Salt Lake Valley's political landscape underwent some big changes on the municipal level in 1993, with seven of the valley's 12 cities electing new mayors. The exceptions were Salt Lake City, Murray, South Jordan, Bluffdale and Alta, where mayors are in mid-term or incumbents were re-elected.

Some of the new faces were surprises while others were expected. But all the recently elected executives promised fresh direction in handling problems ranging from burgeoning gang activities to an unprecedented explosion in construction.Ranked by city size, here is a look at each new mayor-elect:

West Valley City

As the fifth mayor of Utah's second largest city, Gerald "Jerry" Wright is expected to play a major role in the state's municipal government policies.

"I don't care about publicity for myself, but as a representative of West Valley City, I intend to be very much involved in those issues that affect us," Wright said.

That means actively participating in the Salt Lake County Council of Governments and Wasatch Front Regional Council and becoming a familiar face at the Utah Legislature. He also intends to join the new Association of Mayors, an organization established by his predecessor, Brent Anderson.

Assailed by county commissioners, the mayors' group was formed to discuss and promote "city issues" at other forums, including COG.

"Cities have their needs; counties have theirs," Wright said. "There is no reason why we can't meet separately to address

those needs and then come together to discuss policies."

A retired schoolteacher and former city councilman, Wright, 60, also plans to write a weekly column in the Green Sheet community newspaper to answer constituent questions and explain policies and administrative actions. He said that at the end of each column he will give residents a "small assignment."

"They will be very simple things that, if everybody does them, will upgrade our city and improve its image," Wright said.

As a part-time mayor in a council-manager form of government, Wright's powers are more of the "bully pulpit" variety than executive. From that pulpit, Wright said he will try to promote positive public and personal values - "such things as honesty and consideration for other people" - in West Valley City.

"For example, there is no way to stop youth gangs until we re-establish values in the home," Wright said. "I'm willing to put my personal integrity on the line as well."

Another priority on Wright's list is to control government growth and wean the public from over-dependence on government agencies.

"Government has a tendency to try do everything for everyone. In most cases, people can do it better on their own. I'm going to open my door to the public and hopefully show them how they can get things done themselves."

Wright said the best days are still ahead of West Valley City. "The city is well served by top quality people, and economically, it's coming along quite well. I believe that with some minor adjustments, including establishing a closer working relationship with the Chamber of Commerce, we will be see ing some very good results."

He has only praise for his predecessor, saying it was Anderson who put the city on the right course.


When 50-year-old Tom Dolan won an upset victory in the primary and edged out his opponent in the general election, he took it as a mandate to aggressively direct development in Sandy, a city of 80,000 bursting at its seams.

Dolan before his election was a sort of businessman in absentia, managing family real estate in the East, where he owns rental property outside of Washington, D.C., and a coal mine in West Virginia.

He comes to the office with promises to do something to correct the city's lopsided reliance on property taxes. Sandy is more of a bedroom community than a commercial hub, and critics say it lacks a solid commercial base.

"The real need in our community is to develop something to derive taxes from so we can provide better services," says Dolan. "Through those tax dollars we'll be able to provide more police officers and pave our streets and improve the quality of life citizens expect here."

The mayor-elect, who is married and has a grown son, said this week he plans to appoint, with the advice and consent of the City Council, an economic advisory board to direct what he says have been neglected efforts to draw industry and retail merchants to Sandy.

Dolan also said he would strive to make City Hall a more convivial place, especially with regards to its neighbors.

Councilwoman Judy Bell, a vocal supporter, said she has high hopes for Dolan's promise to repair Sandy's relations with surrounding municipalities, which have sometimes regarded the city as an annex-mad land-grabber.

West Jordan

Leadership style will be a bit different at West Jordan City Hall for the next four years.

Mayor-elect Max Hogan, 64, who has served on the City Council for five years, ran for office to complete goals established under former Mayor Kenneth Miller. Miller did not seek re-election.

Hogan will govern by involving others more in the decision-making process of the city. And it will be less difficult for him to devote more time to serving as part-time mayor because he is retired. But philosophically, he is aligned with his predecessor.

Providing recreational activities and gang-prevention programs for youths are Hogan's primary goals. He is committed to the timely completion of five soccer fields at 40th West and 78th South, with the possibility of 15 additional soccer fields being built on adjacent land. That would be enough fields to host regional soccer competitions for boys and girls.

To curtail gang activity, Hogan wants to implement D.A.R.E., a drug-prevention program, in all elementary schools. Currently, the anti-drug programs are a part of the middle and high school curriculums.

"West Jordan is very family oriented. I believe strong youth programs strengthen the family and, ultimately, enhance the community," said Hogan.

