Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ah, small-town politics…

As I mentioned a while back in my blog (sort of as it was happening), I moved out to Eagle Mountain almost exactly a year ago. By and large, I’ve loved it out here. Our new house is great, and getting better. I’ve found some good friends, and my boys have friends by the ton over at our house every day.

Tuesday is our election day. We’re voting for a new mayor and some city council members. And it’s been an interesting fall, too be sure.

Let me set this up for you: No mayor, in the ten-year history of this small developer’s town in the countryside of Utah, has ever served a full term. Not one.

The current sitting mayor was really an interim. He was appointed by the city council to take over after the former mayor faced charges of mishandling city funds. Our current mayor is actually a pretty nice guy. I wish he was running. But he took over with the understanding that he only wanted to be an interim mayor. He would do all he could, but he would not run for election. He made that very clear, primarily by not running.

So, now we have two choices. And one of them is following in a long-standing tradition of crookery. About two weeks ago, it was revealed that he was being investigated for real-estate fraud. Of course all along he was pointing the finger at his competition for being “in the pockets of the developers” and not keeping the interests of the city at heart.

About a week ago, he actually admitted to the charges, and was fined some $40,000 by some real estate board, and lost his real estate license. There was a news report interviewing some of those that were the victims of his fraud, now left with destroyed credit ratings and mortgages they can’t pay. One of them, surprisingly, was the family of his own daughter and son-in-law!

And yet, for some reason, he still seems to think he can continue to run for the seat! I have never seen a politician with chutzpah like this, I have to admit.

Meanwhile, there is still all kinds of mudslinging going on between him and his opponent. His response to the publicity has been that it has all been politically driven. I guess it was his opponent that made him cheat on the documents and artificially inflate the prices of the properties they forced his son-in-law to pretend to buy for him. But his opponent is supposedly owned by the developers that own Eagle Mountain, and if she's elected we can say goodbye to city parks and open spaces.

Then someone else (we're not sure who just yet, both sides blame each other) took out an ad in our town newspaper pointing out which candidates for mayor and council were happily married and which ones had been divorced. Because, that, of course, indicates how well they would run our city, right?

Don’t these people realize that this is a small town? After this is all done, we all still have to live together. We’re all still going to be neighbors, after all. Crazy…

Mark Hansen

1 comment:

  1. Mark, if you happen to run into Sue Hoffman or Jeff Snider out there in Eagle Mountain, please say "hi". I'll have to come out there again next time I'm in Utah.

    Take care,



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