ST. GEORGE — After accepting a role as Governor-elect Spencer Cox’s commissioner of the Utah Insurance Department, St. George Mayor Jon Pike will step down Jan. 4, the city announced Monday.
“The offer came Friday,” Pike told St. George News. “Of course, it’s subject to a background check and senate approval. So, as of Jan. 5, I will be the interim state insurance commissioner.”
Pike was named along with 19 others to Cox’s senior cabinet in a press release Monday morning.
“After a thorough interview process, I’m convinced each of these candidates will serve the citizens of Utah exceptionally well,” Cox said. “Each has impeccable qualifications, brings fresh ideas and, most importantly, is devoted to public service. We’re lucky to have such brilliant minds willing to serve the public.”
Pike said that his first task will be to meet his new team.
“I look forward to spending some time getting to know these new people and processes,” Pike said. “Those early stages will be about setting the foundation.”
Raised in Salt Lake City, Pike has held several positions with Intermountain Healthcare since 1990. He was elected to the St. George City Council in 2007 and has served as mayor since 2013. He currently works as regional operations director at SelectHealth, though he will resign from his role there as well.
Pike said he is proud of many things he’s accomplished as mayor, but he praised his colleagues and community.
“We worked together to plan more and to make that planning a more public process,” Pike said. “Our State of the City meetings were all about action plans and assessing whether those plans worked.”
Along with public safety, parks and water, Pike said he chose to focus on quality of life issues, like connecting trails and building tunnels beneath the freeway.
“I want people who visit, or move here, to feel welcome,” Pike said. “We welcome the world.”
He added that he’s excited to see Tech Ridge developed.
“The offices we’re building up there will go a long way towards convincing tech companies to come here — and to stay,” Pike said. “They’re bringing jobs and wages to this city, so we want them to feel welcome.”
Pike said that, even in the face of the challenges that COVID-19 has brought, he and his colleagues didn’t lose sight of the twin pillars of activity and optimism.
“It’s more than just rebranding,” Pike said. “We really see ourselves that way. Because of the moderate approach that Gov. Herbert has taken, though it has received its share of criticism, we’ve done much better than a lot of other places.”
Councilman Jimmie Hughes will act as mayor pro tempore while the council takes applications to replace Pike for the one year remaining on his term. The council may appoint any qualified candidate within 30 days of Pike’s resignation.
The next mayoral election will take place in Nov. 2021.
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