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West Jordan Mayor

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Kelly C. Atkinson

Kelly C. Atkinson hadn't planned on seeking West Jordan's mayoral seat, but the former state lawmaker said he was persuaded by neighbors saying they needed his voice.

"A group of people came to me. They felt like they needed my representation," he said.

Atkinson would like to see managed growth in West Jordan.

Housing growth has outpaced commercial development, leaving residents with high taxes and mediocre service.

More business development is needed to establish a tax base and ease the burden currently being placed on homeowners, he said.

The 46-year-old candidate also believes a stronger commercial tax base would allow the city to hire more police officers, now needed to deal with West Jordan youth crime and set up effective neighborhood watch program.

Atkinson believes his tenure on Capitol Hill as a member of a minority party gives him invaluable practice in the art of persuasion.

"I'm used to bringing people together," he said.

Atkinson envisions a day when West Jordan employs a full-time mayor but adds "I'm not interested in that job."

Atkinson is embroiled in an unresolved harassment suit that recently cost him his job as administrator of the Utah School Employee Association.

Donna Evans

Donna Evans has been self-employed during most of her professional life.

That experience, she says, gives her the know-how to hire, manage and help administer a city in need of business development.

The 41-year-old candidate worries West Jordan is not doing enough to attract quality businesses.

Don't wait for business to approach the city, let's get out and promote West Jordan, she said.

Careful planning will provide the city with the kind of businesses that will enrich each resident's quality of life.

"We need to decide what kind of businesses we'd like to bring in," said Evans, who would like to see more up-scale restaurants, a performing arts center and a professional center in West Jordan.

A city the size of West Jordan should also enjoy more of an identity, Evans believes.

A downtown center would provide the city with a visible locale for people to gather - and spend their money.

Although Evans has limited city government experience, she believes her business experience is needed to attract commercial development.

Evans also believes residents' voices aren't being enlisted on City Hall.

If elected, she said she'll ensure a forum for all.

"I'd want to make sure citizens' point of view are being heard," she said.