EAGLE MOUNTAIN — For the first time in the city's history, Eagle Mountain has a mayor seeking re-election.
Heather Jackson, mayor for the past two years and a member of the City Council before that, said she's proud of the way the city's image has improved during her time as mayor.
In January 2008, Jackson was sworn in as the city's ninth mayor in 12 years. Since 1999, the city's government has been tainted by one scandal after another, including the resignations of ex-mayors Kelvin Bailey in June 2005 and Brian Olsen in October 2006.
"In the years prior to my becoming mayor, Eagle Mountain city was in the press for everything under the sun — but nothing good," Jackson said.
If re-elected, Jackson said she will continue to work on improving transportation projects and making sure Eagle Mountain gets involved in Utah's transportation improvement plan. That will go hand-in-hand with economic development, she said.
Jackson's opponent, Regan Bolli, said his time as vice chairman of Eagle Mountain's economic development committee and his experience working with Lehi's Chamber of Commerce makes him the right person to build the city's commercial base.
To do that, Bolli has outlined an economic development plan that calls for the city to actively recruit outside businesses.
At Eagle Mountain's meet-the-candidates night Wednesday, Bolli said that even though he's pleased with the way the city's image has improved under Jackson, picking a mayor based on lack of corruption is "the lowest standard we can hold for an elected official."
For the two open City Council seats, John Painter is running against incumbents David Lifferth and Nathan Ochsenhirt.
Painter said he wants residents to be able to take more ownership over what the city is doing, especially as the council and mayor plan to expand the economic base. He also said he wants to protect and designate Eagle Mountain's open spaces by working with the Utah Bureau of Land Management to properly mark trails and routes to them.
Lifferth, a councilman since 2006 and mayor before that, said he's proud of the city's successes in the past four years, and he fears that changes in leadership might take away some of the city's momentum.
Lifferth said he wants to keep a strong tie with the residents and make sure they stay informed. In an effort to do that, Lifferth keeps a blog on city politics.
Ochsenhirt was appointed to the council in 2008 to fill the seat Jackson vacated when she was elected mayor. His primary goal, he said, is to attract economic development so Eagle Mountain residents can "stay here, work here, shop here and play here." Business prospects will be even better as transportation continues to improve, Ochsenhirt said.