Cliff Wheeler, councilman for nine years, sworn in as
new Fairview mayor
By Rhett Wilkinson
FAIRVIEW—The Fairview City Council unanimously voted to select Cliff Wheeler as the city’s new mayor on Thursday night.
Wheeler was the preferred choice among two other candidates, Kim Cooley and Monica Hendry.
“It will be quite a responsibility,” Wheeler said at the end of the 13-minute-long meeting, which was designed specifically to appoint a new mayor.
To laughs, a councilman asked Wheeler if he was familiar with the issues facing the city. Wheeler has been a councilman for nine years after having been on the city’s planning and zoning commission for five.
“I believe I know every issue,” Wheeler said.
“You know me. I have been around for quite a while,” Wheeler said when introducing himself. “It would be an honor to be able to fill the position for the rest of the term.”
The term ends in January.
Wheeler added that he would garner much from the city council, citing the need for a “collective effort.”
“I will really need to depend on the city council … because not one person can run a city by themselves,” Wheeler told the Sanpete Messenger the next day. “It takes an entire team.”
Wheeler was born and raised in Milburn and for a short time, lived out of the area; but he has lived in the Fairview area for almost 45 years.
Wheeler got involved in public service because he “saw a need to be involved and a desire to help.” He considers himself fortunate to work on the restoration of the Peterson Dance Hall. He helped restart the North Bend Entertainers in an effort to raise money so the city could restore the dance hall. He’s also been on the Fairview Museum board and the Sanpete Valley Healthcare Foundation board.
“I’ve just always been involved in the community,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said the city has “a lot of uphill battles going on in keeping up with the current growth trends.” That includes actively working on keeping up its water and sewer infrastructure; ensuring that the city’s electric department is upgraded to keep pace with the growth; and making sure ordinances “are relevant to today’s world.”
Then there are everyday challenges that come in the door. Around two weeks ago, Wheeler took care of the front desk. He was amazed by the amount of phone calls that came in. It was interesting to see what “the people” needed, Wheeler said, noting that the city is at “work for the people” to “ensure that they have a good quality of life here.”
Wheeler is replacing former Mayor David Taylor. Taylor’s shoes are “big shoes to fill,” Wheeler said.
“Mayor Taylor did a really good job and he’s an awesome person and it will be difficult to do all the jobs that he did,” Wheeler said. “He was fortunate to be retired and could be at the city hall every day that we are open. I, on the other hand, have a job, so … that will be a challenge for me … it will be hard to keep up with the pace that he did.”
That’s why Wheeler must rely on the council, Wheeler said.
Wheeler may put his hat in the mayoral ring again after January, but it depends how the next few months go, Wheeler said.