council meetings to hear resident concerns about traffic, noise and safety; and a January 22, 2019 question and answer session for the Council, Planning Commission and public on property rights and other land use issues led by Brent Bateman, lead attorney of the Utah Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman.

•  Being a vocal proponent for using the traffic calming tools available to us. We haven’t had all of the local control one might hope for due to State restrictions, but we did get reduced speed limit signage on several key streets, and; I’ve just advocated for signage on streets currently missing signs, and the painting of crosswalks, especially in the area between Main St and 400E and the feeder streets off 100W.

•  Supporting the Housing Authority in advancing plans to build affordable senior housing adjacent to the Grand Center, and the Canyonlands Care Center staff in earning 5-Star rating for the facility, with the rest of the Canyonlands Health Care Special Service District board.

Prior Experience

Prior to my Council term, I worked with community organizations in various capacities for more than 20 years. From jobs with nonprofits, to employment in the private and public sectors, I’ve gained valuable experience desirable in a City Council member, including: attention to detail; strategic planning; fundraising (including maximizing what can be done with a small budget); and strong administrative, communication, collaboration and networking skills.

Work has always been both educational and rewarding for me. In California, for example, I learned how local, national and international parties can partner to help communities have a greater voice in how their water resources are allocated and managed. Locally, I served on the WabiSabi board (2008-2013), was program director of Canyonlands Community Recycling (CCR) (2010-2012), and volunteered at Arches National Park, Grand County Hospice and Splore. At CCR I started bi-annual electronic waste collections, and partnered with Solutions of Moab and the Postal Service to expand paper recycling. WabiSabi widened my understanding of the impressive number and variety of groups in Moab that provide vital and enriching services, and the generosity of Moab’s businesses and residents in making this work possible. In doing revegetation work for Wildland Scapes, water sampling for the BLM, and office work for Serena Supplee I have broadened my understanding of Moab’s land and water resources, and the variety of people whose livelihoods depend on them.

I believe the time I’ve invested has made me a more knowledgeable and prepared candidate and I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve you.

Paid for by Rani Derasary 4 City Council
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