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West Valley Mayor Mike Winder will not seek re-election

Published: Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:05 a.m. MDT

Mike Winder, mayor of West Valley City, poses outside his office in West Valley Tuesday, November 8, 2011.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News archives

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Mayor Mike Winder announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election this fall.

Winder, who has been West Valley's mayor since 2009, said in a prepared statement that his decision, "was a financial one, based on his need to provide for his family with full-time employment."

“Public service is always a sacrifice for a family, and in our city’s council-manager form of government it is especially difficult to serve as mayor,” Winder said. “Although the pay is part-time, the duties of the job of mayor have daily demands that make other employment very difficult.”

Winder, 37, noted in his press release and in tweets that he earned $35,000 per year as mayor, significantly less than the mayors of Provo, Sandy and Salt Lake City. West Valley is Utah's second biggest city after Salt Lake.

His term in office has been eventful, particularly with the city's police department. Since 2009, the city's police department has been under scrutiny as it investigated Susan Powell's disappearance, the fatal officer-involved shooting of 21-year-old Danielle Willard, and problems within its Neighborhood Narcotics Unit.

Winder made headlines of his own in 2011 when he admitted that wrote news stories about West Valley City for the Oquirrh Times and the Deseret News under the name Richard Burwash. Fallout from the incident included Winder resigning his position as director of public affairs for The Summit Group, and he was reprimanded by his City Council colleagues.

Winder ran for Salt Lake County mayor in 2012, losing in the primary election.

He also was mayor during a major overhaul of the Valley Fair Mall, including 300,000 new square feet of retail space. A TRAX line also made its way to West Valley during his administration.

Prior to being mayor, Winder served one term on the city council and four years as the city’s business development manager. He and his wife, Karyn, have four children.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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