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The City Journals

Taylorsville HS graduate, father of three is newest member of city council

Nov 29, 2021 02:48PM ● By Carl Fauver

Bob Knudsen and a little more than 900 other people voted for him last month to place him on the Taylorsville City Council. (Courtesy Bob Knudsen)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

You might think raising three sons all under 10 and working full time as a senior accountant for the University of Utah’s College of Engineering would be enough to keep lifelong Taylorsville resident Bob Knudsen busy. But last month, in the city’s only contested race, Knudsen added city councilman to his list of duties.

Although the vote count was not officially completed or “certified” at press time, Knudsen’s vote lead over Larry Johnson was 913 to 824.

“Frankly, Taylorsville is not the same place today as it was when I was my boys’ ages,” Knudsen said. “Maybe it is because I am a dad now, but I see more crime than when I was a kid. Our streets are also busier and housing is more difficult to find. I want to do what I can to help our city face its challenges. I want the city to be better, for my sons and everyone else.”

Knudsen replaces eight-year incumbent District 5 Councilman Dan Armstrong.

“Bob and Larry are both good men and our district was going to be well-served whichever way the election went,” Armstrong said. “I was Bob’s [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] bishop and also his Boy Scout leader. I know him well. Bob is a good man. And I’m pleased he’s an accountant like me. He’ll be a good member on the council to help track the city’s finances.”

Just a couple of weeks after the election, Bob and Susan Knudsen celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. Their sons, Paul, Ralph and Will, are ages 9, 6 and 4, respectively.

Knudsen graduated from Taylorsville High School in 2003 and enrolled at the University of Utah that fall. However, he wasn’t at the U long before departing on a two-year church mission in Vancouver, British Columbia.

After returning, Knudsen earned his mathematics degree at the U of U.

“At first, I wanted to be a high school teacher,” Knudsen said. “But when I looked at the salaries and all the regulations for teaching, I decided to look at something else. Eventually I switched to accounting and finance.”

Knudsen has never served in an elected position before. But he has been involved with the city. For several years he has helped with the city-sponsored neighborhood watch program. He’s also volunteered during Taylorsville Dayzz.

“When I heard Dan [Armstrong] was thinking about not running again, I started attending city council meetings to learn a little more about how the city operates,” Knudsen said. “I started doing that last February. I still had not completely decided whether to run or not, when Dan approached me and said the [candidate registration] deadline was in one week. That’s when I finally decided to jump into the race.”

Of the many volunteer committees that serve Taylorsville City, Knudsen says he’s most inclined to work with the Finance and Public Safety groups.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to run for city council alongside Larry Johnson and Paul Schulte [in the primary],” Knudsen said. “I have been amazed to see the wonderful outpouring of support for me. For those who actively participated in the campaign, whether through contributing time or financial resources, I could not have done this without your help.”

Knudsen promises his constituents he will be accessible and responsive as a city council member.

“I want to do everything I can to be open and reachable for those in the city who are looking to know about the workings of the city council,” he said. “When possible, I want to respond to queries within one business day. I want to do everything reasonably within my scope to help ensure we are addressing the needs of our community so we cannot just be a decent place to live, but so we can be one of the best cities in the state.”

Knudsen will be sworn into his new post early next month.