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Friday, May 18, 2007
One Less Good Man in Our Politics

American Fork City Councilor Jimmie Cates passed away this morning.

American Fork Mayor Heber Thompson today informed City officials that American Fork City Councilor Jimmie Cates passed away this morning. He had been battling an aggressive cancer for some months, and had been absent from Council meetings -- though not altogether uninvolved -- during that time.

He was twice appointed to a Council seat when the incumbent councilors resigned, then won election to his own seat in November 2005.

I knew him in three ways: I worked with him on a City committee to which he was assigned. Later, I watched him as a candidate in the same race M[future]FCC was in. Thereafter I knew him, mostly vicariously, as MFCC's colleague.

I might praise his sound judgment, his hard work, or his willingness to communicate and discuss. No doubt others will. But I prefer to single out three even less common virtues:

  • To my knowledge Councilman Cates never told me or anyone else a lie or otherwise attempted to deceive.
  • When he was campaigning, he did not play dirty, even when some others did.
  • As something of an elder statesman on the Council, he seemed concerned to safeguard the dignity and civility of our politics.

I salute Jimmie Cates. We need more men and women of such caliber in our politics at every level.

Today we have one less.

David Rodeback comments (5/18/07):

The Daily Herald has now posted this article.

David Rodeback comments (5/22/07):

Here are tributes by fellow American Fork City Councilors Shirl Lebaron and Heidi Rodeback.

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