Murray • With his trademark humor and fierce attention to detail, Mayor Dan Snarr gave his 16th and final "state of the city" address Tuesday night. The four-term mayor intends to retire at the end of this year.
Now 63, Snarr seized the opportunity to recap highlights from Murray's past 15 years.
"There are many events that changed the face of our city that I wanted to mention tonight," Snarr said.
For example, when he first took office in 1998, two smelter chimneys towered over the city's center, remnants of industries that shut down decades ago. Those smokestacks were demolished in August 2000 to make way for new development.
Today, a light-rail station, the seven-hospital Intermountain Medical Center and a Costco warehouse store occupy that land.
Other milestones include: installing a justice court in 1999; launching construction on the Point at 53rd retail development in 2001; adding 12,000 residents through annexation in 2002 and the city's power company building a gas turbine generation project that same year; the rebuilding of Murray High School in 2003; installing curbside recycling in 2004; and vaulting into the national limelight in 2008 when native son David Archuleta won the "American Idol" competition. At that time, Snarr's audacious handlebar mustache also gained coast-to-coast notoriety.
"Going through all these accomplishments gives me a great sense of peace," Snarr said, choking up as he thanked staff and elected officials who stood by him through the years.
However, Snarr said he'd "ridden this saddle for 16 years."
"It's time to climb off the horse and give the reins to someone else."
But his fun as mayor is not over yet. Snarr said he has been asked to perform 16 weddings on Valentine's Day at Scheels Sporting Goods in Sandy at the store's 16-car ferris wheel, of course.
"Sixteen years of dedication is a lot of time, effort, love and compassion," Councilman Jared Shaver told Snarr. "As I travel the city, people know who you are, and it's not just because you have a mustache."