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West Valley City Journal

There’s much work to do in 2022 says city’s first female mayor

Jan 25, 2022 02:28PM ● By Darrell Kirby

Mayor Karen Lang takes over to helm West Valley City. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

By Darrell Kirby | [email protected]

In a historic occasion for West Valley City, Karen Lang was sworn in during a ceremony in January as the city’s first woman mayor.

Lang took the oath of office in front of a gathering of city officials and employees, friends, family and other well-wishers in the lobby of City Hall.

“I’m very honored and privileged that you have enough faith in me to elect me mayor,” Lang told the crowd as she held back tears. “We have much to do in 2022. We’re going to make this a great year for the city.”

Lang praised the camaraderie of the city council even when members have different opinions and votes. “We get along. Nobody holds grudges,” Lang said.

Three other members of West Valley City government were also sworn in. Newcomer Scott Harmon took his seat on the city council to replace Steve Buhler who lost his bid for mayor after serving for 12 years on the council.

“I love West Valley,” said Harmon, 46, a nearly lifelong resident of the city. “I’m excited to be part of (the community) in this different way and to make good changes in West Valley and help us progress and become better.” He represents District 2 in the south-central part of the city.

Incumbents Lars Nordfelt and Jake Fitisemanu officially began their third and second terms, respectively, on the city council.

Nordfelt, who serves as one of the at-large representative, is the son of the late former mayor and police chief Dennis Nordfelt. “I hope…that we can all work together to make a difference for our city as we move into the future and that I will be worthy of the trust that you’ve put in me.”

Fitisemanu was reelected in District 4 covering the southwestern section of the city. “I am very grateful and proud of the dynamics of our council. We treat each other with respect in working to improve the city,” he said, echoing the new mayor.

Also in January, the city council selected William Whetstone to fill the remaining two years of Lang’s former seat on the council .