2021 Candidates

The City held a Candidate Debate on Thursday, October 7. A video of the event is available on the City's Youtube channel. Candidate biographies are also listed below.

Mayoral Candidate

Kurt Ostler Campaign PhotoKurt Ostler
6616 W 10760 N
(801) 971-2596

My wife and I have been Highland residents for 28 years, we have raised our four children in this great city.

I have served the last 3 1/2 years as a member of the Highland City Council.

I have started and managed several companies, ranging from manufacturing to commercial real estate. I have learned how a careful, fiscally conservative budget can be balanced with a well-informed, visionary approach, leading to a successful and sustainable future. I will bring this experience while addressing current city issues and focusing on the debt Highland City has accumulated.

Our city is family-focused with a vision of open space and trails. I want to keep these values that have led our city to prosperity. For these values to be maintained, we need a Mayor and City Council dedicated to being careful, empathetic listeners. I have done this while serving as a member of the Highland City Council by responding to phone calls, emails and listening to residents. I have always defended our cities long term and short-term interests. I'm dedicated to keeping Highland City's open space feeling, having well-trained public safety, and promise to listen, gather information, and act carefully.

More info at www.kurtostler.com

City Council Candidates

Sarah D. Petersen Campaign PhotoSarah D. Petersen
6341 W Skyline Dr
(801) 520-0728

Hello, I am Sarah Petersen. Throughout my life I have felt a deep desire to participate in the political engagements of our country. I have been active in my local communities in caucuses and as a State Delegate. In pondering how to best serve my community, I have decided to run for Highland City Council. I am committed to the city of Highland and its residents. I am a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Administration, I have led administrative departments in large healthcare systems and currently work for a tech company as the Director of Care Operations. My experience has provided me the insight to thoughtful growth, maintaining the strengths of our community and providing a voice for the people. I am committed, experienced, and dedicated to listening to the residents. Throughout my career and while raising my seven children I have proven my ability to lead with compassion, integrity and intelligence. I am passionate about serving others and building on the legacy of strong families, neighborhoods, and communities here in Highland. I look forward to serving the residents of Highland. Facebook@sarahpetersen for Highland City Council, Website: www.votesarahpetersen.com

Jerry Abbott Campaign PhotoJerry Abbott
11187 N Tamarack Dr
(928) 699-2841

My wife Frankie and I fell in love with Highland when we were looking for a small town to raise our four children twelve years ago, and have lived in the Bull River area ever since.  

I am currently serving as Chairman of the Planning Commission where I have been for the past 3+ years. In this capacity I have utilized my decades of building, developing and negotiation experience to help ensure the integrity of Highland. I have extensive experience working with cities in finding ways to keep their small town feel. I want to protect our brand that has created a premium to our residence property values and way of life. 

I am running for council because I have seen first hand how other cities like Highland, in their final stages of development, can buckle under pressure by developers and government officials, leading to detrimental decisions that ruined their brand and way of life. 

I will use my experience to preserve and strengthen Highlands values & character, improve roads, trails, open space, parks and governing codes. I will help ensure we do not trip at the goal line. 

I’m Jerry Abbott and I ask for your vote. 


Scott L. Smith Campaign PhotoScott L. Smith
9813 N Meadow Lane
(801) 360-1214

My wife, Catherine, and I have lived in Highland for over 32 years, and we are proud to call ourselves Highlanders! 

We raised our five children here, and I am a practicing family physician.  While serving on the City Council,  I have also served on several local Governing Boards.  

Why am I running? 

1) I want to continue to champion Highland values:  a family-oriented community with zoning that promotes lower-density housing, open-space, and a genuine rural feel. A small, vibrant commercial district, well-maintained parks and trails, a public library, and well-run events are an important part of our community. 

2) Highland has the reputation as a low-tax, efficiently run City. I will continue to vote as a fiscal conservative! 

3) I will fight to protect the boundaries of Highland from annexation by other cities. 

4) In a world of political divisiveness, I have Learned the importance of civility and good humor.  In this election, I will not participate in negative campaigning. 

5) I will continue to be an independent voice on the Council preventing "group think" while examining different viewpoints and ideas in order to create better legislation. 

6) I have been a strong advocate for resolving open-space neighborhood concerns. 


Colby Gibson - Campaign Photo 2Colby Gibson
12497 N Minots Ledge Dr
(801) 653-2668

At the age of 4, my family moved to Highland. I have lived in four different neighborhoods within the city for nearly 40 years.  Highland is home.  I’ve seen it grow from ~3,000 to ~20,000 today!  Highland City is the only city Alicia, my wife of 25 years, and I have ever considered raising our 4 daughters and 1 son. I understand what has made Highland so appealing!

Primary governing powers should reside in the family.  Multiple families make up Highland City – and the Highland government’s primary role is to support Highland families!  Counties support cities, States support Counties and at the very top (with the least governing power) is the Federal government. I am running for Highland City Council to protect our families from all government overreach.

Over the years I’ve attended countless Highland City Council meetings, starting with meetings as a young Cub Scout. I am passionate about what happens in our community, love our amazing State, and am grateful to live in the greatest country in the world!   I’m a passionate debater and promise to come to each meeting well-researched with an understanding that nobody goes to government for greater efficiency but rather out of necessity.