As Taylorsville mayor, Russ Wall contracted for public works services for his city from Salt Lake County. Now, he’ll be the one arranging garbage pickup and snow removal.
Wall, 55, announced Thursday that he plans to take a job as director of public works and regional development for the county. He was recruited by incoming Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams for the position, which includes overseeing countywide operations such as street maintenance, storm drains and animal services.
His experience as mayor will help in the new job, Wall said.
“I think it will give me a perspective on both sides of the issue,” he said.
Wall is resigning as mayor effective Jan. 8 after serving seven years in the position. Taylorsville will be taking applications for his replacement immediately and the city council is expected to select a candidate on Jan. 9 to finish the final year of Wall’s term.
A Utah native, Wall moved to Chicago for 10 years, then returned and made Taylorsville his home in 1994. He served on the City Council for four years before running for mayor and was first sworn into office in January 2006.
He was one of a half-dozen Republican mayors who backed McAdams in the general election, saying he supported the Democrat as the better candidate to “put aside partisan politics” and collaborate with city officials.
Wall, who won the Best of State Mayor award in 2012, said he has mixed emotions about leaving office but is looking forward to serving a larger portion of the community.
He lists as accomplishments saving Taylorsville more than $600,000 by convincing the city to contract with the Unified Police Department for services; setting up an economic development team and helping bring in technology and science-based businesses to the community; promoting energy efficiency by retrofitting city buildings; and advocated walking trails, bike lanes, parks and open space.
Recently, Wall and other city officials have been under fire for a plan to join the Salt Lake Fire Service Area District, a move they say is the most cost-effective way to get increased fire services and the new fire station. Residents who don’t think the city needs a new fire station and saw no need for the higher taxes that would result gathered enough signatures to put the membership question on the November 2013 ballot.
Want to be mayor?
Taylorsville residents who are interested in serving as mayor have until Jan. 4 to apply for the job. Applicants need to be a resident of the city for the past 12 months, be 18 years old or older and not be a convicted felon.
Applicants can fill out an application online at www.taylorsvilleut.gov/ beginning Friday evening or in person at City Hall, 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd. (5325 South), beginning Wednesday.
City Council members will interview applicants on Jan. 9, then vote on the replacement. The term expires on Dec. 31, 2013, and the salary is $82,472 a year.