Diversity • First ethnic minority takes seat on City Council.
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West Valley City • This west-side suburb swore in three members Tuesday to its City Council, including its first member who is an ethnic minority.
Mayor Mike Winder noted that each elected representative, whether new to the West Valley City Council or a veteran, brings a different perspective based on diverse life experiences and backgrounds. With a population of about 130,000, West Valley is the second-largest city in Utah, and 45 percent of its residents are minorities.
Taking the oath of office were two new members and one incumbent. Corey Rushton, 36, is starting his second term as an at-large member. Tom Huynh, 44, a native of Vietnam who came to the United States as a refugee, represents District 1, and Karen Lang, 52, represents District 3.
The three, who are serving four-year terms, thanked their supporters. Huynh, a Realtor, also praised his opponents for conducting themselves "in an honorable manner."
"I stand before you today very grateful and humbled to serve as the council member for District 1," Huynh said. He added: "I will do my very best to ensure your trust and faith were well invested."
Huynh won the seat vacated by Carolynn Burt, who decided not to run for re-election. Lang, the other newcomer, filled the spot held by Russ Brooks, who also did not run again.
Lang, who is owner and operator of Oakbridge Greenhouse with her husband, thanked Janice Fisher, a former West Valley City councilwoman who is now a state representative, for her encouragement. Fisher recommended her for a spot on the city Planning Commission, a position that Lang held for a decade.
"I truly appreciate everyone who supported me," she said.
Rushton, a marketing manager and small business owner, said he was overwhelmed by the trust placed in him by constituents. His family's roots in West Valley City go back generations. He also is mayor pro tem and chair of the Jordan River Commission.