Rep.-elect Ben McAdams, D-Utah, submitted his letter of resignation Monday as the mayor of Salt Lake County — and designed it in a way that will keep him fully employed until he joins Congress.
His resignation is effective Jan. 2. The new Congress convenes on Jan. 3. Besides continuing as mayor, he has been busy organizing his new congressional office and staff.
His two-page resignation letter outlined some of the county’s accomplishments during his six years as mayor, and stressed that many of them resulted from bipartisan work. His campaign for Congress called for more such cooperation.
“At the county, we come together in bipartisan fashion to ensure responsible financial decisions that best serve taxpayers,” he wrote. “Our financial discipline consistently results in a AAA bond rating resulting in lower interest payments and tax dollar savings.”
McAdams added, “I am particularly proud of our work on homelessness and criminal justice. We took bold, bipartisan steps to reform homeless services through unprecedented collaboration” with the GOP-controlled Legislature that also helped clean up crime in the Rio Grande area of downtown Salt Lake City.
McAdams had posed as a homeless person in a shelter for three days to help drive that work.
“Our bipartisan effort resulted in jailing dangerous criminals as well as offering an alternative path to those who want to turn their lives around and become self-reliant, contributing members of our community,” he wrote.
Among other accomplishments he listed supporting “greater local control for residents living in the metro townships, with their own elected representatives and budgeting authority.”
He said partnerships with schools and nonprofits helped create a new prekindergarten program “specifically servicing the kids in low-income families to close the achievement gap.”
He concluded his letter writing, “As I leave my job as mayor, I take the experience gained from working alongside you and will build on it to find bipartisan solutions to the issues we must address.”
State law now directs the County Council to notify the county Democratic Party leadership about the vacancy caused by McAdams’ resignation. That triggers a 30-day timeline for the party’s central committee to vote on a replacement mayor.
Candidates who have announced they are running for mayor are County Council member Jenny Wilson, who just lost a U.S. Senate race against Mitt Romney, and Shireen Ghorbani, who just lost a congressional race against Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah.
Others are considering a bid, including County Councilman Arlyn Bradshaw.
McAdams has not indicated whether he will endorse any candidate seeking to replace him.