HEYBURN — Incumbent Heyburn mayoral candidate Cleo Gallegos will face a challenger, Mark Rosa, in the Nov. 5 election.
Gallegos, 75 is a former para-professional at Heyburn Elementary School, who quit her job nearly two years ago to devote full-time hours to the part-time mayor’s position. She is running for a second four-year term as mayor and served as a Heyburn councilwoman for eight years.
The part-time mayor’s position pays $1,300 a month.
Rosa, 59, is a general contractor and he owns a property management company. Rosa is the vice-chairman of the Mini-Cassia Friends of NRA committee.
Gallegos said the top issues facing the city will be continued work on sewer upgrades and the city will soon need to address replacing aging water pipes.
The city will also tackle beautification projects by working with businesses along U.S. Highway 30 and by going block by block to encourage residents to take pride in their property, Gallegos said.
Rosa agreed that city infrastructure is a top issue but he disagrees with the city’s use of judicial confirmation for the $12.4 million wastewater bond.
“The judicial confirmation really upset me,” said Rosa. “They went around the citizens.”
Gallegos said the judicial confirmation was the best option for the city because the city was facing hefty fines for being out of compliance and an election would have delayed the process by months and cost the city extra money for an election. It was not an option for a city to perform the upgrades, she said, it was mandated.
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“I encourage any citizen to come by if they have any questions,” Gallegos said.
Both candidates said managing the city’s growth is a top concern.
Rosa wants to see if city employees can perform some of the labor on the sewer and water projects, to save the city money.
He is the best candidate for mayor, he said, because of his “strong background in how things work.”
“I’ll be on top of how things work, so the city can be as efficient as it can be,” Rosa said.
Gallegos said she’s the best candidate because of her experience and knowledge. Her friendships within the community allow her to know what residents want in the city.
She has also put in a lot of work on the city’s comprehensive plan.
Gallegos said it should be a requirement for a citizen to serve at least two years on a city council prior to taking on the mayoral role.
“If they don’t, I think it is a disservice to the employees of the city and to the citizens,” she said.