EAST IDAHO ELECTS: David Ogden faces challenger Steven Adams in Sugar City mayoral race
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SUGAR CITY — Sugar City has seen its share of political upheaval over the past year with the sudden resignation of several city councilmembers, lawsuits against the city, a failed recall election of incumbent Mayor David Ogden, and the appointment of new councilmembers by Gov. Brad Little.
Ten people are running in Sugar City. Eight candidates are running for two council seats, and Steven Adams is challenging Ogden.
The council candidates include Joy Ball, Brent Barrus, Steve Davis, and L. Gene Jeppson for a four-year seat on the council; and Connie Fogle, Clyde Haacke, Catherine Nielsen, and DeVerl Stoddard for a two-year seat.
The election will be held Nov. 5.
Steven Adams, a former tank commander-turned-educator, is taking his first crack at running for mayor. Adams grew up in Blackfoot and settled down with his family in Sugar City 11 years ago.
He works full-time develop online programs at Brigham Young University-Idaho offered to students through BYU-Pathway Worldwide as director of domestic online programs. He is hoping to add the title of mayor of Sugar City.
“The main thing I’d like to see in Sugar City, and the reason why I chose to run, is that I think we can just do a lot better in how we treat each other and work through our disagreements,” Adams told EastIdahoNews.com. “I think we can be inclusive, we can be open and we can allow everybody to have a voice.”
Being polite and finding open ways to have discussions as a community is enough to solve the problems facing Sugar City today, Adams says.
“We have things going on in our community right now that have stemmed from a more closed and restrictive process that has cost us,” says Adams. “One agreement alone has cost the city $1.3 million, and that stems from a process that wasn’t open.”
The unwelcoming points of view displayed in the Old Farm Estates controversy have hurt the small city, he says, but being open to others’ views will make the community a better place to live and make Sugar City residents better neighbors.
“There have been concerns that (the residential) development was part of the problem, but I don’t really see that,” Adams said. “The process the city chose to follow harms not only the residents of the city, but it also harms the developers.”
City leadership working together and having a respectful, welcoming attitude, will not necessarily change the outcome, but it will enrich the perspective of the decision-making process, he says.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds for Sugar City,” says Adams. “We’re in the middle of a very large growth pattern, and it’s going to be very important that we navigate that process as a community and work our way through it in a way that builds unity.”
EastIdahoNews.com has tried to talk to incumbent Mayor David Ogden. Unfortunately, despite repeated attempts to reach him by multiple members of our staff, Ogden has either been “too busy” to speak with reporters or he did not respond to requests for comment.
Ogden became the mayor of Sugar City in 2015 after having lived more than 20 areas in the area. He previously lived in California.
The Standard Journal reports that Ogden served also served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Committee for five years with two years as the chairman. Additionally, he also served on the Targhee Regional Planning Authority, according to the newspaper.