Planning growth is another priority for the new mayor. A newly completed master plan will allow the city to cope with the record-setting growth. Lot sizes for building new homes have been expanded. "We felt West Jordan has its fair share of starter-home neighborhoods. We want to add new classifications for larger homes and lots to upgrade our city," Hogan said.


Donald J. Poulsen was considered a long shot when he ran against Mayor Everett Dahl, but he pulled off a convincing victory, arguing that two terms were plenty for the incumbent.

Poulsen, 70, says the same issue that has dogged Midvale for a decade will remain tops on his agenda.

"I'll do everything in my power to see these tailings moved," he says of the some 10 million tons of hazardous waste left behind by an ore-mining industry that died in the 1970s after flourishing in Midvale for most of the century.

Poulsen's position is the same one endorsed by Dahl, supported by the City Council and demanded by most of the citizenry. The city, with the help of the state, has fought the EPA's insistence that the tailings remain where they are, sealed one day beneath a clay cap.

"They can only guarantee capping for 30 years, but my concern is what about my grandchildren and their children? They're going to be faced with the same thing if they don't move them entirely. We've got to look to the future," said the mayor-elect, a Midvale resident for 38 years who raised three children.

Midvale for some time has argued the tailings can be moved to a remote site for not much more than it would cost to cap them.

Poulsen also says he will have a more open relationship with the council than his predecessor did, citing in particular the departure this year of the city's police chief after a dispute between Dahl and the council. The mayor wanted to keep the chief aboard without revealing details of the chief's drinking problem. The council insisted on knowing more before going along with Dahl.

South Salt Lake

Off to a rocky start with the City Council, Randy Fitts says he wants to get along with the rest of South Salt Lake's elected officials but that he'll stand by his decision to fire most department heads.

"People are tired of what's been going on," says Fitts, 44. "It cannot be business as usual anymore."

In the city's established tradition of pursuing urban renewal in its several blighted neighborhoods, Fitts said he will concentrate more on upgrading housing, less on developing corporate real estate.

"I'm talking about refurbishing them and bringing them up to standard," said Fitts, who conceded he inherits several revitalization programs established by former Mayor Jim Davis. "I guess if there's a difference between Jim and Randy, it's that Jim was for major new projects - Park Creek, South Brook, FHP - and Randy is for revitalizing existing homes within the city."

Fitts, who won a narrow victory over departing City Councilman John Goldhardt, says that during his term he will also try to see a city-owned City Hall built.

Doug Moffat, one of only four of seven council members who will remain in office, said Fitts must be mindful that South Salt Lake's form of government puts the council and the mayor on roughly even planes of power.

"I expect him to make an effort to show he's willing to work with people," said Moffat. "And I fully expect him to make a real effort to keep some openess."


After spending 14 years as City Recorder, Mayor-elect Sandra Lloyd feels prepared and excited to begin her term in office.

"I've served this city for a lifetime. Now I'm ready to begin implementing some positive changes."

First on her list is to beautify Riverton with more trees, flowers and a "classy" sign with flags on the city's border.

Lloyd, 58, wants to build on traditions such as the July 3 parade and the July 4 old-fashioned celebration, but include more volunteers to expand the events. And she is passionate about saving the 100-year-old Riverton Elementary School from the wrecking ball by passing a bond to convert the school into a community center.

To retain the rural appeal of Riverton, Lloyd proposes increasing the minimum lot size for new homes from a quarter acre to a third acre.

She welcomes the tremendous growth Riverton is experiencing because new people bring diversity. But she is adamant about protecting Riverton's small-town appeal. "People move here wanting a place to keep their animals and looking for a more peaceful lifestyle. I'll do all I can to maintain our city's beauty and charm."


This town on the far southeastern edge of the valley faces a serious population explosion, and Mayor-elect Elaine Redd says it gives her pause for concern.

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Redd, 65, a former nursing-home adminstrator who has lived in Draper for 20 years, said the city needs to slow down its licensing of new subdivisions. City officials have either approved or are in the early stages of granting approval for 3,000 new lots, which if developed as expected by the late-1990s will more than double Draper's population.

"I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to try and find out," said Redd, who promises to be a physical presence at City Hall.

"Our past mayor was there to conduct meetings but he did not spend any time at City Hall," said Redd. Mayor Kumen B. Davis, who did not run for election, was appointed to the post last year after longtime Mayor Charles Hoffman resigned in the wake of a controversy over the police chief. Davis' role largely was to stabilize city government, which lost its police department because of the scandal.

Deseret News staff writer Joe Costanzo contributed to this story.

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