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OGDEN COUNCILWOMAN TO ENTER MAYORAL RACE

Ogden City Councilwoman Bonnie McDonald, citing the need for cleaner neighborhoods and a new public safety building, has decided to give up her re-election bid to try for mayor.

McDonald, 52, has represented Ward 4 for the past eight years. She now wants a turn at the city's top spot and its $58,500 annual salary."I want to be a mayor seven days a week, 24 hours a day," she said. "In the past eight years, I've shown I have passion for Ogden."

She and Dar Belnap, a two-time mayoral candidate, will challenge incumbent Glenn Mecham in an Oct. 3 primary.

McDonald's council term ends in January. Both she and Mecham said her quest for his job will not create friction while she is still on the council.

"I have a very specific vision for Ogden and for the methods for approaching and achieving those goals," Mecham said. "Bonnie has a different perspective. I understand and respect that."

Mecham was elected in 1991. He is the first mayor to serve under the city's council-mayor form of government.

McDonald said the City Council made the construction of a new public safety building a priority more than three years ago, but the administration has not followed through.

"I have a hard time thinking it takes three years to get this done," McDonald said. "That needs to get done immediately."

The city also needs to pursue plans to refurbish neighborhoods and maintain city-owned buildings, she said.