Moab city councilman Kyle Bailey is sworn into office by city recorder Rachel Stenta on Monday, Jan. 6 for his fourth four-year term. Bailey was re-elected in November after serving 12 years on the city council. [Nathan Wynn / Moab Sun News]

Heila Ershadi began her first day as councilwoman on the Moab City Council during a ceremony the morning of Monday, Jan. 6.

“I feel so excited to serve Moab and it’s nice to make my term official and get started,” Ershadi said shortly after being sworn into office by city recorder Rachel Stenta.

She was sworn into office along with Kyle Bailey, who is beginning his fifth 4-year term as a city councilman, and Dave Sakrison, who is beginning his fourth 4-year term as the city’s mayor.

Ershadi beat councilman Jeff Davis in a three-way race for two at-large Moab City Council seats during the election held Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Ershadi’s first job, and a rite-of-passage, as a council member, will be to sign off on the city’s bills.

“Every bill the city pays, a council member has to sign off on it. Mostly for me it will an educational

experience to see what the city pays and to whom and how it all works,” Ershadi said.

When her first child was born five years ago, she would not have guessed she’d be in this position today, though her friends are not surprised.

“A lot of people have told me that they knew this was coming. Part of the reason I ran was because a number of people told me I should do it and that they would support me,” she said.

Bailey is starting this term with 16 years of council experience behind him.

His advised Ershadi to “hang in there.”

“Things take longer that you think. Projects take a long time to come to fruition,” Bailey said.

Bailey served 12 years with the city’s planning commission before serving on the city council for 16 years.

“After I’m done, it will be 32 years that I’ve been with the city,” he said.

Bailey said that he was told by Tom Stocks, who served as Moab’s mayor from 1982 to 1997, that one should be “looking out 50 years away and doing things for the long term.”

“When you do things for the long term it really gets you committed and involved and you have to stick around and do it,” he said.

Bailey’s focus has been to resolve the city’s sewer agreement with the Spanish Valley Water and Sewer District, see the development of the Utah State University-Moab campus, the financial viability of the Canyonlands Care Center and hospital.

“Both are doing very well right now and are financially stable so I just hope to keep that going,” Bailey said.

Sakrison, who ran unopposed for his fourth term as mayor, has set goals for “tighter knit cohesiveness” within the city for 2014.

“I’m still a little green, so I want to keep pushing that aspect of the Blue Sky program and some more solar panels here and there and really promote Moab as a green community,” he said.

Sakrison said he recently spent three days in Salt Lake and the “air was terrible.”

“We’ve got a special place here and we want to make sure it stays special,” Sakrison said.

He hopes to engage the community more this year and wants to have a community meeting to talk about the future and direction the city should take.

“I think that would be a healthy dialogue,” he said.

He is also thinking about opening his office one day a week for citizens to come in and talk with him.

“The main focus of my tenure here has been to find the common ground and let’s keep our eye on the ball,” he said.

He said that compromise is a great word and that everyone needs to work together.

“We have diverse opinions on this council but we all remain friends. We work together and we try to do what’s best for this community,” he said.

“We’ve got a special place here and we want to make sure it stays special” 

Ershadi begins new term; Bailey and Sakrison return