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Paula Smith St George Utah

I'm Paula Smith

I never aspired to enter politics; it wasn't even on my radar.  However, like many, I can see issues becoming increasingly alarming. Current leaders have their own agenda, or worse, they cater to those that donate the most money or shout the loudest. We the People have lost our voice in how our money is being spent.  I’m Paula Smith. I believe in cutting waste, not services. I believe in increasing the transparency and accountability of our leaders.

I’m running because I intend to hold the line.

I’m running because I refuse to fall in line.

My Story

My family relocated to St George in 2006. We moved to St George to raise our kids. That proved to be our greatest decision. I am running to ensure others will enjoy the same quality of life we have been so blessed to enjoy. 
 

I was raised by my mother and stepfather, who was Comanche, and I maintained a close relationship with my biological father. Both of my fathers were veterans of the Navy Air and Air Force. I began my career path in the '90s, working for my mother's real estate office in Arizona. I moved back to California in 1993 and worked in financial accounting and auditing within the auto industry. Around 1997, I began working as an independent auditor/consultant and DMV registration processor for multiple automotive carlines throughout Southern California. I purchased my first home at the age of 24 as a single woman. That opened the door to further investment, and I purchased other property investments in Arizona by the age of 25. 


I met my husband, and we instantly became inseparable. After having our first child, I knew I would need to scale back on my demanding career. After our second child, we decided to move from the hustle and find somewhere to raise the kids. We found St George on the map and decided to take a trip. We purchased our home on the way back from our visit. Within a month, we were residents. We had never been to the area, and we had no ties. We had never heard of St George before we found it on the map. But we loved it. We knew that. I began a real estate licensing course a few months after arriving in St George. Real Estate allowed me to work mostly from home and around the kids' schedule. I have always been involved with the schools my kids attended. I was appointed to the hiring committee when Vista School in Ivins began. I served for the PTA and headed fundraisers with each of their schools. If I can hand count BoxTops....our County can hand count ballots. 

 

As our kids grew older, I dedicated more time to my career. Trust and expertise are essential for success in this industry, and I pride myself on providing both to my clients. I specialize in residential real estate. It is important to note that while I am a real estate agent, I am NOT a private developer and have ZERO ties to any developers. Here is an article I wrote on the subject: www.paulasmithcitycouncil.com/post/real-estate-agent-or-developer 

I began analyzing market conditions and paying particular attention to property taxes and how the Utah tax system works.

It doesn't. I have been contacting State leaders over the past 10 years, asking for a change in the property tax structure. 


Around 2017, one of my clients installed a swimming pool. I went to see it and was shocked that they did it independently. He said, "You can do it too." Why would he think that? I explained I'd never done anything like that, and he replied, "Neither have I." His words unlocked something my stepdad had tried to instill my whole life: "Don't ever say you can't." So, I built my family a pool. I am happy to say my family and I are still enjoying it!


In 2020, after a failed attempt to have a builder build us a new home, I also decided to unlock that challenge. I built an RV garage and an ADU (guest house) for our family. I didn't physically construct the projects; I aligned myself with the people skilled in each trade. I researched every element and learned what works, what to do…and what NOT to do. I met with all the subcontractors, discussed what I wanted, and listened to their ideas. I walked into the situation with little knowledge and no experience and did it better than some builders. My husband and I hung the cabinets and installed the kitchen's backsplash (after a few videos on YouTube). I attribute my success to listening to those who knew the particulars of each step during the build process and being "hands-on" throughout the process. I created a budget (stuck to it) and evaluated it during each phase to determine the most effective path forward at each stage. The process requires thinking ahead, planning, recognizing a problem, and quickly reacting to solve the problem. 


I feel like this experience brought me to this moment. This sort of approach is precisely what we need in the city. We don't need someone in power who thinks they know it all and can do everything their way. We don't need a "trained" politician. We need a representative willing to listen and learn from the people they represent, who can incorporate their ideas into their decision-making process. I've come to realize over the years that Southern Utah is a place full of diversity, knowledge, and different backgrounds—people with multifaceted levels of experience, information, and advice. We must tap into that knowledge and allow the people to guide the leaders. I have learned something from each person I worked with. Everyone has something to contribute. Together, we are stronger. I do not possess any formal political training. My training came from the experience of being a taxpayer, homeowner, business owner, and school district experience. 

 

When I'm not busy (writing my life story), I love to travel with my husband and kids. As unusual as it may sound, my husband and I always travel with the kids. I suppose it helps that our kids are incredible. We have our children for a short time before they start their own life, and we want to enjoy every moment. We've gone on several cruises, which is our favorite way to travel. This summer, my kids (now official adults) will travel together to Japan. We love hiking and taking out our off-road vehicle in the desert. I love the water and boating and spent many years growing up on the Colorado River, including Lake Mead. We enjoy the local lakes and love visiting Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon during the summer. I am still a real estate agent, and while most of my clients are repeat and referrals, I stay busy with buyers and sellers throughout the year. Real estate continues to be a business I love, and I truly appreciate my clients. We have two children. One of my kids works full-time as a medical assistant, and she is putting herself through college for radiology. Our youngest graduated high school and the Dixie Tech Pharmacy Tech program this year. We are unbelievably proud of them, and we are grateful they have been blessed to grow up in beautiful St George.

Paula Smith for St George
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