Cedar Hills Mayor won’t seek re-election; close to accomplishing goals

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Cedar Hills Mayor Gary Gygi (center) — pictured here with the Cedar Hills Family Festival Committee — won’t seek re-election in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Cedar Hills)

Cedar Hills Mayor Gary Gygi will not seek re-election this fall.

It’s not that he’s tired of the job. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy it. It’s not because of health reasons.

“I’m close to accomplishing most of the goals I’ve had,” Gygi explained. “Some elected officials stay on the stage too long. You need to exit on your own terms. I love public service. Maybe someday I’ll do something like this again. I’ve loved it. Being the mayor of Cedar Hills been one of the greatest honors of my life.”

Gygi ran in 2011 for a seat on the city council and won. Four months after being sworn in, Mayor Eric Richardson resigned. Shortly after Richardson’s resignation, Gygi was appointed to full-time mayor. He ran successfully in 2013 and his term ends at the end of 2017.

Looking back at his tenure as mayor, Gygi feels good about what he, his staff and the residents have accomplished, calling the state of the city “fantastic” in terms of its fiscal outlook.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been in better financial shape that we are right now,” Gygi said. “When I started six years ago, there are certain things the city likes to do — like the Family Festival and the Pancake Breakfast — but you can’t do them unless you get the numbers right. It was important to me to be able to afford stuff like that. I’m a center-right Reagan Republican. I’m a solution-driven guy. I believe that less regulation is better than more and less taxes are better than more. I believe less of a government imprint on your life is better than more.”

“I’m close to accomplishing most of the goals I’ve had. Some elected officials stay on the stage too long. You need to exit on your own terms.” — Cedar Hills Mayor Gary Gygi

When Gygi started his term as mayor, Cedar Hills was $16 million in debt and now the debt is $14.5 million. When he started his term, the percentage of residents’ property tax that the city received was 24 percent. Now, it’s about 19 percent.

“Hopefully that puts a little bit more money in the pockets of residents,” Gygi said.

Cedar Hills, which has a population of about 10,000, is celebrating its 40th anniversary as an established as a community this year.

Gygi is grateful for the time he’s had as mayor.

“I’m not deciding not to run because I’m tired. I have lots of energy,” he said. “Everything has it’s time and season. For the most part, my goals are completed. This seems like the right thing to do. I’m confident that Cedar Hills will pick a good mayor and things will continue.”

Besides being mayor, Gygi owns Gygi Capital Management, helping clients with retirement and financial planning.

He’s not ruling out a run at a future political office. If he chooses to pursue that, it will probably at the state level.

“I don’t consider myself a politician,” he said. “I view myself as a business guy who just raised his hand and said, ‘I’m willing to help.’”

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Jeff Call has covered BYU sports since 1993, including the past 16 years for the Deseret News. He, his wife and six sons live in Cedar Hills.

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