FARR WEST — A new mayor has been appointed in this community following an emotional meeting at which city council members discussed the loss of beloved longtime Mayor Jimmie Papageorge.
Councilman Lee Dickemore was chosen as the new mayor, leaving a vacancy on the city council. The vacancy will be filled at the next council meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 4, at City Hall, 1896 N 1800 West.
Three applications were received to fill the one year remaining on Papageorge’s term. The other two candidates were former planning commissioner Ken Phippen and Councilman Timothy Shupe.
Dickemore received three votes, voting for himself, as did Councilwoman Ava Painter and Councilman Tom Burkland. Shupe received two votes, voting for himself along with a vote from Councilman Paul Dinsdale.
Dickemore said he had a lot of pressure in the form of phone calls to apply for the position and it was not an easy decision.
“I tried to resist this until the last day when my application was put in,” said Dickemore.
Prior to the vote, Dickemore, 66, told council members and the approximately 80 people in the packed audience that he has lived in Farr West City all his life.
He explained that he had a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree and was principal at Roy High School before retiring four years ago. Dickemore said as principal he had handled a million-dollar budget.
“I’ve been on beautification for seven years,” said Dickemore of his efforts to keep the city clean and beautiful. “I’ve dealt with all kinds of people in the city and I took a little pressure off Mayor Papageorge. I have been over the Recreation Center since I’ve been on the council.”
Dickemore said he had also been part of the Mosquito Abatement program on behalf of the city and worked with seniors in Farr West.
“I own a 20-acre farm and I like the rural atmosphere here,” said Dickemore, “The key things are the development of 2700 North with Pleasant View. We need to be smart and wise in making decisions. This could be a real plus for our community.”
Shupe said he would like to see Papageorge’s vision for the city continue. He said he would like to see commercial development in the future, for if that does not occur property taxes would have to be raised.
Ken Phippen, a self-described computer geek who works at ATK, said he was not a follower, or a dictator, or a land baron. He termed himself a key player, a leader and hard worker. He said he could never fill Papageorge’s shoes, but he would be honored to follow in his footsteps as mayor.
“We are going to have a Christmas party and say goodbye to our mayor (Papageorge),” said Dickemore, “I cannot fill his shoes, but the city will continue to run smoothly.”
Painter said it was a difficult decision to select a new mayor. She said all three candidates would have been qualified to lead the city forward.
“This was not something we took lightly. Quite honestly, I kept expecting Jimmie to walk through the door,” said Painter.