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West Jordan Journal

Bedore ready to work on West Jordan growth, identity

Jan 05, 2024 01:36PM ● By Tom Haraldsen

Bob Bedore emcees an improv tournament in 2017. Bedore has an extensive background in theatre. (File photo City Journals)

Bob Bedore has lived in West Jordan for nearly 25 years. He has a business here, has performed in many plays in the city, and has built his career as an entertainer in both stand up comedy and improv while living in the community. He’s always tried as a resident to give back to the city.

But last year, after considering it for many months, he finally decided to run for city council, and was elected in November. Bedore begins his four-year term as the councilmember from District 2 this month.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that I wanted to run. I’ve even tried to volunteer my services with the city before, but it hasn’t worked out. So after discussing this with my wife, I decided to throw my hat in the ring, and I’m grateful for this opportunity,” he said.

A few months ago, Bedore was working as a weatherman for ABC4, where “I did a quick study on weather—learning things about meteorology I didn’t know.” He eventually was able to do his own forecasts while the station was looking to hire a full-time meteorologist. He plans to bring that same “quick study” approach to council work.

“I’ve been following the council for a long time,” he said. “When the city decided to build a new arts center and put money aside, I offered up my expertise in theater because I’ve run them and performed in them in the past. I’m still passionate about that need in West Jordan, but the project has been on hold, and now that money won’t go as far as it would have had we started building a center years ago.”

He wants to work with the council on making such an arts center something more than “just a box–just a large building where a lot of activities could be held.” That is one of his goals moving forward. He says the makeup of the city council, four members elected from specific districts with three at-large members, lends itself to getting support from a majority. “It gives each district a chance to get projects going in their areas,” he said.

Bedore feels the biggest challenge facing West Jordan is the growth on the westside.

“The buildout near 90th South requires us to take care of everyone west of it,” he says. “The hard part is that we have people in West Jordan who live here and bought homes here but don’t want to see middle or high density housing built near their neighborhoods. They feel it will hurt their property value. But growth is inevitable and things are going to happen. We have to be smart in how we build out. Property taxes are going to go up if we don’t.”

And Bedore would like to see West Jordan improve its identity—or even get one.

“We’re the third largest city in the state and yet we don’t act like it,” he said. “What is West Jordan known for….what makes us stand out? We don’t have a true downtown area. We don’t have a car lot, as an example. A lot of sales tax comes from those lots. We don’t have a state liquor story, which is important to a lot of people and also a tax revenue generator. They have to drive to West Valley which has two liquor stores or to Taylorsville which has one. We don’t have some of the basic kinds of things that most large cities do have. We must build relationships and use the power of being the state’s third largest city to attract those types of things. I don’t want West Jordan passed over for anything West Jordan needs.”

Coupled with that is community pride which is important to him.  

“I want pride in the city. When a city has pride, crime and littering go down because everyone is watching a little bit more when they’re thinking about their city. We can unify the council and turn West Jordan into ‘Best Jordan.’” λ