Name: Mark William Pyper
Occupation: Business Alliance Manager, Hewlett Packard Corporation
Education: B.A. Media Sales Management, Brigham Young University; Master of Public Administration, Brigham Young University
Prior political experience: Bennett for U.S. Senate Campaign Legislative District Chairperson, Utah County, 1992
Civic involvement: Boise Area Mountain Bike Association (BAMBA) Board Member, 2011 to present
Years living in Eagle: 8
Family: Wife and two daughters
Social media accounts: none
Endorsements: Eagle City Councilors Mark Butler, Mary Defayette and Jason Pierce.
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
All of the candidates have their unique strengths and seem to be genuinely good citizens after all running for public office is a labor of love. The question is who best aligns with your vision of what the city of Eagle should be. My core principles are based on the belief that our municipal society should be built on strong families and individuals, strong businesses and strong city-led partnerships. If elected, I will base my decision making on whether or not an initiative fortifies these three pillars of our city.
What makes me unique is my deep business experience. I have over 25 years of experience in the high tech industry including working for four Fortune 500 corporations. I have consistently delivered positive business results that increased profitability, operational efficiencies and revenue growth. I have held multiple profit and loss responsibilities, the largest in excess of $220 million dollars.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
1. Creating a more balanced municipal revenue stream.
2. Becoming a city that is more business-friendly.
3. Creating an integrated plan to market the competitive advantage(s) of Eagle in order to attract new residents and businesses.
Executing an integrated marketing plan based on the competitive advantages and key differentiators that makes Eagle unique will reinforce existing businesses and attract new businesses to our city that are considering the Treasure Valley. With a strengthened business base will come a more balance revenue stream not so heavily dependent on residential in flows. Part of that integrated plan needs to include initiatives that let businesses know that Eagle is serious about partnering with like-minded companies that share in our vision of the future. Businesses need to know that Eagle is open for business.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
Creating an integrated marketing plan. If properly communicated (based on our city's uniqueness), Eagle should be the city of choice for new businesses and citizens. City leadership has the responsibility communicate broadly the key strengths and differentiators of our community so existing businesses and potential businesses align their future plans around these competitive advantages.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I see a vibrant city of where people, businesses and civic organizations understand what makes Eagle unique and build upon that uniqueness to enable their vision of success. I see our city being led by individuals that partner with like-minded businesses that value Eagles differentiators and build successful enterprises based on those core advantages.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
I chose to view the publics involvement in civic matters from a glass half full perspective. My daughter came home from school the other day and said, by the way, I just joined the Mayors Youth Council. Unbeknownst to me, she was invited to join this service organization by her friends. She attended the first meeting and decided she wanted to contribute after seeing the type of projects the group was working on. She found the right cause, group and opportunity. I think more people would get involved in civic affairs if those opportunities were articulated and like-minded individuals were encouraged to network within their spheres of influence to build out citizen involvement. The same approach should be taken for public discourse. The city council should continue to make our citizens feel welcome to make public comment on the issues of the day.
6. What are the top two issues facing Eagle, and how should they be addressed?
As discussed above, Eagle needs to become more business friendly and balance its revenue stream. City leadership can encourage a stronger business base by treating existing and potential businesses that share our civic values as true partners. Once businesses know that Eagle is open for business and a place where like-minded entrepreneurs can grow existing enterprises or locate new ventures, then the revenue stream will balance out.
7. Eagle is 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial. Should Eagle grow its commercial sector? Why?
Absolutely! An 80/20 split is not sustainable. A more robust commercial sector is the only way to correct this imbalance. All of the areas mentioned in previous sections are important like a well-articulated marketing plan based on Eagles uniqueness and a more business friendly approach to partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs who share our civic values are critical ingredients for enabling this change.
8. Eagle has one of the state's lowest property tax rates. Keeping property tax rates low means less money for city infrastructure and amenities, like parks. Do you support keeping Eagle's tax rate low? Why?
Removing more money from Eagle city households is not a sustainable model for funding municipal needs. However, building a stronger, more robust commercial sector is. I enthusiastically support more public-private partnerships like the newly approved Eagle Terrain Park as a model for providing answers to city needs. The city needs to be more creative in developing its attractiveness as a business destination and as a civic partner to provide for its infrastructure and amenities requirements.