35 years ago this week a group of West side Salt Lake County residents realized a dream come true after a hard fought multiyear campaign to incorporate into their own City. The “Let’s Do It” tag line became “Living the Dream” on July 1, 1980.
Having worked a while on the “Let’s Do It” committee through the West Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, I realized that we could acquire better services as an incorporated government by creating our own City. Having moved to what was then “Granger” from the Avenues of Salt Lake City in 1973, I quickly realized that we were not getting the attention of County agencies as I tried to call to get help with neighborhood policing, new parks and messy homes and yards that were never planted or taken care of and in some cases full of junk. I was raised on the Avenues where everyone took care of their homes and yards… had Parks to walk to and play in and also saw police always patrolling the streets.
Fast forward to 1993…13 years after incorporation... I was asked to serve as a volunteer on the West Valley City Clean and Beautiful Committee as Chairperson in the Parks and Recreation Department. By 1993 there was much improvement in our City Green Spaces and since incorporation, many Parks were designed and added for residents in West Valley City that I feel would have never been added on the West Side of the County had we not Incorporated. I also feel that Salt Lake County gained a better respect for Parks and Recreation property “West Of Redwood Road” because we became a City which is shown today in the many partnerships we both do together with the City Council and the Parks Department.
The Police and Fire Departments, as well as other essential services, continue to define who we are as a City with the professional people that work here.
My family has always been on committees volunteering for our great City. My wife Margene has served on the Arts Council, Directing and Choreographing/Directing 15 years of Community Theatre as well as serving on our WestFest committee for many years. My son that was a Youth City Council Mayor and the Author of the West Valley City Song. My two daughters volunteered for the 2002 Olympic Hockey events at our 2002 Hockey Venue and West Valley City Community Theatre and Ice Skating events. Because of my continued love for wanting to make this City Shine, I applied for and came to work for West Valley City in 1995 where I am still employed today.
I have seen many friends and neighbors become Mayors and members of Council. Some of those leaving their legacy before their sad passing, and some continuing on today to make us strong as a City. And the same goes for employees that I have worked for and with.
I guess I could sum up this Happy Birthday Blog best by using another tag line that I used when I was first hired in 1995 which is “West Valley City…Progress As Promised”, but add to it…”By Many Mayors, Council Members, Dedicated Volunteers and Employees of West Valley City! “Live-Work-Play WVC!
Happy 35th Birthday Day West Valley City!
--Kevin Conde, WVC Employee and Resident