Small Town Politics II

Right before the primary election, I complained about how nasty our local elections were. To put everything in perspective, I probably should have disclosed a little bit more about the political history of our fair city. The town I live is only 11 years old. During that time the town has had 10 mayors. Some have resigned for personal reasons. Others have resigned because of legal troubles. Marathon Girl and I have seen three mayors run the town in the three years we've lived here. The guy who was mayor when we bought our house stepped down after being convicted of a misdemeanor for falsely reporting his own kidnapping. The second mayor resigned after being charged with felonies for misappropriating public funds. The mayor who was appointed to replace him as so far managed to avoid any trouble. However, he only wanted to fill in until someone could be elected this November and declined run for office.

But trouble doesn't stop at the mayor's office. Not in our little town, anyway. A week after the election a member city council, who received enough votes in the primary to make it to the general election, was charged with accepting $10,000 from the town's main developer to finish her basement in 2005. Accepting the money wasn't illegal. However, Utah law requires public officials to receive gifts to disclose the gift. This council member never disclosed the "gift."

Ironically, according to news reports, the council member who reported her "mistake" doesn't have a squeaky clean reputation either. He has admitted to "double-dipping into city funds in 2005 by using a city credit card to buy a hard drive for his laptop, then asking for city reimbursement. He paid back the money and charges were never filed."

And then to top it off last week in another high profile incident, a former city councilman killed himself with a handgun as he was flying his powered parachute. According to police the event was in someway related to a domestic disturbance incident.

It's Chicago-style politics without the big city atmosphere. (No offense, ChicagoJo.) Personally I'd rather have boring, small-town politics instead of this mess.

And people wonder why I have not interest in running for public office. Who'd want to be part of this mess?