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The City Journals

Mayor Ramsey wins second term, two incumbent councilmen re-elected

Nov 23, 2021 05:17PM ● By Travis Barton

(Left to right) Jason McGuire, Dawn Ramsey and Don Shelton were all re-elected in the November election. (Photo courtesy South Jordan City)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

The dais at South Jordan City Council meetings will look familiar in 2022 as all three incumbents return after winning re-election in November.

While Councilmen Don Shelton and Jason McGuire ran unopposed, Mayor Dawn Ramsey defeated her challenger, Stone Fonua, winning 92% of the vote.

Ramsey summed up her feelings on winning another four years in office with one word: humbling.

“I appreciate the trust that our residents are placing in me and the rest of our city council to try to represent them the very best we can,” Ramsey told the South Jordan Journal. “I appreciate the overwhelming level of support. So many, many people reached out offering, expressing their support, and it means more than people will ever know.”

Ramsey was quick to credit those around her at every level for the large margin of victory, noting voters saw the great efforts from people who work for the city—whether it was her, the council, city staff or residents.

“It’s because I'm surrounded by good people who work really hard,” she said. “That's why South Jordan is so awesome.”

From the past four years Ramsey highlighted various successes both her and the city enjoyed such as the over $100 million they’ve obtained in infrastructure funding, saving Mulligans, and finishing the 10400 South and Bangerter interchange.

“It’s taken a lot of effort by everyone at the city, but I’m proud of the role I’ve played,” she said.

South Jordan was also the first city in Utah to receive the Ethical Leadership in Government award. The city will own 50% of the in-development Bingham Creek Regional Park.

“Making sure that, as we continue to grow, we have lots of beautiful, plentiful open space with trails and connectivity,” Ramsey said. “That's really important and something I intend to continue working hard on the next four years.”

Ramsey also pointed to the prescient water reuse pilot project they started a few years ago that looks at ways for the city to not be dependent on buying all its water. A project for which city leadership even received an award from then-Gov. Gary Herbert.

“We’re really trying to look down the line to ensure that the residents of South Jordan have the water that they need and for generations to come,” she said.

Perhaps most importantly, the mayor serves on multiple boards, commissions and committees, ensuring South Jordan has “a seat at every table” where decisions are made that affect the city.

“That was one of the things I promised four years ago was to make sure South Jordan had a seat at every table, and we do,” Ramsey said, noting those seats aren’t automatic, “they had to be earned.”

Ramsey serves as president of the Jordan Education Foundation, is the representative for local government on the Utah Economic Opportunities Commission and was recently selected by her peers to be the president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns. And those are just a few.

“It’s all to do what I can to bring opportunities to South Jordan,” Ramsey said.

Though Ramsey is “very proud” of what the city’s accomplished over the last four years, her unyielding energy means she has a healthy list of goals for term No. 2. Some of which means continuing to build on the foundations established since 2017.

Whether that’s creating and maintaining open space, developing the water program or working with the Larry H. Miller group on the town center planned for Daybreak.

“That's really high on the priority list too,” she said of the town center. “Because if we can get that right, that will be a significant amenity in a significant area that can benefit all of us in the city in big ways.”

Funding for infrastructure is also one of Ramsey’s major priorities, notably transportation to extend Mountain View Corridor to eventually widen that road as well as Bacchus Highway along with finishing the 9800 South interchange.

“There are so many big things that we're working on and I appreciate the chance to keep working on them because I'd like to be here to see them to completion,” she said.

As for a third term? Ramsey hasn’t given it much thought, too concentrated on the future of South Jordan.

“All of my long-term vision is focused on what this city will look like in the future and the best things we can plan and implement so that we stay ahead of the growth,” she said when asked about a third term. “I haven't even thought about that yet.”

District 3 Councilman Don Shelton will enter his third term running unopposed for the first time after successful campaigns in 2013, defeating the incumbent Brian Butters, and 2017, defeating challenger Julie Holbrook.

Shelton noted while running unopposed was “far less stressful” than past campaigns, it also “felt wrong.”

“While I appreciate that things are going well in South Jordan, I also believe a contested campaign can bring issues to the surface that helps make the city better,” he said.

Shelton is part of a seasoned council with every councilmember either entering their second term or having served at least two terms. For Shelton, his previous two terms has taught him “how to get things done at the city level and how to influence things at the county and state level.”

“I appreciate the collaboration needed to bring about positive outcomes for our current and future residents,” said Shelton, whose district covers the northwest/western portion of the city.

Councilman Jason McGuire also ran unopposed, winning a second term after his victory in 2017 when he fought off Sandra Kay Kirkendoll in District 5, the centrally-located portion of the city.

McGuire, along with Shelton and Ramsey make up a body of elected officials who had four years together, and will serve another four years.

“I'm proud of what we've accomplished, and it's definitely we, not just me,” Ramsey said. “I'm proud of the role I've played. It's been more work than anyone will ever know, I’ve given it the best of what I have to offer and I'm proud of what that's turned into.”