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Salt Lake County Mayor McAdams settling in after post-election flurry

Salt Lake County » New mayor busy with township, legislative, economic development initiatives.



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"Something special is starting to happen in Draper," McAdams said, noting that performance and accountability provisions he inserted into the CDA contract also should apply to talks about moving the prison out of Draper and redeveloping its acreage.

He has asked Gov. Gary Herbert for a seat on a board examining prison relocation, insisting "the decision about whether to move the prison needs to be driven by data and not by development interests."

At a glance

Some McAdams moves in first 100 days

Fulfilled a pledge to be bipartisan, hiring Republican Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall as his public works director.

Put more county attention on unincorporated communities, creating township executive position to respond directly to their needs.

Got to know more about those issues through a series of meetings in townships.

Helped secure funding for an environmental impact statement to examine transportation issues in the Wasatch Mountains’ canyons.

Oversaw finalization of contracts to keep the Outdoor Retailer trade shows in Salt Lake City through 2016 and govern the ownership and operations of the Utah Performing Arts Center.

Agreed to participate with Draper in an effort to develop land around the city’s FrontRunner station.

Staked a claim to a seat on the board that will determine the Utah State Prison’s future.

Came close to securing state funding for part of a 1,000-room hotel near the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center.

Office decorations a nod to county, family

Mayor Ben McAdams’ office decorations include:

A photograph of county-owned Rose Canyon in the Oquirrh Mountains, a reminder of “how we need to be actively working to preserve open space and outdoor recreation.”

A poster of a FrontRunner train that he hopes to pair with a poster of a TRAX train on the new airport line.

Drawings by youths that “show what we have in the community, what’s good about Salt Lake County.”

A photograph of his family at his inauguration ceremony.

Ceramic masterpieces crafted by his kids.

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While McAdams could not steer the controversial megahotel bill through the Legislature — "I was impressed he got it as close as he did," Jensen said of the four-vote loss — the mayor is not giving up.

He believes he developed a conservative financing model that avoids competition with other private-sector hotels, protects taxpayers and ultimately could succeed in meeting Salt Lake City’s need for a convention-headquarters hotel and more meeting space.

"This has been a subject of conversation for 20 years," McAdams said. "That conversation has moved forward and will continue."

McAdams was clearly pleased legislators appropriated $2.9 million for an environmental impact statement (EIS) of transportation issues in the heavily visited canyons between Parleys and Little Cottonwood. The Utah Transit Authority likely will oversee that effort, with assistance from county, state, local and federal officials.

With that process in the offing, McAdams said he asked Utah’s congressional delegation last week to refrain from pursuing other legislation — namely SkiLink, the proposal to connect Canyons resort near Park City with Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon — until the EIS is done.

"I specifically said the best decisions are driven locally," he said. "I would hope our federal delegation respects that and allows that [EIS] process to move forward."

McAdams also is about to unveil several other initiatives.

A "sustainability council" he assembled to promote environmental efficiency will meet for the first time Friday. In a few weeks, he expects to approach the council with a plan to hire a senior adviser for regional development, dealing in part with an ongoing effort to provide public-works services across multiple jurisdictions.


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The mayor also is formulating a plan to expand the county’s after-school programs to help community youths.

"This is not something we can accomplish overnight," he said. "We want to get it right. We don’t want to just put money into it. We want to find programs that work and amplify our success."

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltrib.com



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