It has been eight years since there has been competition in the Cottonwood Heights mayoral race. This year is different.
Incumbent Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Jr. started his bid for re-election with three opponents. That number has whittled down to one – Peyton Robinson. Cullimore, a 33-year resident of Cottonwood Heights, was a member of the city incorporation group in 2004. He is the city’s first and only mayor. He is chairman, president and CEO of Dynatronics Corporation, a medical device company his father founded in 1979.
Since becoming mayor he has worked “to create a city with low taxes, high-level services and a sense of place,” he says. “When electing a mayor voters are hiring a CEO for a city.” In the last eight years, the city has received $30 million in federal, state and municipal government grants, he says. “A mayor must be fiscally conservative and we’ve worked to aggressively seek funding from outside sources.”
Public safety is Cullimore’s number one priority, he says. “We have a good foundation and I want to maintain that. We’ve had very high success in reducing crime.”
(Many residents and business owners would argue this commitment has come with a heavy price. Cottonwood Heights has issued far more tickets for DUI in recent years than any other municipality near its size. Utah Stories learned that the CHPD also has a greater percentage of DUI cases thrown out of court than any other municipality. Cullimore was unaware of this record, and after we presented to him the facts from our GRAMA request, he didn’t wish to comment. As of the date of press, the business owners at the mouth of the canyon of Cottonwood Heights were holding a protest against the treatment they have received from Mayor Cullimore and the CHPD Editor’s Note)
Cullimore and his wife Laurie have five children. He wants to form a general land use plan for the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon, find a permanent home for city hall and work on economic development and construction projects.
“I’m absolutely committed to this community,” Cullimore says.
“I’ve dedicated lots of time to the community over the last ten years. I have a great love of community and I hope that’s apparent.”
Peyton Robinson feels he can do a better job than the competition, cares deeply for the city and believes he can make a difference. Robinson is married and has lived in Cottonwood Heights since 2004. A former firefighter, police officer and IRS attorney, Robinson is currently an attorney with the Lewis Hansen Law Firm specializing in tax, business and aviation law. “I haven’t felt that the city is headed in the right direction,” he says.”I would like to see tax dollars spent wisely. They should be given to schools, not developers.”
Robinson’s concerns include Cottonwood Heights development and he hopes to have a more balanced, community-based approach toward growth. “I keep seeing bigger, higher, more congested development at the mouth of the canyon,” he says. “I would like to have the public involved and their input appreciated.”
Taking a look at the police department is high on Robinson’s list if elected mayor. He’d like to examine what the city is getting for the department’s money – it has a large budget for relatively few people and small coverage area, he explains. In addition to development, public safety and use of city funds, Robinson would also like to organize monthly community meetings outside of city council meetings, possibly at residents’ homes.“It’s to get a sense of what’s going on and putting the public back in public service,” Robinson says. “I’m all in. I’m committed to this community and making it better.” §