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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan City hires new assistant city manager

Feb 08, 2017 04:13PM ● By Briana Kelley

Dustin Lewis has been hired as South Jordan City’s new assistant city manager. He will assume all responsibilities at the end of February. (South Jordan City)

By Briana Kelley | [email protected]

South Jordan recently hired Dustin Lewis as the city’s assistant city manager after evaluating more than 64 candidates. Lewis will replace current Chief of Staff Paul Cunningham when he retires Feb. 28.

"The process was difficult and challenging, and in the end it provided the top candidate,” South Jordan City Manager Gary Whatcott said in a press release. “I am pleased for Mr. Lewis and confident he will rise to the challenge of his new position. Dustin has been an engaged leader in our organization, and I am sure his ongoing contributions will help to keep South Jordan a leader in municipal governance." 

Lewis worked previously for South Jordan in various roles, including emergency management coordinator, emergency manager, director of emergency and risk management and, most recently, director of administrative services. He has more than 22 years in public service and received a Master's of Science of Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University.

Lewis’ main role as assistant city manager will be to provide professional support and assistance to the city manager. He will work closely with city department heads and will outline goals and measureable outcomes. Lewis will also lead day-to-day city operations, direct assigned committees and projects, and assist in agenda development and preparation of the budget, according to the job description.

“I want to ensure that the city delivers its services efficiently and that we can maintain a team of quality staff members,” Lewis said. “I want to continue making South Jordan a great place here in the Salt Lake Valley."

Lewis will also handle issues involving personnel matters, relationships of elected officials, pending legislation, budget, agendas, resolutions and ordinances, and policies and procedures, according to the job description. He plans to spend time with each of the city’s departments to understand their needs and help support their efforts. He wants employees to recognize their accomplishments for the community as a whole. 

"I hope to bring a collaborative approach to our processes that will involve more than just a few individuals,” Lewis said. “One thing that I look forward to is being engaged with the community. I enjoy meeting people and listening to their concerns.”

This transition should not affect residents. The new appointment went into effect Jan. 1. Lewis and Cunningham will work together on a 60-day transition before Cunningham retires at the end of February.

Cunningham has worked for the city since 2006. He was promoted to chief of staff in 2014 after serving as human resources director, director of asset management and director of government services. Prior to working for South Jordan, Cunningham had a long career with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He will retire after more than 40 years of public service, according to the city’s press release.

"I believe that my emphasis on policy development and process improvement has benefited both residents and our employees,” Cunningham said. “I've had the opportunity, with the council, to eliminate obsolete city ordinances and ensure new ordinances were operationally sound. I've helped mentor a number of co-workers who will continue public service for our city and community well into the future."

When asked what he would miss most about working for South Jordan City, Cunningham responded that he would miss the employees he worked with who were so committed to serving the public.

"They are truly friends whose work ethic and ideas I appreciate," Cunningham said.

Cunningham plans to continue volunteer work in South Jordan and embark on personal adventures when he retires.

"I would like to be as busy retired as I was during my working life: traveling, volunteering, reading and exercising--after the sun comes up," he said.