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Taylorsville • As a citizen activist, Aimee Winder Newton worked to incorporate Taylorsville, served on its Planning Commission and lobbied for the city to provide funds for economic development.

Now, she's working from the inside to help Taylorsville prosper. Newton became the city's first director of marketing and communications on Aug. 1.

She acknowledges it was a tough decision to switch roles but believes she'll have more impact now as she works to keep residents informed, provide information to the media and market Taylorsville as a good business location.

"In the longer term, this will help my city more," Newton said.

City Administrator John Inch Morgan said the position was created as part of an economic-development effort to get businesses to locate in Taylorsville.

"We need to be competitive and market ourselves," Morgan said.

In addition, officials want to keep residents informed as they prepare long-term plans for the city, and get their input, he said.

Newton, owner of public-relations firm Figco Inc., was one of eight candidates who submitted a proposal on providing economic development, marketing and advertising services to Taylorsville. As a contractor, she is paid $48 an hour but gets no benefits. Her payment is capped at $60,000 and is coming out of Mayor Russ Wall's budget.

To improve communication, Newton plans to use social media, including her Taylorsville Tidbits blog, taylorsvilletidbits.com. She wants to be more aggressive with economic development, saying that in the past, the fiscally conservative Taylorsville has sometimes been "stepping over dollars to pick up dimes."

Through the years, Newton has been involved in community activities. She was the public-relations and advertising director of the Taylorsville Incorporation Committee, spent eight years on the City Planning Commission, served on community councils at her children's schools and volunteered with campaigns for mayor and City Council seats.

As founder of Citizens Supporting a Strong Taylorsville, she pushed for more money to spur economic development. The effort was a success: The City Council late last year approved the issuance of $10 million in bonds to finance infrastructure and incentives in two redevelopment areas.

The public involvement is a family tradition. Father Kent Winder is a Granger-Hunter Improvement District trustee and was elected to Taylorsville's first City Council; mother Sherri Winder is U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz's office manager in West Jordan; and younger brother Mike Winder is mayor of West Valley City.

"We were always taught to give back to our community," Newton said.

Even as children, Newton and Winder were thinking about public service. The siblings liked to play "City" in their basement, putting down tape to create streets. Newton played the banker, her preferred role, and Winder was the mayor.

The roles carried over into adulthood: Newton still prefers behind-the-scenes work and Winder was elected West Valley City mayor in 2009.

In her new position, Newton is trying to persuade businesses to move to Taylorsville. The same businesses could be courted by West Valley City. Newton describes the competition as healthy.

"We can be happy for each other," she said, adding that she and her brother are best friends who talk almost every day.

New public-relations director

R Aimee Winder Newton, 37, became Taylorsville's first director of marketing and communications on Aug. 1.

Newton, who has lived in the city since she was 6, is a graduate of Taylorsville High School and earned a degree in mass communications/public relations from the University of Utah. She worked in the marketing and public-relations fields before becoming a mortgage-loan originator in 2002. She is married and has four children, ages 7 to 15.

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