Eagle Mountain Mayor Tries to Rename City Hall and Resigns

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- David Lifferth resigned as mayor of Eagle Mountain just after attempting to rename the city hall in honor of his controversial predecessor.

After four months on the job, Lifferth resigned at the end of Tuesday's council meeting.

"I did what I was assigned to do, and last night was the last City Council meeting of the year, and I'm anxious to get back to my day job," he said in an interview on Wednesday.

Lifferth, who works at MyFamily.com, turned over the mayoral cell phone to Mayor-elect Brian Olsen, who also is mayor pro-tem.

Lifferth will be back in January as a council member.

He told the council Tuesday that he wanted to name the city hall after former Mayor Kelvin Bailey.

"He turned the city around from the brink of bankruptcy to our current surpluses and did many things that were right," he said. "I said we should recognize his significant contributions by naming city hall after him."

Lifferth said no council members opposed the move, and he contended naming the building was within his authority as mayor.

However, Olsen said the name change was not final.

"Our city attorney explained to Mayor Lifferth that in order for a name change to take place, it would need to come before the council as an agenda item to vote on," Olsen said.

Bailey resigned as mayor on June 30 -- just more than one year after pleading no contest to providing false information to police for his faked kidnapping. He paid more than $900 in restitution.

Bailey had failed to return from a pheasant hunting trip in 2003. He later phoned his wife and said he had been carjacked, abducted and forced to drive to California, but had escaped. He eventually told Utah County sheriff's officers and the FBI that he had made up the incident due to the "stress and challenges" of running a city, a business, and helping his wife, who had had a stroke.

He said he had intended the story only for his wife, and he had not expected her to call police.

Olsen is a highway patrol trooper. He has requested an unpaid leave of absence with the expectation that he will return to the patrol when his mayoral term is over.

Lifferth was appointed as mayor on Aug. 2, and said at the time that he would only serve until a new mayor was chosen in the November election.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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