Note: The filing period for running for office was recently changed by the Utah State Legislature. The date period printed on the door hanger is no longer correct. The new filing period runs from June 3rd – June 7th. Any individuals interested in running for office must apply in the Recorder’s Office by 5 pm on June 7th.
Here is a link to the revised city notice for the 2013 Municipal Elections.
The 2013 Eagle Mountain City municipal elections will determine the city’s future. Mayor Heather Jackson and Council Members Painter and Ochsenhirt are up for reelection and if they are allowed to remain in office, they will continue to spend far beyond our city’s means. This will eventually force our utility rates and property taxes to go up even more. If we can replace them with fiscally conservative individuals, we can turn around our city’s finances and finally bring our city’s spending under control, and hopefully, lower utility rates for everyone.
KEY ISSUES FOR CANDIDATES
Fixing Past Mistakes and Managing Future Growth — Candidates should be aware that most of the money that has been squandered by the city has been lost on big ticket items like sewer, water, gas and electrical infrastructure that was not wisely procured. In many cases, existing residents have been asked to finance infrastructure improvements that primarily benefit developers within the city. The city needs new leaders who can fix past mistakes and prevent new ones from being made in the future.
New Leadership — A new mayor’s first responsibility should be to recruit a new city manager. Specifically, a manager who understands large infrastructure projects and how to manage them properly. Ideally, this individual would have an extensive background in project management for multi-million dollar development projects. The city’s past administrators have all had MPAs (Masters of Pork Allocation) and they have all done a horrible job of managing our city’s infrastructure growth.
Time Commitment — The time commitment for city council members is relatively modest because council meetings only take place twice a month, at most. There are also plenty of other meetings to attend, but many of them are optional. Here is a link to the city’s current council meeting schedule. Here is a link to the other boards and commissions within the city.
While the mayor’s workload will be significantly higher, it doesn’t have to be onerous if she or he hires good managers to handle the city’s day-to-day affairs. Having said that, initially it may require a lot of time and effort to get a handle on the true scope of the problems within the city. In other words, any candidate for mayor ought to be prepared to serve full-time even though it should eventually become a part-time position. The current city code allows for either a part-time or a full-time mayor. Here is a link to the city code regarding the compensation of public officials.
Although serving as an elected official is often seen as a hardship due to the time commitment involved, it doesn’t have to be all-consuming if the city hires good managers who can be trusted. This why the first priority of any new officers should be to support hiring more professional leaders for the city.
Resources — If you would like more information on the powers and duties of municipal officers, the Utah League of Cities and Towns has produced a book called, Powers and Duties: A Handbook for Utah Municipal Officials, 15th Ed. (2012), which is available to anyone who wants to purchase it. There’s also another book called, Human Resources Handbook for Cities and Towns: People Practices and Policies (2005) that might also be of interest.
Qualifications for Office
We don’t need candidates who . . .
- want to get into office because they need a fancy job title to improve their self-esteem.
- primarily want to spend other people’s money (OPM). OPM addictions are very dangerous in public officials.
- can be easily flattered by public employees who want more OPM. City employees can develop OPM addictions too.
- talk the talk during election time but quickly become members of the good ‘ol boys and girls club when they get into office.
We need candidates who have . . .
- empathy for residents who are currently burdened by extremely high utility rates
- enough real world experience managing budgets (household or business) to force the city to live within its means
- the courage to cut spending, even when it’s politically difficult
- the willingness to lower utility rates, even if it means they will have less money to spend as public officials
- the discipline to save money even in the good times so we can pay down the city’s enormous debt
- the guts to speak out against wasteful policies even if it might embarrass their colleagues in office
If you think you can defend the interests of the residents of the city against the city’s profligate ways, please contact me. We already have multiple candidates who are willing to run for office, but I would like to hear from anyone who is really interested in helping out.
P.S. Due to health concerns I will not be running for office.