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As we get closer to the election, politics can get dirty. It's unfortunate but it's true. I'm sorry to say Sandy is not immune.

I want to be frank and honest with you. That's the way I am as a person, it's the way I've been as a city council member and it's what you can expect from me as mayor.

About the time of the 2019 election, a neighbor reached out to me, insisting I use my office and influence to his benefit on a lawsuit related to his property. As the matter was not related to my role on the city council, I declined and explained I could not get involved in this private dispute because that was not the appropriate role for a city council member. I left it at that.

Fast forward to April 2021, I've announced as mayor and my campaign is underway. On a big night at city council, a group of neighbors offered public comment, led by this gentleman, to complain about my service as their council member. They offered a list of grievances ranging from how I moderated my neighborhood Facebook page, to demanding I police neighbor's code violations at homes of people they do not like. They dislike that I'm open to changing our neighborhood land code to legitimize the longstanding practice of horse boarding that's been going on for 45 years. They also don't like my involvement in the annual children's Christmas horse parade.

It was quite a list and to be honest, it was painful to hear the criticism, because I've always worked to help my neighbors in any way I can.

Throughout this ordeal, I have done my best to keep a distance from their controversies because they do not involve my duties as a council member. But sometimes the fight keeps coming to you no matter what.

After their airing of grievances in April, this individual took it to the next level and filed a formal "ethics complaint" which repeated the complaints on the record at city council. That complaint was received by the city, examined by an independent attorney who found the claims of an ethics violation were entirely without merit and no ethics violation had occurred.

That should have settled the matter. Unfortunately, it hasn't.

As we are now close in on the election, this individual and his family have again posted negative comments about me as an elected official. This is an election year and they are allowed to campaign against me.

But the truth matters to me and I know it matters to you.

So, I want you to have the full story.

I'm proud to live in Bell Canyon Acres, where most of the neighbors pull together and help each other through thick and thin. We have a strong and peaceful community where we're "horse proud" and share our love of our animals and welcome others to do so as well. My neighbors here are among my strongest supporters because they see my work ethic and passion for my community on a daily basis. Drive around and you'll see the overwhelming number of Monica Z signs. You can't fake that kind of support.

Obviously people who are involved in changing the longstanding property rights of my community are upset I do not align with their views.

I want to be clear. I do not give special favors for my neighbors and I do not yield to bullies. I put my fairness, transparency, and my constituents first.

I hope that's what you're looking for in a mayor because that's what I bring to the table.

If people want to change the laws in the city, that's my job as a council member to guide them through the legislative process and I stand ready to help. If they want to change property boundaries, that's what the legal system and courts are there for.

But if people have a problem with their neighbors and want me to use my authority or influence to intervene or do something improper, or want me to do something special I wouldn't do for any other citizen, that's where I draw the line.

As a council member, my job is to legislate fairly. As mayor, my job will be to direct city resources fairly. I will never abuse my authority to curry special treatment for a friend or political supporter, nor will I allow myself to be used as a pawn to harass people minding their own business.

This hasn't been fun, but it has taught me there's a price to pay for stepping forward to serve and putting yourself out to public criticism. I won't let that stop me and I'll continue to do my very best to serve with integrity, transparency and courage. I hope my experience doesn't discourage good people from getting involved in local government. I can tell you this is unusual and does not represent the overwhelming amount of goodness and opportunity I've found in serving the people of Sandy.

I'm taking the next 2.5 weeks to the election to focus exclusively on issues important to Sandy, not on petty neighborhood grievances or smear campaigns.

Like you, I'm more concerned about keeping taxes low, managing our growth responsibly, and moving our city forward. I trust the voters of Sandy will to examine my long record of service and what I've already accomplished to improve our environment, neighborhoods, public safety and infrastructure.

If that's what matters most to our voters, and I believe it does, they will select me as the next Mayor of Sandy City.

Now onward to victory on November 2nd!