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City council secretary recognized for 15 years of service

Mar 28, 2017 10:58AM ● Published by Briana Kelley

When not at work, MaryAnn Dean is with her family. “My hobbies and interests currently are completely consumed by my family, particularly my children, and their various activities. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Dean said. (MaryAnn Dean/South Jordan City)

Gallery: City council secretary recognized for 15 years of service [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Briana Kelley | briana@mycityjournals.com

When residents and others attend South Jordan City Council meetings, they may or may not notice the individual to the side of the city council, rapidly taking notes and conducting roll call votes when necessary. Her name is MaryAnn Dean.

Dean was recently recognized for 15 years of service to the city, a momentous milestone according to City Manager Gary Whatcott. Dean works as the city council secretary and is responsible for attending city council meetings, acting as recorder during those meetings and transcribing the meeting.

“MaryAnn has been here a long time—15 years,” Whatcott said. “She’s just a delight to work with and as a person as well, and we love her. We hope she stays forever—at least as long as she wants.”

Utah law requires that written minutes be taken and kept of all public meetings and are available to the public. Dean is responsible for transcribing the often lengthy discussions that occur, as well as clarifying certain procedures.

“My job can be very helpful for the residents who wish to keep track of issues in the city,” Dean said. “It gives them a clear record of the discussion and votes taken on all issues.”

Dean’s favorite thing to be a part of during city council meetings are youth visits and recognition for their efforts. This includes high school teams and clubs and winners of art or essay contests.

“I also love to see the parents’ beaming faces, so proud of their kids,” Dean said. “I love to see the Youth Council in action, and it gives me such hope for a bright future. I also love it when the police and fire department are recognized for an event that saved someone’s life. I like the feel-good moments and to be reminded of all the good in the world.”

One of the most challenging things about her job is how late council meetings can go. It is also hard to relive a long and difficult meeting over again as she transcribes it.

Dean grew up in the South Jordan area and is a proud graduate of Bingham High School. She began working for the city in 1997 in her first job post-graduation.

“So much has changed since I started working for the city,” Dean said. “The River Park development was just beginning. There was no Daybreak. There was no District. The City Hall is now in a different building. South Jordan was a quiet, rural community. It was known as life off the fast lane, and it truly was.”

However, Dean said the thing that has remained constant is the good family values in the city and the pride people have in their city.

“There is a sense of community here, and people are educated and passionate about their issues,” Dean said. “I am always impressed by the presentations given by neighborhoods on issues.”

Dean has also enjoyed working with many elected officials over the years. She said, though they come with different personalities, points of view, strengths and expertise, they consistently have a deep love for the city and the residents and a genuine desire to serve and make the city better.

One of Dean’s biggest highlights in her 15 years of working was when the Bingham High football team came in one year after winning the state championship and performed a Haka.

“I also love it when a scout goes up to the microphone with a shaky voice and a prepared speech, pleading his case with the city council,” Dean added. “I love the moment you can see in their eye that it clicks. They get it. This is how change happens—this is how you make a difference.”

Dean currently lives in West Jordan with her husband Brian and three children.

“The greatest lesson I have learned while working for South Jordan City is that if you want to make a difference in the world, it starts with yourself and your family, your neighborhood, your schools, your local community,” Dean said. “That is where the greatest impact for good is made.” 

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