Some people get ruffled doing three things at once. Not Raylene Ireland.
In the course of one-half hour, Ireland, the assiduous administrative assistant to Mayor Joe Jenkins, gave an interview, helped two other people prepare for a press conference and looked over preliminary plans for a city publication."Raylene is a very bright lady," said Jenkins. "She understands the public mood and public perceptions."
In the course of her job, Ireland represents the mayor and the city on a number of boards and committees. One would think she would get so tired of meetings she would avoid them on her own time. But, no. Ireland's influence is felt far and wide in organizations affecting Utah County, from parking problems to politics.
She loves politics. Any doubts about her political persuasions can be laid to rest. According to Jenkins, she'd like her headstone to read "Raylene Ireland - Republican."
Ireland started her career from the back of a wagon. It is significant that she was pulling that wagon. She's not one to sit back and let others fight her battles.
"She started dragging around a wagon with her kids in it passing out campaign literature," said Provo City Attorney Gary Gregerson. "One thing led to another until she was the party chairman."
Ireland was Utah County's first Republican Party Chairwoman.
Ireland fought her way into Brigham Young University. After high school, she applied for BYU and was accepted. Besides having excellent grades and test scores, she was a member of her high school debate team. She planned to start her freshman year the summer after high school.
Ireland moved into an apartment in Provo and went to register for school and was told "Sorry." Apparently one of the endless papers was missing. She was told she couldn't go to BYU.
Most 18-year-olds would call Daddy at that point. Not Raylene. She sat herself down in the office where someone could help her and she waited there until someone did.
That kind of confidence and determination can be seen every day Ireland is on the job. She expresses her views, or the views she is representing, clearly and with intelligence. And she is not to be intimidated.
But she has a softness that puts people at ease. When a person tells her of a problem he is having with the city, Ireland is able to be a sympathetic listener. Even if she disagrees with the person's point of view, you can almost be sure the person feels better after talking to her.
It is that side of Ireland that helps with the picture of her at home with her family. She and her husband have seven children, from teenagers down to a three-year-old.
How does she feel about her service to Provo City? She summed it up with the simple statement, "I love my job."