Mayor S. Blaine Willes' hand-picked successor makes no bones about it: she wants the job.
Tuesday night Willes suggested a council member be appointed to the seat he'll vacate July 1. He also recommended council member Joyce Johnson be appointed mayor."Yes," Johnson responded when asked if she wanted the appointment. And, she'll file to run for the position in November.
According to state law, the council must appoint a registered voter to fill the vacancy until an individual elected to the position takes office in January. If the council appoints one of its own members to the position, it will then have to select a registered voter to fill the vacant council seat.
That seat will also be open for election in November.
According to Deputy Lt. Gov. Dave Hansen, if Johnson - as a member of the council - will be able to help vote herself into the position of interim mayor if she is selected by the council. Nothing in state law requires a council member to give up his or her voting right in such a situation, he said.
If selected by the council for the appointment, Johnson will vote for herself, she said.
Johnson planned to run for mayor in two years when Willes' term expired. In fact, she says Willes approached her about running for mayor in 1989; if Johnson had been interested, he would not have run again.
Johnson wasn't ready in 1989 to be mayor. She is now.
"I have a lot to give the city and the time to do the job," she said.
Johnson is currently serving her second term on the council. In both the 1985 and 1989 elections Johnson was the top vote-getter. Prior to running for office, Johnson served eight years on the Planning Commission, including three years as chairwoman. She's also participated in economic development efforts in Orem.
Johnson is the assistant store manager at ZCMI II in East Bay.