WEST HAVEN -- Mayor Brian Melaney, who has served for the past eight years, has chosen not to run for re-election, leaving two candidates -- Sharon Bolos and Mark Randall -- vying to fill the four-year seat.
Also, four candidates seek to fill two open seats on the city council. They are: incumbent Shawn Smith, Randy Hunter, Summer Palmer and J.D. Packard.
Election day is set for Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Bolos, 45 and a current councilwoman, says fiscal accountability is crucial and the city needs a balance in maintaining the rural feel of the community while responsibly building commercial areas in order to fund the city.
"My financial education and experience are critical in guiding the city through the next several years," Bolos said. "As mayor, I will move the city forward in the fiscally sound direction it has been heading over the past several years. I get results working with people by listening first and gaining trust. If elected, I will assure a seamless transition to new leadership with a rigorous discipline on fiscal responsibility."
Randall, 63 and lifelong resident of Weber County, says he brings 30 years of experience as an independent business owner and CEO of the Advantage Equipment Rental and Trading Post in West Haven which has provided the city with sales tax revenue based on $10 million in sales.
"I want to be mayor to create plans and policies that will keep the city an affordable, safe place to live and to develop an economic plan that not only seeks new business and industry, but also looks for ways to help existing business in the city as it grows and expands," Randall said.
Smith, 51, says he is running for re-election because he wants to keep the city financially sound and help manage the growth that continues to be a challenge.
"There will always be people who want the city to stay the same, others who want it to grow, and others who want to develop their own property. I have worked to help prepare a master plan for the city so that growth and development will complement the city and its citizens," Smith said. "I hope the citizens will re-elect me so I can continue to work for them for four more years."
Hunter, 55, says the city is a rural community that is experiencing rapid growth and the challenge for city government is to ensure that this growth occurs in a well-organized manner so that residents can continue to experience "Country Living."
"Currently the city is debt free and I want to ensure that we continue this path of fiscal responsibility," Hunter said. "If we can attract suitable businesses, we will be able to continue to have a desirable community for our residents without the need for city taxes."
"I am a fiscal conservative and desire to have our city government represented with that type of leadership," Hunter said.
Palmer, 39, says West Haven is a hidden gem and he wants to re-visit the master plan, seek public input and plan according to the citizen's desires in order to keep it that way.
"I want to see a destination business development on the east side of the freeway in order to maintain our rural land on the west, while still bringing in the tax revenue to the city," Palmer said. "I am committed to maintaining a combination of rural splendor, family friendly communities, and revenue producing businesses through proper management of city resources, strategic planning, and listening and responding to the citizens."
Packard, a local dentist, said an important issue for residents is property rights and if their property is properly zoned then they should be able to use the land as the law allows.
"Your property is yours and that includes your money. As a city, we should have a hard time approving anything that takes hard-earned cash out of your pocket," Packard said.
He says it's necessary to thoughtfully attract business to West Haven and to also plan infrastructure that will support its future.