County announces new engineer
Summit County announced Tuesday it has hired a replacement to fill the county engineering position left vacant by the departure of Leslie Crawford in July.
Gary Horton, a Silver Creek resident, is expected to begin his role as county engineer on Oct. 19 once he steps down as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Project Engineering Consultants, a West Jordan firm.
Horton has worked with the county engineering department as a consultant on several projects such as the State Road 224 pedestrian crossing, the Canyons and Home Depot roundabouts, and the Landmark Drive realignment and reconstruction.
"I’ve done a lot of work with Summit County and have always had a high respect for the way they operate and the organization is run," Horton said. "Part of the reason I applied for the position is because I live in Summit County and have a high level of personal interest in the area."
Horton has held various engineer and consultant positions throughout his career, including working as a traffic and civil engineer for Stantac Engineering Consultants and a construction inspector with the Utah Department of Transportation. He graduated from the University of Utah and holds structural and professional engineering licenses.
"I’m in the service for the public and meeting the needs of the community is always a top priority, whether its capital improvement projects or working with developers, to improve the lifestyle of people," Horton said. "And all of those needs generally come through in the engineering department."
One of the top issues currently facing the community is the mobility of traffic and people, Horton said.
"People want to be able to get home in five minutes from the store. But when it changes to a 10 to 15 minute drive that affects people’s lifestyle," Horton said. "We want to find a way to continue that lifestyle."
As advertised, the position pays between $80,312.55 and $112,644.55 depending on experience. Horton was one of more than 20 that applied for the job. The application deadline was Aug. 28. An offer was extended and accepted last week.
"I’ve worked with the county engineering staff as a consultant for hire and as a consultant, you are basically an extension of the staff," he said. "So I have a good understanding of how they work and their timelines. I think I have a good understanding of the public expectations and desires because I have presented in various public meetings and forums, so this will not be anything new to me when I start this position."
County Manager Tom Fisher said Horton’s range of experience in working with the state and private firms will be helpful to the county government.
"He has certainly worked on a range of transportation issues, storm water issues, waste water issues and all those types of things that a good county engineer should have in their background so they can relate to the public and our community," Fisher said.
As county engineer, Horton will be responsible for supervising, planning, organizing and coordinating the designs construction and inspection of public works and community development construction projects. Horton will work under the direction of Public Works Director Derrick Radke.
Horton replaces Crawford, who served as the county engineer since May 2013 and left unexpectedly on July 21. Radke, a former county engineer, stepped in as the interim heard of department.
A benefit of hiring locally is the potential for Horton to "hit the ground running," Fisher said.
"The main thing that hiring locally gives us is an awareness of local issues and a familiarity with the community and those things that weigh heavily," Fisher said. "He’ll be able to lead from the get-go. He has a familiarity with local issues and projects we are currently working on, which gave him a slight edge over the competition."
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