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Davis Journal

Attorney brings her strengths to Centerville City Council

Feb 29, 2024 10:29AM ● By Linda Petersen
New City Councilmember Cheylynn Hayman, pictured here with her family, hopes to be able to find a way to help ensure her children can afford to buy homes in Centerville when they are ready. Courtesy photo

New City Councilmember Cheylynn Hayman, pictured here with her family, hopes to be able to find a way to help ensure her children can afford to buy homes in Centerville when they are ready. Courtesy photo

CENTERVILLE—A labor and employment attorney, Cheylynn Hayman is excited to bring her unique skills to her new position as city council member to help build and preserve the community she has come to love.

“I'm really, really excited to serve my city,” she said. “I really love Centerville. I think that we are a unique city, and I think that we have an incredible citizenry. I’m delighted to do this for my neighbors; I'm delighted to do this for my city.”

Hayman grew up in Layton but graduated from Morgan High in 1996 after her parents moved to Mountain Green when she was a sophomore. After high school she completed a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Utah. During that time, she danced for the Crimson Line, now known as the Utah Dance Team. She went on to pursue a law degree there and graduated in 2003. She then clerked for Utah Supreme Court Judge Matthew Durrant for 18 months. In 2005 she joined law firm Parr, Brown Gee and Loveless where she is a shareholder and leads the firm’s labor and employment law division. She also serves as the chair of the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission.

Hayman and her husband Bret, who is a  staff attorney for the Utah Court of Appeals, first lived in Bountiful  after they were married. Nineteen years ago while searching for a bigger home they found one they loved in south Centerville near the junior high and have lived there ever since. They have loved Centerville and their neighborhood in particular and have been delighted to raise their two children Tyler, 21, and Brianna 19, there.

“When you buy a new house, you’re also buying a neighborhood and you can know what the house is like, but you don't know what the neighborhood is like,” Hayman said. “I have the absolute best neighbors. I'm very fortunate that not only did we find a lovely house that fit our family, but we also found an incredible neighborhood.”

Hayman became actively involved in preserving that community when she and some neighbors became concerned about a high density housing development being proposed adjacent to their single-family homes. During that process she came to the attention of then-Mayor Paul Cutler who asked her if she would be willing to serve on the Centerville Planning Commission. She agreed and held that position from 2015 to 2021. Initially unsure if her background in the law would translate to being an effective commission member, Hayman grew to love the job.

“I really relished it: I love to learn,” she said. “And so even though employment law is my area, I really loved getting the opportunity to learn about zoning and planning. It was an entirely different area of the law than I was used to, but it was really fun to get in and learn and explore it.”

Last year Hayman decided to run for city council.

“The planning commission is more of an advisory body, it is not a legislative body,” she said. “It makes administrative decisions applying existing law as opposed to making that law, and I became really interested in doing that.”

With her daughter Brianna having graduated from high school last summer, Hayman felt she now had time to devote to the position.

“I thought, Well, I’m done; I'm done being a dance mom, I’m done schlepping kids, and making sure that I’m doing things for the kids; I think that I could do this job,’” she said. 

When she ended up being the only resident to file for her open city council position, Hayman did not have to mount a campaign but she came to the job prepared and knowing what she had to offer the city of Centerville.

“I think that I have some unique backgrounds, and some skills that I can bring to this position – not only my planning commission experience, but also my employment law experience,” she said. “And I always appreciate having a diverse city council because I think that when you have a lot of diversity, you have people who will bring their different backgrounds and come look at things differently.”

Addressing affordable housing is an important priority for Hayman. 

“I look at this through the lens of two now-adult children who will be looking to try to buy a home,” she said. “And I would very much like for them to be able to come back and live in this community; it's a wonderful community. I really want to be thoughtful about affordable housing in Centerville: Are there things that we can do as a city that will enable our children to be able to come back and live in this wonderful community?”

She feels updating the general plan should be at the top of the city council’s to-do list. “I also want to be thoughtful about the city's needs so that we can be proactive about addressing streets, sewers, infrastructure, so that we are not ignoring those things now to the detriment of it costing the city a lot more money to fix down the road,” she said.

Hayman has really enjoyed her first few months on the city council and the camaraderie that exists among its members, she said. “The existing members have all been incredibly welcoming, and open and willing to help us newbies get up to speed. I also have really enjoyed getting to know Brian Plummer [the other new city council member], because I did not know Brian before he got onto the city council.”