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Follow The Leader

Post Date:12/06/2017 10:00 AM

If you want to know what kind of man Tom Dolan is, you need only read the life-guiding quotes he routinely places on his desk:

Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, Socrates, Henry David Thoreau and, not at all surprising for the gregarious mayor, Dr. Seuss.

Having worked in local government for nearly 9 years, I can tell you, without equivocation, that I have never seen a better mayor. Why? Because he never served for himself. He tirelessly served for the citizens and employees of Sandy City--past, present and future.

Sandy had only known political turmoil when Tom was elected, so he set about following the advice of the great Abraham Lincoln to turn chaos into calm, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. He managed the delicate balance of understanding the reality of the political process he needed to successfully navigate to achieve the vision he felt his city deserved. But, he is the first to tell you he did not do it alone. He understands the make-or-break value of partnerships, collaboration and teamwork:

  • He is a powerful advocate for Sandy residents, with an unrivaled ability to bring revenue into our city for the sole purpose of keeping taxes low, services high and to build a community that, in his words, “will always feel like home”

  • He appreciates and respects his city council members, past and present, and values their legislative guidance

  • He gained and retains the utmost respect from the broader community, from other cities, counties, the state and with our federal delegation, because he is honest, tenacious, effective and supportive. He certainly earned the moniker given to him by two Utah governors: “Utah’s Mayor”

  • He is a tireless champion of city employees. He recruited the “best and the brightest,” set high expectations and then created a culture of support by which they had the tools they needed to provide the highest customer service to residents

As his service to Sandy City comes to an end, he follows the advice of Thomas Paine, “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” It is impossible not to reflect on his many accomplishments and feel a sense of pride in the Sandy developed under his guidance: an enviable city with an unmatched quality of life, affordability, low taxes, responsive customer service and a new thriving downtown with The Cairns, that will be a gathering place for generations to come.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and Tom certainly got results for Sandy City and its residents. To name but a few:

  • The 20,000-seat Rio Tinto soccer stadium

  • The two-stage, 1350-seat Hale Centre Theatre

  • A one million square foot mall, now under a multi-million dollar renovation and rebranded as The Shops at South Town

  • Preservation of open space, with 110 miles of trails, 1200 acres of new parks  and more parks per resident than any city in Utah

  • Transformed citizen communication with an emphasis on up-to-date technology, including a new website, expanded social media content, emphasis on video with regular features such as “Out and About”, ongoing resident survey program and an award-winning newsletter delivered directly to resident homes

  • And his much loved Sandy Amphitheater, recently expanded to seat 2,700

Tom is as gracious in defeat as he is in victory and only hopes for the best for the employees and citizens he leaves behind.

While it’s impossible to not feel sadness as Tom leaves the city he’s guided 24/7 for the past 24 years, it seems only appropriate to take the advice of Dr. Seuss, as Tom would, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

I speak on behalf of the many employees he supported to say how grateful I am to have worked with such an honorable man and to thank him for his selfless service to Sandy City.

Thank you,

Nicole Martin, Deputy Mayor