Complex problems in an ever-increasingly complex world exist at both a global and local level. Solving complex problems requires an “all hands are on deck” approach. More and more women have been joining men at the leadership table following the women’s suffrage movement.
This is especially evident in mayoral races. More women are on track to be elected mayor in the top 100 cities than ever before — in some major cities, for the first time.
As of September 2019, per the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of the 1,366 mayors of U.S. cities with population over 300,000, 22 percent were women. This figure increased compared to July 2016 at 18.0 percent.
Sevier County has benefitted from the unique perspectives, skill sets and leadership styles of several elected women mayors in years past. Over the next several weeks these mayors and their contributions to our communities will be a highlighted.
Stena Scorup was the second female mayor in the state of Utah. She served from 1922-1924. Scorup was elected only two years after national suffrage had been granted — although Utah had given women the vote many years prior.
Her calm manor caught people off guard – she said that at municipal conventions, people expected an aggressive woman and found, in her own words, “a homely, humble school teacher.” Stena was a good mayor.
Under her leadership, Salina’s main street was surfaced, electric lights were installed on main roads, water conditions were improved, and she decreased the city’s debt. And she did it all while teaching a course in English at the high school and caring for an invalid brother.
Another noted mayoral leader was Leah Conover who served from 1979-81. Conover, was born March 12, 1912, in Emery, a daughter of Antone and Mary E. Abelin Jensen.
She married Wallace Conover, Dec. 24, 1929, in Castle Dale, Utah. They are parents of four children Judy, Wally, Robert and Eddie.
Leah moved to Salina where she served on the Salina City Council and as mayor of Salina. Leah was a well-respected mayor, she was intelligent, easy to work with and accomplished much during her service to Salina.