WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder announced Wednesday that he has decided not to seek re-election this fall, citing financial reasons.
“Public service is always a sacrifice for a family, and in our city’s council-manager form of government it is especially difficult to serve as mayor,” Winder said in a press release. “Although the pay is part-time, the duties of the job of mayor have daily demands that make other employment very difficult. For the need of better providing for my growing family, I announce today that I will not be seeking reelection.”
Winder, 37, was elected in 2009 with 76 percent of the vote and was paid an annual salary of $35,000. Winder’s salary was about one-third of the salary paid to the mayors of Provo, Sandy, Salt Lake City and other cities of similar size, the press release said.
“My wife teaches piano lessons one night a week , I do consulting on the side. Hard to provide for a growing family,” Winder said. “If I was paid what my counterparts in other cities were, sure you bet I’d run for reelection. Our data shows we’d win.”
Read the full press release from Mayor Winder’s office:
West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder announced today that he will not be seeking reelection this fall. Winder, who was elected in 2009 with 76% of the vote, said the decision was a financial one, based on his need to provide for his family with full-time employment.
“Public service is always a sacrifice for a family, and in our city’s council-manager form of government it is especially difficult to serve as mayor,” Winder said. “Although the pay is part-time, the duties of the job of mayor have daily demands that make other employment very difficult. For the need of better providing for my growing family, I announce today that I will not be seeking reelection.”
West Valley City’s mayor is paid $35,000 per year, about 1/3 of the wage of mayors of Provo, Sandy, Salt Lake City and other cities of similar size.
The mayor said that he will complete his term of office that expires in January 2014 and will seek full-time employment for his post-mayoral career. “There is much work to still do this year, including hiring and working with a new police chief,” Winder said, “and there has been so much progress over the past four years that our city can be proud of.” He points to ten specific achievements:
1) The turnaround of Valley Fair Mall, which added 300,000 square feet of retail and today has the #1 Olive Garden in North America and the most high tech movie theater in the United States.
2) Seeing TRAX come to West Valley City and leveraging transit to launch the half-billion dollar Fairbourne Station development, which includes a new Embassy Suites Hotel that opened this year.
3) Other economic development success, such as seeing over a billion dollars in private investment come to the city last year, over 4,000 jobs created by new or expanding businesses in four years, and bringing Petzl’s North American headquarters to the city.
4) Improved and cleaned up neighborhoods, with code enforcement violations down, a 46% reduction of graffiti along major city corridors, and the first CNG fleet of garbage trucks in the state.
5) Crime dropping 11% in the city since 2009, with police calls at Valley Fair Mall down 75%, and strengthening the Professional Standards Review Board that oversees complaints against the department.
6) Three new parks created, with plans for more trails, a skate park, and a Jordan River park. A revamped golf course will open this summer.
7) Expanded programs and exhibits, and a new Chinese Heritage Gate at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.
8) The city’s animal shelter is on track to be the first city in Utah with a “no kill” shelter status.
9) Naming rights for the “E-Center” finally secured after 12 years, becoming “The Maverik Center”.
10) Treating people with dignity, including championing an anti-discrimination ordinance to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and employment; and launching an English Language Initiative that has recognized nearly 1,000 immigrants who have completed English classes.
Mayor Winder was elected by his peers to be president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and chair of the Salt Lake Valley Conference of Mayors. In 2011, he was named “Best of State” mayor for Utah, recognized in City Weekly’s “Best of Utah”, and was a nominee for the Salt Lake Tribune’s “Utahn of the Year.” Utah Business magazine has listed him as one of Utah’s “Forty Rising Stars Under Forty.” As mayor he also published a history book of the city.
Winder, age 37, served a term on the city council and four years as the city’s business development manager before being elected mayor. He and his wife, Karyn, are the parents of four children between the ages of five and fourteen. “I love this city and it is an honor to serve as mayor,” he said, “I look forward to many more years of continued community service in various capacities.”