Skip to main content

The City Journals

Mayor Cullimore and Councilman Tyler not seeking re-election

May 30, 2017 04:46PM ● By Cassie Goff

Councilman Tee Tyler has announced that he will not be seeking re-election. He is pictured here with his wife, Debbie. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights City)

By Cassie Goff  |  [email protected]

Cottonwood Heights will soon experience a big change. On March 30, Councilman Tee Tyler and Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore Jr. announced they will not be seeking re-election this year. After 19 years of combined service on the Cottonwood Heights City Council, this comes as quite a shock to the community. 

Tyler has served on the council since 2010 and has decided he “wants to give someone else a chance to serve.”

Tyler will be missed by the city council, staff members and many members of the multiple boards he currently sits on as the city representative.

“Tee Tyler is truly one of my favorite people in this world. Next to the love and commitment he has for his family and golf, Tee has shown an immense commitment in serving the residents of Cottonwood Heights. Tee just plain loves our city and wants the best for its residents,” Councilman Mike Peterson said. “When there’s an issue in his district needing attention, he always takes the time to gather all the facts before taking a position. He can regularly be found driving the neighborhoods, knocking on doors, or contacting those personally who have raised a concern or question needing his attention. ” 

Finance Director Dean Lundell echoed Peterson’s comments. 

“It’s obvious Tee has a great love for the community and is invested in its success,” Lundell said. “I’ve enjoyed my association with Tee over the past two years. I admire his consistent thoughtfulness in every area in which he has some responsibility.”

Cullimore has been with Cottonwood Heights since before its incorporation. Even though he has been working for the city for an immense period of time, his primary source of income comes from his CEO position with Dynatronics. After many months of contemplation, Cullimore said he realized the demands of being a CEO have grown significantly and require his full attention. 

Technically, Cullimore’s position of mayor has always been part-time. That didn’t stop him from quickly developing a habit of working full-time hours for the city after his election.

“Kelvyn works all hours of the day for this city. It’s not uncommon for the city council members, city attorney, or city manager to get an email at 2 a.m., or any time in the night,” Petersen said. “He’s a tireless worker for our city, and bottom line we are much further along as a young city than we would have been without his leadership,” Peterson said. “We’re not sure if he ever sleeps.”

Many of the city staff members were in shock after this announcement. No one knows what the city’s future has in store and many are disheartened by the news of his future absence.

“When I heard about the mayor’s announcement, I was truly saddened,” Assistant Emergency Manager Mike Halligan said. “I joined the emergency preparedness program three years ago. The support from the mayor has been tremendous. He’s been there to support and to partner with residents, to make sure we are prepared. We are in a better spot because of his vision and his role.”

Police Chief Robby Russo has worked with Cullimore since the city’s incorporation 12 years ago.

“Kelvyn is a uniter,” Russo said. “He is able to bring all faces together. He is able to make the compromises, and change the concepts or points to where they are acceptable to everybody.”

Even the newer city staff members will feel the loss of Mayor Cullimore. Lundell has been with Cottonwood Heights for almost two years now.

“I’ve never worked with an elected official who pays such great attention to detail as does Mayor Cullimore,” Lundell said.

Underlying these stories shared by some of the people who work closely with Cullimore on a daily basis are some strong emotions, which are not unidirectional. 

“I have worked hard to establish credibility of the city with other bodies and in that process developed many relationships that I value that will likely diminish when I am out of office. It is the interaction with the citizens, other elected officials and city staff that I will miss the most,” Cullimore said. “We are very fortunate to have an engaged citizenry and one of the most rewarding parts of the job has been meeting and engaging with many wonderful citizens who share the objective of making Cottonwood Heights a great city.”

For the future, Cullimore plans to spend his time working and with his family.

“I have 11 grandchildren and number 12 on the way. There’s nothing I like more than being with the grandchildren. It is one of the blessings of growing older,” Cullimore said.

Cullimore wished the future mayor the best of luck.

“Whoever is elected, I hope they enjoy the same support from elected officials, staff and citizens that I have enjoyed. I hope they have a strong passion for making Cottonwood Heights the best city in the state,” Cullimore said. “And finally, I wish them an extra two hours in every day to address the multiple duties associated with being mayor. It is much easier to be a part-time mayor if you have 26-hour days.”

For the 2017 municipal election, the positions of mayor, District 3 council member and District 4 council member will be voted on. Each position is a four-year term.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, August 15 (if necessary) and the general election will be held on Tuesday, November 7.

Ballots will be mailed during the middle of July for the primary election and the second week of October for general election.

During the summer, residents can find out who will be running for these positions, as the candidate-filing period is scheduled between June 1 and June 7. Additionally, announcements may be made on various social media sites, including the city’s pages. One of these announcements came from the current Councilman Peterson, who has formally announced his candidacy for mayor.