MIDVALE, Utah — The first female mayor of a Salt Lake City suburb retired after 20 years in the job and more than three decades of holding public office.
JoAnn Seghini packed up her office at the Midvale City Hall last week, bringing to an end her lengthy run as mayor.
“It’s a new day and a new time for somebody else,” Seghini told Deseret News while inside her nearly empty city office. “It’s really not mine. The people of Midvale have allowed me to have it for 20 years, and I’m really grateful.”
Seghini, a longtime teacher and school administrator, was hesitant at first about running for public office. While serving on the Midvale Planning Commission in the mid-1980s, she said former Midvale Mayor Trent Jepson encouraged her to run for a city council seat.
“I said, ‘I already have a job. I don’t want to run for council, I’m just happy as can be,'” Seghini said.
With just minutes to spare before the filing deadline, Seghini said she got one more call from the mayor, and it convinced her to run.
After serving three terms in the council, Seghini defeated an incumbent candidate to become the mayor of Midvale.
Two decades later, Seghini decided not to seek re-election, saying there were others who could do a good job in the role.
“At 80, you need the time to do what you want,” Seghini said.
While Seghini may be out of office, she said she does not intend to stop working for the community. Seghini said she will continue her work with nonprofit organizations in the area.
The Salt Lake County mayor and the Salt Lake County Council adopted a joint resolution last month to honor Seghini for her years of service.
Robert Hale will be sworn in as mayor of Midvale this week.
“I’ve got some big high heels to fill,” Hale said. “She has been a queen in our city.”