EAGLE MOUNTAIN — After a unanimous vote by the City Council, David Lifferth was sworn in Tuesday as interim mayor of Eagle Mountain.
Lifferth was chosen over resident Chad Larson, the only other applicant for the position. He will serve the remaining five months of the term left open by the resignation of former mayor Kelvin Bailey on June 30.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to serve my community," Lifferth said after the meeting. "I've lived here for eight years next month, and I'm excited to contribute now in this way."
Lifferth candidly confessed that he has no goals for his time in office. He said he is happy with the direction Eagle Mountain is going, and he believes his job is to keep things moving slowly until a duly-elected mayor can assume the post.
"I realize I have no mandate of the people. I have no political capital," Lifferth said. "I will be a caretaker."
For his part, Larson was not put off by the vote. In fact, he had nothing but praise for the man the council picked.
"I think David is the better choice," he said. "I've been camping with him on numerous occasions, and I love his management style. I was amazed by the way he let the Scouts take charge."
The council made its decision after each of the candidates gave public statements and answered questions from members of the City Council. Most of the questions focused on the availability and commitment level of the applicants, and the answers to those questions seemed to be the deciding factor.
Larson told the council that he was going to keep working full time at his job but would dedicate 20 hours a week to the mayor position. Some members of the council balked at that availability, then warmed up to Lifferth when he told them his company would allow him to leave from Aug. 15 to Nov. 15.
Lifferth said he hopes the mayor elected in November will assume the position then — instead of January — but said he will ask for a further leave if necessary.
Larson said he didn't agree that the mayor needs to work full time but respected the council's decision.
"I don't think it's a full-time job," he said. "But I was hoping to see for myself. Who knows, maybe I would have got in there and had a revelation and realized that it's more difficult than I thought."
"This isn't an easy decision," Councilwoman Lynn Strousse said. "We have wonderful people out there, but we can only choose one."
For his five months of service, Lifferth will be compensated according to the pay structure the City Council approved June 29. The package calls for about $70,000 annually in salary and benefits.
Prior to approving Lifferth as interim mayor, the council entertained a motion to hold a public hearing regarding potential changes to the structure of the mayor's salary and benefits package.