West Valley City (Utah). City Council

Entity: 1761
Entity Type: Municipality


West Valley City was incorporated on 1 July 1980. The new city adopted the commission form of government prescribed by law for second class cities. A three-member commission made up of the mayor and two commissioners, who were inaugurated on 1 July, made up West Valley City's governing body. The commission established a task force in February 1981 to determine whether a change of government would be desirable. Voters approved a measure to adopt a city council-manager form of government during a special election held on 28 July 1981. Residents elected council members during the general election in November 1981. Winners were inaugurated on 4 January 1982. The council is responsible for all legislative and policy-making functions of the municipal government.

Biography/History Notes

The council excercises general supervision of municipal affairs through its administrative and budget oversight function and appoints a professional city manager to serve as the chief executive office. Members meet regularly at established dates and times which are published annually by the city recorder.?During the first 18 months of West Valley City's existence, both legislative and executive authority were concentrated in the commission form of government prescribed for first and second class cities. All important acts, including the enactment of new ordinances and major appointments, were performed by its collective authority. Commission-elect members met informally prior to officially taking office on 1 July 1980 in order to set the ground work for establishing a city government. At the first council meeting on inauguration day the council ratified contracts with police officers and city employees, signed purchase contracts, signed a one-year lease on city hall, adopted general city ordinances, and ratified appointments to city boards.

The mayor acts as chairman of the West Valley City Council. The mayor presides at all meetings of the council and has a vote in all council proceedings.

The West Valley City Council consists of seven members. The mayor and two at large members are elected by voters city wide. The other four represent specific geographic districts. All elected officials serve staggered, four-year terms. Vacancies occurring through death or resignation are filled through appointments by the council.

Under the original commission form of government used by West Valley until January 1982, the mayor and commission members directly supervised city departments. In organizing the city government, Mayor Henry Price was responsible for public affairs, finance, and the treasury. Jerald Wagstaff oversaw public works, planning and zoning, engineering, street maintenance, and other public improvements. Renee Mackay supervised parks, sanitation, animal control, street lighting, urban forestry, and community celebrations. Collectively, the entire commission managed purchasing, personnel, the recorder's and attorney's offices, business licensing, and the court staff.

A listing of commission and council members elected or appointed between 1980 and 1999 appears in the appendix, available in the Archives Research Center.