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Steve Hiatt was a fixture at City Hall well before he became mayor.

The newly sworn-in city leader put in two years as a Kaysville councilman, but even before that, he attended nearly every council meeting for one year.

"Maybe it takes a unique and weird individual to think that's fun," said Hiatt, who at 31, is one of Utah's youngest mayors.

His interest in municipal government began after he paid his utility bill on the Kaysville City Web site and noticed an announcement that the council was looking to appoint a new member in 2006.

Hiatt thought about the move, then consulted with his wife, Brooke -- a political methodology he often employs -- and applied. In a 3 to 2 vote, Hiatt was rejected, but he felt compelled to be part of the City Council and give to the community, so he started his year-long stint at the meetings.

"I thoroughly enjoy kind of getting to the bottom of issues and finding out what the problems are. I guess it's part of my personality to want to problem solve," Hiatt said. "After seeing the City Council working through issues, really understanding what an issue was ... I thought, 'You know, I think I can contribute well to this.' "

So in 2007, he was voted into office. He later set his sights on the mayoral position, hoping to include residents in the issues and work collaboratively with city staff and other council members.

While he's officially not part of the City Council anymore, Hiatt said he sees himself as part of their team.

"I don't think as a mayor you should ever consider yourself the top dog, but rather the biggest servant of all -- who tries to bring everyone together," he said.

After working with Hiatt during his council tenure, Kaysville City Manager John Thacker is sure Hiatt will give residents a sense of ownership in their city.

"He has a collaborative style," Thacker said of Hiatt. "He likes to examine an issue and give it full review and then make a decision."

And Hiatt wants residents to be part of that process. He would like the City Council to adopt a method he and a few other council members used previously -- when big issues come up, invite residents to brainstorming sessions that aren't as formal as council meetings.

Hiatt expects his next four years will include the challenge of increasing Kaysville's commercial sector and tax base.

That doesn't mean bringing in "big-box" retailers, he said, but rather "Kaysville-friendly types of businesses that fit with the spirit and the unique character of our community."

Kaysville already has neighbors to the north and south with big, national chain businesses, but Hiatt would like to strengthen the community of locally-owned stores.

And it's welcome news for photographer Ryne Hazen to hear that, like him, Kaysville's mayor also runs a business in town.

"I've always been very impressed with him," said the Hazen Studios owner, noting he's shot images for Hiatt's campaign and mortgage company. "I like his thinking. I like his politics -- his energy."

About Steve Hiatt

Age » 31.

Family » He and his wife, Brooke, have three children.

Education » Clearfield High, Clearfield; attended Weber State University.

Career » Runs his own business, Kaysville-based Wasatch Capital Mortgage.

Fun fact » Is the interior decorator for his home and office. He jokes that "it's not your typically manly activity ... my wife always laughs because people will compliment her, and she points and says, 'It's him.' "

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