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Helper Mayor resigns

Dean Armstrong resigned as Helper's Mayor on Saturday.

Sun Advocate associate editor

Helper Mayor Dean Armstrong resigned from office Saturday morning, effective immediately.

Armstrong had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after a minor accident on Helper Main Street Friday afternoon. He has not been convicted of the offense.

However, he was found guilty of an earlier DUI that occurred in Price in November 2011. That arrest and subsequent judgment put his term as mayor in jeopardy then, when citizens turned out for a meeting with the Helper City Council to determine what should be done. At that time the mayor declined to resign.

On Saturday morning the mayor typed and printed his letter of resignation in the city recorder's office and distributed it to council members and the city attorney shortly before a special executive session of the council. The occasion was informal and cordial before the meeting began.

"In light of recent events, I have determined that I can no longer adequately perform the duties of Mayor," the letter states. "Instead, I will turn my focus toward taking care of my family, my health, and my business. Although I am saddened by my inability to complete my term, I do feel that we have moved Helper City forward over the last several years. The people of this community are strong, and it has been my honor and privilege to have served you."

"Your contributions to the city have been many and great. We want you to be cognizant of that," Councilman Robert Bradley said to Armstrong during the meeting.

Armstrong told the council he would continue to help in any way he can in an unofficial capacity and council members welcomed the offer.

Since Armstrong took office three years ago, the city has embarked on an ambitious project to renovate is entire water, sewer and storm drainage systems. Ground breaking on the $18 million project is expected to begin in about a month.

The mayor has also been instrumental in concept planning for a restoration of the Price River through Helper. Plans call for transforming the river from a straight-line channel through town into a stream with meanders, standing waves and rapids suitable for a variety of recreation activities.

Councilman Kirk Mascaro will act as mayor for the time being.

Armstrong had only 10 months left in his term and had said in the past he had not planned to run again.

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