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County mayor appoints an advocate for townships

Wednesday, April 24, 2013899 views

In January, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams was sworn-into office, and with that came a new approach to governing the county. Part of that vision was to give residents in the unincorporated parts of Salt Lake County more representation. McAdams created a new position to do just that; the township executive is to be an advocate for these residents. Patrick Leary, former county public works director, was chosen for this role.

Leary admires McAdams for his approachable nature and desire to provide premier services for those he serves. Most importantly, he admires his insight into the dual roles the county plays for those who live in townships. It plays a regional role to serve the 1.1 million people living in the county, and secondly, in a city government role to provide city services for 160,000 residents living in these townships.

“Those of us who have been in government for a long time didn’t see that distinction [of the two roles], and McAdams intuitively grasped that right out of the shoot,” Leary said.

The county’s townships stretch across the valley and over a large geographic area. Therefore, Leary fully understands the importance of his role as an advocate to the townships. McAdams likened Leary’s new title to the role of a city manager. Leary oversees the municipal service budget containing the tax dollars collected solely from unincorporated areas. He will ensure those dollars are spent right back to the unincorporated areas for city services.

He will also oversee that the services are being done effectively and efficiently and get the mayor’s attention when needed.

During McAdam’s Tour of the Townships, Leary had the opportunity in hearing the issues  residents have on their minds. Kearns residents spoke out on the need for more street lighting on 5400 South, and the desire to be part of the planning of development on 5400 South and with Lodestone Park (see sidebar with information on an open house to discuss the park).

To discuss any issue relating to townships, residents can call Leary directly at 385-468-7054 or call Community Relations Specialist Celina Milner at 385-468-7031.

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