'Little Bulldog' will take a break; the housewife and mother who became mayor

Published: Sunday, Dec. 1 2013 6:05 p.m. MST

The lack of transparency was largely what drove Johnson to seek office in the first place. She emailed a group of constituents regularly while serving on the City Council, informing them of council decisions, and as mayor she changed the way information was posted on the city’s website so that everyone would have easy access to it.

The politicking takes its toll, and sometimes, after returning from a day at City Hall she takes out her frustrations on that punching bag in the family room.

“I envisioned some City Council member and punched and kicked the bag,” she says. “It helps! It helps me so I don’t say things I shouldn’t say. I hit the bag and then I feel better.”

At one point Johnson promised her family that she would take a break from politics after her current term ends. She does not discount resuming her political career someday, perhaps in the state Legislature after working in a state agency, where she can “increase my knowledge base.”

“I really enjoy the people I work with, and I love the community, but I knew it was a short-term thing,” she says. “I knew I was not going to be mayor a long time. I didn’t want that. And I’m ready to move on to different challenges. I’m happiest when there’s a learning curve. I’ve reached a plateau here with the mayor’s job. We have the same issues that come up in cycles. There is always more to learn, but not enough to keep me motivated.”

Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Email: drob@deseretnews.com

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