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South Valley Journal

Bluffdale City’s new mayor shares her vision for the future

May 30, 2022 05:02PM ● By Dylan Wilcox

By Dylan Wilcox | [email protected]

Upon entering newly inducted Bluffdale City Mayor Natalie Hall’s office, guests are greeted by a few images. One is a large picture of the mayor's young, vibrant family: Hall, her husband Jason and their five children. There are also a couple portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Even though her office is still being set up, it is clear Hall has a natural affinity for family and patriotism, hallmarks of her life and dedication to serving her state and community.

In 2006, Hall and her family relocated to Bluffdale from West Jordan. While her husband pursued the family cabinetry business full-time, Hall focused on how she could contribute to the community. Having a passion for education, evidenced by her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Utah, Hall took a position on a local school board to strengthen ties between parents and the nine incorporated schools in the city. Her connections and relationships with individuals in the community prompted her to work for the City of Bluffdale, specifically to be the emergency program manager. One thing led to another, and Hall ended up performing many roles within and beyond her purview in the city. Hall has worked for the City of Bluffdale since 2014.

“In a small city, you wear a lot of hats,” Hall said. Her extensive experience ranges from planning the city’s emergency response plan and conducting trainings with volunteers to updating the city’s lines of communication and revamping the city website. She even handled business licenses for the city. Her experience would prove useful once Mayor Dirk Timothy decided to step down.

41st District Representative Mark Strong, who has known Hall for 16 years, said that she is a very capable leader who gets things done. “I remember one night, kidding her, about running for mayor,” Strong recalled. “Her husband Jason was like, ‘Don’t go there!’ because Natalie is an achiever. Over a course of some time, Mayor Timothy decided to step down and she felt it was the right thing to do to step up and help.”

“Nobody grows up thinking, ‘I’m going to be a mayor,'” Hall said, noting that 40 years ago, women were not heavily involved in local politics. “It would have been unheard of back then. But [my run] turned out to be a bit of a surprise. There was an open seat and I’m so passionate about the city.”

Her passion seems to have resonated with the 20,000 residents in Bluffdale. Effectively securing 75% of the vote, Hall was sworn in as Bluffdale’s eighth mayor.

“She just gets things accomplished one after the other. She’s really one of those people who gets things done,” Strong said. “I know she had those initial duties in the city, and they kept adding to her. By the time it was over, she had several hats she was wearing.”

Andrea Hales, a friend and coworker of Hall, agrees. In January 2015, Hales started working with Hall on the city’s emergency response team, where Hales observed Hall in action. “We worked together to train the trainers and implement the CERT program in Bluffdale,” Hales said. While acting in the role of city emergency response manager, Hall took charge of communicating the city’s plans with residents.

“As the emergency manager, she saw ways that she couldn’t fulfill that role without avenues of communication,” Hales said. “So she became a communications director at the same time.”

Hall would often invite the CERT team to have training meetings at her home, where everyone felt welcome. “Natalie says that all the time: ‘Include everyone,’” Strong said.

Hales recalled a specific meeting with the CERT team surrounding the use of a particular mobile app that was being utilized as a means of communication. Hall wanted to hear from everyone in the room to get their thoughts and opinions on the matter. Unfortunately the app was not working the way they had hoped. “She recognized that was not the right thing for our city and we stopped using that app. I felt good about that because Natalie was able to let things go when they weren’t working,” Hales said.

Hall and her family continue to exude the spirit of collaboration and care to all those around them. Strong said that if he needed to swap tools for a project, the Halls would be there to help. “They’re our dear friends. Their home is just an open door,” Strong said. “We know them well enough that we can knock on the door and just walk in. I even know the code to their garage door,” Strong joked.

Hall’s warmth and kindness toward the Hales was expressed through simple acts, from helping them unpack their boxes when they first moved in to sweeping their floors. “We just hit it off, we just seemed like we are meant to be friends,” Hales said. “That’s the kind of person she is. Even if it’s a small thing, she makes time for it,” Hales added.

Musically inclined and an accomplished flutist, Hall has taught 80 individuals how to play the flute over the years. She has also taught early morning seminary to students in her community who attend North Star. While raising a young family, balancing responsibilities with the city, and being an active contributor to the betterment of Bluffdale, Hall can do it all.

“She’s always good at keeping her word and following through,” Hales said.

One example is her preparedness during their CERT meetings, always ready with agendas and plans beforehand to keep the meetings running smoothly. That is Hall’s personal mantra about emergency preparedness: “If you’re organized, you can handle any emergency,” Hall said.

Hall’s goal in CERT was to have the City of Bluffdale be so prepared, the residents would be able to assist surrounding communities of Herriman and Riverton if the need presented itself.

“I really admire her because she’s always seeking ways to improve herself and to be a good neighbor not to just those in Bluffdale, but those around her,” Hales said.

“I absolutely love digging in and just working. It’s my favorite thing to do,” Hall said.

One way that Hall is building ties between the city and its residents is by hosting Love Where You Live events. Last year's inaugural event invited community members to meet members of the city council, police officers, fire fighters, city engineers and other staff. Hall believes allowing people the opportunity to meet their city’s leaders and personnel will foster an environment of trust and visibility.

According to Hales, the Love Where You Live event last year was successful. “It’s an opportunity for residents to get to know all great things Bluffdale has to offer,” Hales said. “Bluffdale really is a great place to live.”

Strong notes that Hall has a keen ability to get things done through collaboration. “Natalie is able to bring people to the table and talk through problems,” Strong said. “She’s very good at that.”

By leading the discussions in City Council meetings, Hall is able to guide the talks, but the decisions are made by the five-member council. In the case of a tie due to the absence of a council member, Hall can break those tie votes to keep Bluffdale’s progress moving forward.

Part of Hall’s vision for Bluffdale includes getting a grocery store in the city over the next few years, attracting local businesses to come and invest in the city through creating a better climate for economic growth, as well as investing in the infrastructure that makes Bluffdale the connecting point between Salt Lake and Utah Counties. The growth of the city will continue, and Hall assures that it is in good hands because of its residents.

“Bluffdale is known for being helpful, prepared and being good neighbors,” Hall said.