Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

WEST VALLEY CITY (UTAH). CITY COUNCIL

Agency History #1761

CREATION

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.

FUNCTIONS

The council exercises general supervision of municipal affairs through its administrative and budget oversight function and appoints a professional city manager to serve as the chief executive. The 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.

ADMINISTRATION

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.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

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.

COMPILED BY: W. Glen Fairclough, Jr. , January 2001

SOURCES

Gorrell, Michael J., Let's Do It: West Valley City's Official Early History, 1848-1990. West Valley City: West Valley City Civic Committee, 1993.

Utah Foundation. State and Local Government in Utah. Salt Lake City: Utah Foundation, 1954, revised 1962, revised 1972, revised 1979, revised 1992.

Utah League of Cities and Towns. Directory of Local Government Officials. Salt Lake City: Utah League of Cities and Towns, revised 1995, revised 1997, revised 1999.

Utah. Legislature. Utah Code Annotated, 1953, Title 10. [Series no. 83238].

Utah. Legislature. Utah Code Unannotated, 1953, Title 10. [Series no. 01052].

West Valley City. Information Packet. (1998).

West Valley City. "Progress as Promised" brochure. (2000).

West Valley City. Official website. (2000).