KAYSVILLE — What sparked Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt’s interest in public office was on the city’s website. In 2007, while he paid his utility bill online, he noticed a post soliciting applications for a midterm appointment to the city council.
“For whatever reason, the idea kept coming back to me,” said Hiatt, candidate for Davis County Commission. Once he decided to apply, “I read the previous three years of city council minutes.”
Hiatt didn’t get that job. From 18 candidates, he was a finalist, missing out by one vote when Mayor Neka Roundy broke a council tie, voting for his opponent. Afterward, he was concerned that his impression to go for it ended with him not getting the job. Eventually, he realized, “this is what was supposed to get me interested” in public service.
“I attended every council meeting for the next year,” he said. When he ran a year later, he was elected to the council. Two years later he defeated Roundy and became mayor. He was re-elected in 2014.
Hiatt was born in Clearfield, near Clearfield High School, of which he’s a graduate. “All of North Davis County was my stomping grounds,” he said.
After high school, he spent two years in an LDS mission in the Philippines, the only time he’s lived anywhere besides Davis County, he said.
Hiatt attended Weber State University prior to beginning a career in the financial services industry. He now runs Wasatch Capital Mortgage from his home in Kaysville. He and his wife Brooke have three boys: Cayden, 12, Cameron, 9, and Easton, 8. The family enjoys “anything outdoors,” but not extreme, Hiatt said. Board games during Family Home Evening are also a tradition.
First impressions with his wife, Brooke, were at the Centerville Super Target, Hiatt said. He worked at the bank inside Target, she was a front-end supervisor at the store. They were married on Valentine’s Day 2000.
MUNICIPAL EXPERIENCE A PLUS FOR COMMISSION
Hiatt announced his candidacy for the commission early this year. At the county convention, he garnered the party’s nomination. He faces Randy Elliott in the June 28 primary. Elliott, of Farmington, gathered enough signatures to qualify for the primary ballot.
“I think I bring a real unique perspective (serving) as mayor of a city,” Hiatt said. Commissioners need to listen to the cities’ leaders, he added. The county has a big impact on cities and needs their input.
“It’s important to have that municipal insight,” Hiatt said. Serving in Kaysville provides him a “collaborative” leadership style which encourages diverse viewpoints and strong decision-making.
“I don’t ever go into a situation saying, ‘I’ve got the perfect plan.’ ... The best ideas may come from others on the ground, Hiatt said.
His qualifications for the commission mirror John Petroff Jr., the commissioner he is seeking to replace. Petroff, also a former mayor and councilman — of West Point — has endorsed him, Hiatt said.
Another Davis County mayor, Layton’s Bob Stevenson, also supports Hiatt. “He brings an honesty and an ability to see and understand future needs of the county,” Stevenson said.
“He’s a fiscal conservative,” Stevenson said. Among his peers, he’s liked and respected, a leader who won’t play favorites and is a “team player,” he added.
BALANCING THE CAMPAIGN WITH CITY DUTIES
Seeking the commission seat requires a fine balance to make sure city duties are not neglected. Nevertheless, campaigning takes “several hours a day,” he said. Sharing tasks with volunteers, putting up signs, having cottage meetings at nights, are all part of the work.
Being peppered with questions from delegates at the county convention was rewarding, Hiatt said. “I was better vetted in this convention process” than in his three previous campaigns, he said.
“Steve is really great at being a leader,” said Brooke Hiatt, his wife. She appreciates his commitment to his family and that he “puts me and the boys first.”
She understands campaigns are hard work and that not everyone approached will become a supporter. “Sometimes I wish people would know how much time he spends trying to understand an issue,” Brooke Hiatt said. But she recognizes it’s not personal, that people have their own viewpoints.
He lists several reasons he’s the best candidate, including his skills as a collaborator, a willingness to get into the trenches of public policy, and a commitment to transparent government. “I will go out and engage folks. ... (I will) look at all possible sides of an issue,” Hiatt said.