New Year New Council
Feb 01, 2018 10:00AM
● By Cassie Goff
Mayor Peterson has been sworn in as the second ever mayor of Cottonwood Heights. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights City)
New Council [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
On Jan. 2, three new members of the Cottonwood Heights City Council were sworn in. Tali Bruce will serve as council member for District 3, replacing Mike Peterson. Christine Mikell will serve as council member for District 4, replacing Tee Tyler. Peterson will serve as mayor, replacing Kelvyn Cullimore. All three will serve four-year terms.
“It’s a pretty big event to have a new mayor in the city,” Councilmember Mike Shelton said. “Saying goodbye to the old mayor is the biggest change in the city’s history.”
When 2017 began, Peterson planned to run for re-election as District 3 council member. However, when Cullimore announced he would not be running for re-election, Peterson reconsidered.
“I decided to run for mayor after being approached by several people from different areas within our city who encouraged me to run,” Peterson said. His continued desire to serve and love for Cottonwood Heights also influenced his decision.
On election night, Peterson sat with his family and friends over dinner. The mayoral election results were announced by the Salt Lake County’s Clerk Office at 8:00 pm. “It was an exciting and humbling moment to see and feel the overwhelming support,” he said.
“I’ve been in public service for over 40 years: 30 years with Salt Lake County in Parks and Recreation, and 15 years with the special taxing district for the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center,” Peterson said during the swearing-in ceremony.
Peterson graduated from the University of Utah with an urban recreation and parks administration degree. After years of working with community programs, he helped with the incorporation of Cottonwood Heights in 2005. He has lived within the city for 40 years.
Peterson will have many roles to play, “but the most important role is to aggressively listen to our residents to gain a general feeling as to their needs and concerns,” Peterson said. The information gained from listening to residents help in guiding decisions to create legislation and protecting the quality of life acquired within the city.
“I truly want to ensure that the quality of life we all enjoy and have learned to appreciate in Cottonwood Heights be maintained and enhanced for years to come,” Peterson said.
During his time serving as District 3 council member, he has been involved with many projects within the city. He is excited to continue to work on some of these projects as mayor. One project specifically has his attention.
“I’m excited to work with Salt Lake County and the residents of the Crestwood area to update the Crestwood Regional Park Master Plan and to ask Salt Lake County for initial funding for development,” Peterson said.
Peterson is also “excited for the opportunity to work with the new members of the council and for the fresh perspective they will bring.”
After reciting the oath of office, Peterson publicly thanked his family. “The various positions I have had over the years require that I am often away from my family, and away from home, to fulfil my duties and responsibilities. Though all those years, (my wife) has supported me 100 percent.”
Peterson will serve on the Central Wasatch Commission, Untied Fire Authority Board, Conference of Mayors, Council of Governments, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Legislative Planning Committee with Utah League of Cities and Towns, and the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
To contact Peterson, call 801-944-7005 or email [email protected]
Born and raised in Utah, council member for District 3 Tali Bruce attended local schools throughout her high school and college education. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a business management degree, after spending her sophomore year abroad. After her time in England, she realized her desire to travel, so she attained a job as a flight attendant.
Bruce decided to run for local government shortly after Trump’s nomination. “Bernie Sanders was looking into the camera and said, ‘you need to run for office,’ and I thought, ‘he’s talking to me!’” Bruce said.
While trekking along the campaign trail, Bruce knocked on many doors within her district. “I was pleasantly surprised as to the number of like-minded people in my community. There were so many who didn’t feel they had a voice in government at all. I want everyone to be heard and represented,” she said.
“I grew up in a world assuming everyone was pretty much kind, good and loving. Then along came social media,” Bruce said during the swearing-in ceremony. “I realized I want to be a voice for those who feel underrepresented. I hold an ideal where society is compassionate and full of opportunity. I ran for office because I love my city and felt compelled to serve.”
In addition to the required oath of office, Bruce gave her own oath to the residents of Cottonwood Heights. “I will make myself available, I will listen and I will strive to understand. I believe that Cottonwood Heights can be a loving, inclusive safe haven of supporting neighbors.”
Bruce plans to host an open house the second Sunday of every month. “Accessibility outside of city hall will be an asset for people to share their concerns in a comfortable way. I invite constituents to bring me their concerns, and more importantly, their solutions,” she said.
One of the main desires from residents within the city is to preserve and enhance green space. Bruce hopes to make improvements reflecting this desire, as she has proposed vertical walls to increase green space within the city. “They are a unique concept that could fit here,” Bruce said.
Specifically in District 3, Bruce hopes the gravel pit development east of Wasatch Boulevard will provide opportunity for green space. “The gravel pit will be a showcase of Cottonwood Heights. It will involve green space and a stunning view of our valley. It could really be something special.”
During the swearing-in ceremony, Bruce publicly thanked her family. “They have had my back throughout this process. I have five amazing children, who are keeping our colleges employed. If it weren’t for their success and independence, I wouldn’t be as empowered to take on this new venture.”
Bruce will serve on the Cottonwood Heights Historic Committee, Emergency Planning Committee, Mosquito Abatement Board and as liaison to the Cottonwood Heights Business Association.
To contact Councilmember Bruce, call 801-944-7037 or email tbruce.ch.utah.gov.
Council member for District 4 Chrstine Mikell looks forward to serving on the city council. “As a mother of three children and an owner of a local renewable energy business, I believe my background will provide the council with a unique and different perspective,” she said.
Mikell grew up in New Jersey before moving to Tennessee as a student of Vanderbilt University. After graduation, she moved to Wyoming where she taught at a local science and elementary school, in addition to coaching the high school soccer team. She then moved to Thailand where she taught and worked for an international engineering firm. Later, she moved to Utah to teach math at Wasatch Academy and moved into Salt Lake City to complete her MBA at the University of Utah. In 2002, she established the first Utah Wind and Solar Conference as she worked to promote clean air policies with state legislature, before moving to Cottonwood Heights two years later.
During her campaign, Mikell attended cottage meetings and realized those meetings “gave folks who are not able to attend city council meetings an opportunity to hear what the city is doing and a forum for me to hear what is important to the community,” she said. She hopes to continue those meetings and welcomes anyone who would like to organize them.
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is one of the many city projects Mikell looks forward to. “There is interest from Salt Lake County, our congressional delegation, and other agencies and nonprofits to acquire land for the trail, which will provide additional recreation opportunities for the community,” she said.
Specifically in District 4, “many of my neighbors are concerned about the recent UDOT project on Wasatch Boulevard. It will be important for our community to develop solutions to the UDOT changes as we head into winter. We have a vested interest in Wasatch Boulevard, as it is owned and maintained by UDOT, and need to continue to be vigilant on how it affects us,” Mikell said.
“We want to maintain the focus on the importance of collaboration. I am hoping that the council continues to improve the character of the city as we work on the Wasatch Boulevard and the Open Space Master Plans. I would like to see Cottonwood Heights become a leader in walkable neighborhoods and open space,” Mikell said.
Mikell has received much feedback from residents about keeping the community safe. “We want to continue to foster strong relationships of mutual trust between the Cottonwood Heights police force and our community to maintain public safety and effective policing,” she said.
“I’m doing this for my children and my family. I think it’s so important that the community that we live in is a community that we want to be in. Let’s continue to improve Cottonwood Heights,” Mikell said during the swearing-in ceremony.
Mikell will serve on the Jordan River Commission, Association of Municipal Councils and the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
To contact Mikell, call 801-944-7014 or email [email protected]