LAYTON -- New Layton Mayor Bob Stevenson took the oath of office Monday afternoon surrounded by three of his most ardent campaign supporters: Neighbors Abby and Spencer Poll, 9 and 8 years old respectively, and nephew Korbin Folkman, 8.
Stevenson told the standing room only crowd gathered at Layton City Hall that nephew Korbin even helped him with putting in a yard sign.
Although, Stevenson said, he did have to return to that location to take the sign out after the property owner complained about it. Stevenson jokingly blamed Korbin, tousling the youth's hair, causing the crowd to break out in laughter.
In addition to Stevenson being sworn in as Layton mayor, replacing Layton Mayor pro tem Jory Francis, Layton City Recorder Thieda Wellman also administered the oath of office to new City Councilman Tom Day and new City Councilwoman Joy Petro.
Wellman said the crowd at Monday's event was the largest number of people she has ever seen attend a city swearing-in ceremony.
Following the oaths, Stevenson explained the significance of him having the children stand next to him during his swearing-in -- the children, representing the future generations elected leaders are to protect -- before recognizing in attendance RaeLynn Curtis, widow of Mayor Steve Curtis who passed away unexpectedly Thanksgiving night.
"I am trying to fill the shoes of a very wonderful man," Stevenson said of Curtis.
Then, working without notes, Stevenson stood before the crowd sharing a few goals he would like to see the city achieve.
By creating greater shopping areas, protecting existing businesses and attracting economic development, Stevenson said, he is hoping to boost, over the next three years, Layton city sales tax revenues from roughly $11.8 million in 2013 to $14 million.
Stevenson said he is also issuing a challenge to staff to reduce city operation cost by 2 percent over the next year, and the council to put in place a six-month moratorium on apartment buildings until officials can get a better idea of what percentage of the living units in the city consist of apartments.
At this time, Stevenson said, he does not know what that ratio would be, but he would expect that a healthy ratio would be anywhere between 12 to 15 percent of the city's available housing market.
The city also needs to work more closely with the Davis School District in strengthening its schools, one of the first things looked at by people and business before they settle into a community is the quality of schools, he said.
And in hindsight, Stevenson said, even though UTOPIA was a "mistake to go after," his hope is that with "a little pain" that fiber optic network will be able to provide the city with the service it needs.
"We have got a lot of challenges ahead of us," Petro said.
However, the new councilwoman says she is excited to jump in and serve.
"We're here to make Layton city go forward, not backward," Day said in offering brief remarks.
Former Layton mayor, Jerry Stevenson, now a Republican state senator and a distant relation to Bob Stevenson, said the new council members and mayor will do a good job.
"I think you have got some smart folks here. They'll adjust," Jerry Stevenson said.
"This will be the friendliest crowd they will ever see," Jerry Stevenson added with a laugh, recalling those days when the only time the council chambers filled up with people, like it did on Monday, was when residents were upset over something.
Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, said Bob Stevenson is right on the issues and has tremendous business experience and the time needed to lead Layton.
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.