Dave Ure bids Summit County Council farewell
November 20, 2015
Ask around, most people know Dave Ure.
The long-time resident and East Side advocate has served 14 years as a representative to the Utah Legislature and a seven as a County Council member. He is a fourth-generation rancher in the Kamas Valley and his wife, Mae, is a school teacher at South Summit Elementary School.
However, this week Ure is stepping down from his role with the council with three years left in his term to accept a state-level position.
Randall Crittenden, Wasatch County Council chair, said Ure is well respected across the state and everyone who knows him knows what he stands for, which is "a good position."
Ure endured a week of tearful goodbyes and end-of-duty responsibilities as fellow council members, county staff and the public bid him farewell. On Wednesday, he turned in his access keys for the County Courthouse and finally began to accept his departure.
"We as a council, or, I guess, I mean them now," Ure said from his new office in Salt Lake City during an interview Thursday with The Park Record.
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Earlier this month, Ure delivered his resignation letter to the county after Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced that he had been appointed the new director of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). He will be responsible for 75 staff members and procuring money for the state’s schools.
As one of the original County Council members when the county switched from a three member commission to a county council/county manager form of government, Ure said the decision to accept the position did not come easily.
"To be honest, I didn’t think I could land the job and thought I would still be on the council," Ure said. "But as I made it through the interviews and was offered the position, I decided I could do a greater public service on the Trust Lands Administration than for the entire County Council."
Ure joined the County Council in 2008. He had served as a representative to the state legislature and felt his experience would be valuable. He ran for a two-year term and won.
"I thought I would have something to offer in terms of duties of the council and not sticking our noses into the management side of things," Ure said. "The county commissioners were the judge, the jury and the executioner. We are to strictly manage the budget committee and be the legislative body. I thought I could share that with the new form of government."
After successfully completing his first term on the council, Ure earned two more terms and most recently won reelection in November 2014.
Over the years, Ure has become known for his warmth, no-nonsense attitude and desire to see all sides of an argument. As a Kamas Valley rancher and Republican, Ure has strongly advocated for agricultural issues and was the only East Side representative and only Republican on the council.
Tom Fisher, Summit County manager, said the current council, including Ure, has worked "so well together and had fun and I think it is mostly because of his leadership."
"He is of a different party, but he really leads the charge in working as a group and ensuring they are doing great work for the county," Fisher said. "He is constantly working behind the scenes with issues we might have deal with the legislator and things the county doesn’t have the muscle to really make an effect on."
During his seven-year tenure, Ure has been a decision maker on several major projects and issues that have came before the council. In the past year, the council has approved at least two major development projects, including the Silver Creek Village and the Whole Foods relocation and several transportation-related initiatives.
One of his proudest accomplishments, he said, is the work that has been done on Congressman Rob Bishop’s public land initiative. The initiative allowed individual counties to draft maps of desired wilderness expansions in those counties that would be part of a larger bill to be submitted to the Capitol Hill. It stressed compromise between stakeholders regarding land management.
"I felt very good about the public lands initiative," Ure said. "We had the very far left and far right come to the table and we worked on some issues concerning wilderness, wildlife and grazing. I believe it taught everyone in the room that even if we are polarized, we can still sit down and carry on a respectful debate. Whether it passes or not doesn’t matter because it showed how two opposing groups can come together and respect where the other is coming from."
Another accomplishment Ure touted is the relationship the county has developed with Park City and Wasatch County officials.
"It is a very good working relationship and all three sides have lowered our barriers," Ure said. "None of us will be successful unless we work on our transportation and development together."
Ure’s final day at the County Courthouse was Wednesday, Nov. 18. During Wednesday’s council meeting, members passed a proclamation designating Thursday, Nov. 19, "’Council Member Dave Ure Day’ to thank him for his years of dedicated service to Summit County."
Several dozen community members and county staffers attended a farewell reception Thursday at the County Courthouse, including Wasatch County Council members.
"I have known Dave most of my life and recognize him as a great representative for Summit County and I’m excited to see him lead SITLA because of his quality," said Crittenden, former executive director of the SITLA advisory board. "I’m excited to see it have new leadership. It went a long ways from where it used to be, but I felt like more could have been done and I think he is the man to do it."
Ure has several lofty goals for his four-year term as director of SITLA, including procuring $1 billion to put toward schools. He acknowledged it would be difficult, but said it is feasible and will be rewarding if accomplished.
"Every year we will always get two or three dozen letters from teachers and children, usually in a first or second grader’s handwriting. saying ‘Thank you, we used the money to buy books or a teacher aide or computers’ and its touching," Ure said. "It makes you appreciate what you do."
Ure said he will miss his fellow council members and hadn’t realized how much until recent weeks.
"I’ll sure miss the personalities and the people. It has been interesting to hear from staff and the other council people what they deemed to have taken place during my tenure," Ure said. "And I would just like to express my appreciation for the citizens, staff and council members. I have been very blessed in being able to learn from them and, I don’t want to be oversentimental, but I have learned a lot more from people than they have learned from me and I have enjoyed being taught."
To view the proclamation honoring Ure, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/2743 .
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