OREM — James Evans was sworn in as the new mayor of Orem on Oct. 25 after a long career in public service and several campaigns for mayor.
As he addressed citizens at his first council meeting as mayor, Evans said, “People who know me wonder, ‘What crazy bone did he have in his body?'”
Evans isn’t new to the city council, previously worked under three different mayors. He served on the city council from 1988-89 as well as the mid 1990s, and again from January 2000 to December 2007.
- James T. Evans is sworn in as the new mayor for the city of Orem after previous mayor Jerry Washburn recently passed away due to cancer.
“The chairs have changed, some of the faces have changed, some of the faces have gotten a just little older,” Evans said.
Evans said that this enabled him to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes, but he said he still had some homework to do.
“Quite frankly, I need to get up to speed,” Evans said. “I’ve read up to speed more on the issue of building the Center for Story, I need to get up to speed on all the different thoughts of the community.”
Among issues facing Evans are the city debt, loss in tax revenue, the proposed Center for Story and Orem’s participation in the UTOPIA network. The center was a matter of concern and controversy for the public at the meeting.
“I’ll take seriously that we are making choices that impact our future,” Evans said
Evans spoke highly of the late mayor Jerry Washburn, who ran against Evans.
“I have so much respect for him,” Evans said. “I would hope to be half the statesman that he was. I think people knew that he loved Orem and I want them to know that I love Orem.”
Evans thanked his wife, Tana, for her support throughout his application for mayor.
“She thought she gave me permission to put my name on a piece of paper and give a three-minute speech and go home,” Evans said. “Dear, I’ll be coming to some meetings for a while, so thank you for your support.”
Evans and his wife have lived in Orem since 1984. He said that they could have moved other places but enjoy living in Orem.
“In the last 27 years, I’ve changed my street address on Heather Road,” Evans said.
Evans received his bachelor’s of organizational communications from BYU in 1982. He is currently the senior Vice President and COO of Xactware, a computer software company that specializes in software for estimating building costs.
“I’ll work hard to make sure that we do the best that we can humanly possible to make the right choices, and we seek your input to help us do that,” Evans said.