A new voice on the West Bountiful City CouncilFeb 01, 2024 11:54AM ● By Peri Kinder
Jenn Nielsen, a long-time resident of the city, will start her term on the West Bountiful City Council this month. Photo courtesy of Nielsen.
Jenn Nielsen has been elected to the West Bountiful City Council and will serve as the only female voice on the council. She wants her point of view to reflect many of the city’s residents, including women and educators.
“It’s a little daunting in some ways, and in a lot of ways it’s good because we really should have representation,” Nielsen said. “We deserve to be represented more than we are. There is a difference in perspective between genders. We think differently, we approach things differently and we come with different creativities.”
Nielsen and her husband Jason have lived in West Bountiful since 2005. She’s a graduate of Weber State University who owned and operated a preschool for 20 years. Nielsen also served on various PTA boards and community councils, and currently serves as the chair for the Viewmont High Community Council.
As a voice for educators, Nielsen wants to highlight some of the struggles faced in West Bountiful schools.
“We’re losing way too many teachers because they don’t have the support from parents and community that say we appreciate all that they put up with. And they put up with a lot,” Nielsen said. “One of the best ways to get somebody involved in what’s happening is to show them what’s truly happening…We need to focus on the positive concepts because so often we just hear about the negatives.”
Nielsen is passionate about agriculture and sustainable land-use. She worries about urbanization in West Bountiful, even though she knows development is necessary and inevitable. Nielsen hopes to find a balance between keeping a rural feel in the city and the growth that makes West Bountiful fiscally viable. Also, preserving land for parks and recreation in the city is a high priority for her time in office.
Nielsen and her four children have participated in the Davis County 4-H programs. She finds agricultural education to be invaluable to creating a sustainable community.
She hopes to be a voice that creates logical solutions for the residents in West Bountiful. While fulfilling her term on the council, she wants to identify areas that can be improved to create stronger communities.
“I grew up with the idea that civic duty is part of life, it’s just how I was raised,” she said. “I love West Bountiful and I’ve spent most of my time as a parent doing PTA and community council at the schools. I’m on the downhill slope of that, now that my baby’s a sophomore…You get to know people when you work with them. So this will be a different way of doing some of those same kinds of things.”
Nielsen knows it will be a steep learning curve to understand the ins-and-out of local government but she’s excited to get started. Although she began attending city council meetings one year ago, Nielsen expects it will take time to learn city codes, terminology and procedures.
She also hopes her election to the city council will inspire other residents to get involved in civic government and be willing to donate their time and talents to making West Bountiful a better place.
“We’ve got to get people to realize that adding [service] to their calendar will not be a sacrifice beyond their abilities,” Nielsen said. “Go for it. We need more people who are willing to say yes. We have more in us than we think we do.”