Summit County Manager Tom Fisher to depart (updated)

He is the second-ever person to hold the office

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher became the second person to take on the role when he arrived in January of 2015. He announced plans on Wednesday to leave the position at the end of July.
Park Record file photo

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher announced plans to leave the position at the end of July during Wednesday’s Summit County Council meeting.

Fisher became the second person to take on the role when he arrived in January of 2015. He’s grown to love the community over the last seven years, but Fisher said his personal goals are leading him to a different Summit County.

Fisher will head for Frisco, Colorado, where he’ll serve as the town manager. He previously worked in the state as the county administrator in Mesa County before moving back to Utah for his current role.

Bob Jasper, Summit County’s first-ever manager and Fisher’s former boss, encouraged Fisher to apply for the County Courthouse job after announcing his retirement in 2014. Fisher had visited the Park City area and eastern Summit County with his family several times, but he had never worked in a resort economy.

“It’s one of those special places in the West,” he said. “As a local government manager, you’re always looking for those special places to experience your public service.”

An important lesson Fisher learned from his predecessor is that there are a variety of possibilities and a variety of work to be done at the county level. Fisher said Jasper was always open about the good and the bad of the job. 

Fisher is most proud of the work that’s been done in his tenure to develop an open space program to protect and preserve land.

“This is really the first thing that I’ve seen our whole community rally around in a positive, moving forward, strategic initiative,” he said. “That just had such strong support all over our county. That’s just so wonderful to see.”

Fisher also lists efforts to combat traffic, improve public transportation and infrastructure and collaborate with the Park City Chamber/Bureau on a sustainable tourism plan as accomplishments. He credited local leaders for their efforts in advancing important issues and ensuring projects are completed, which makes the county “poised to take huge leaps.”

Another highlight of Fisher’s time at the County Courthouse is the people he’s worked with. He’s proud of the people the county has hired and said they help make the community a great place to live. Fisher is also grateful for the connections and friends his family has made.

Even through the coronavirus pandemic, residents came together and proved Summit County is a special place. Fisher said there may have been some detractors who disagreed with what was being done, but overall, there was “complete support” from appointed and elected leaders.

“That’s what held us together. We traversed this thing together the whole time from day one. It wasn’t just the Health Department and the county. It was Francis, Oakley, South Summit School District, North Summit School District – and we honored people’s diverse opinions through that,” Fisher said. “When a community comes together like that, we can accomplish anything.”

As Fisher readies for his new career in Frisco, he said he’s preparing to learn and to listen. He said he’s humbled by the town’s choice to hire him and is excited to get to work with a “great set” of elected officials. 

Fisher anticipates his last day in Coalville will be July 31. The county work plan will likely be affected until a successor is brought on, but it’s unclear what the impact will be. The County Council is tasked with deciding who will replace Fisher. He said the group is already discussing options for recruitment and hiring. 

“I think they’re going to be very deliberate because they’re always deliberate about every subject. I have no doubt that they’ll do what’s right for the county, but they have options and that’s part of what our job is as local officials,” Fisher said.

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