Leeds councilman tries to unseat incumbent mayor

L-R: Incumbent Mayor Wayne Peterson held off challenger Elliott Sheltman in the Leeds mayoral race Nov. 7, 2017. | Photo illustration by St. George News. Photos courtesy of Leeds mayoral candidates, St. George News

LEEDS — The town of Leeds has six candidates vying for three seats in its general municipal election Nov. 7.

Incumbent Mayor Wayne Peterson is running for re-election and is being challenged by current Town Council member Elliott Sheltman.

Four candidates are vying for two seats on the five-member Town Council, which includes the mayor as a voting member.

Read more: Four candidates seeking two open seats on Leeds town council

If Sheltman wins the mayor’s race, he would vacate his term as Town Council member, and his replacement would be appointed by the council later, Town Clerk/Recorder Kristi Barker said. If Sheltman does not win the mayor’s race, he will retain his seat on the Town Council for the rest of his term, which expires in 2019.

The two mayoral candidates were asked by the St. George News to provide a short statement about themselves and their motivations for seeking office. The statements, edited slightly for clarity and style, are provided here in the order candidates will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, as randomly assigned by the lieutenant governor’s office.

Wayne Peterson, incumbent candidate for Leeds mayor in the Nov. 7, 2017, general municipal election. | Photo courtesy of candidate, St. George News

Wayne Peterson

I was raised on Long Island and graduated from Cornell University and the University of Chicago, after which I began a 20-year career as a commodities trader with Morgan Stanley in New York. With my wife, Karen, we raised our three children in suburban New Jersey.

After completing my career at Morgan Stanley in 2003, as president of Morgan Stanley Commodities Management Inc., I became involved with the local high school board of education, where I ultimately served as president.  Upon moving to Utah in 2011, I started regularly attending Leeds Town Council meetings and was appointed to the town council in 2013. In 2014, I began my current four-year term as Leeds mayor.

I believe Leeds is a wonderful small town, defined by its residents, spectacular views and rich history, all of which must be appreciated, maintained and preserved.

One of the challenges facing a small town is being able to provide services without the economies of scale available to large cities. Two years ago, Leeds adopted a multi-year plan to maintain its roads, which continues to be systematically implemented. Grants have been obtained to significantly supplement traditional resources in this area.

One of the benefits of a small town is the opportunity to know many of your neighbors. I have worked hard to continue the traditional events which bring the town together and appreciate the enthusiasm which has recently been expressed by members of the community wanting to add to the number of these events throughout the year.  Expanding these events will be a lot of work, but will add to what makes Leeds special.

The General Plan for Leeds is being updated. I look forward to having the opportunity to work on implementing it over the next four years. The mayor’s job is not to do what he wants for his town, but rather to work with the community to achieve its collective goals. With its people and its setting, there’s no place I’d rather be serving as mayor than Leeds.

Elliott Sheltman, candidate for Leeds mayor in the Nov. 7, 2017, general municipal election. File photo taken during a Leeds Town Council meeting, May 23, 2012 | Photo courtesy of GetInvolvedLeeds.org, St. George News

Elliott Sheltman

I’m hesitant to make any campaign promises. I’ve lived in Leeds for almost 15 years and I have learned, sadly, that most of the promises made by local candidates elected in the chill of the fall are largely forgotten by the next summer.

However, here’s a couple:

The town of Leeds has a book full of well thought-out ordinances. I would enforce them. As mayor of Leeds, I would work with the other council members as a partner and we will work on town issues as a group. Part of that “group” will also include our local citizens. I’ll also comment on the issue of sewers, since the idea has been brought up again this year. Leeds wasn’t designed for sewers and it would be a logistical and zoning nightmare to try to introduce them into our community now. Any new sewer options necessary for new growth or new development should exclude existing homes and new sewer services shall be located far away from town and paid for by the entity that wants to bring that growth here. This was the plan originally promised by our local representatives many years ago.

I have been involved in various town issues over the time that I have lived here. I’m on the LDWA water board (local water server for Leeds) and I have served on both the planning commission and the town council. I was also a Washington County delegate who represented Leeds, and its citizens, for two election cycles.

As stated earlier, I have lived in Southern Utah for 15 years. I am a medical illustrator and my wife, a speech therapist, and I produce pictorial-based medical books that are designed to help therapists explain physiology to their patients.

Resources

Leeds Town website

Official candidate list and contact information

Statewide elections and voter registration information

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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