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New Fairview official gets to know city

When Nolan Young graduated from Brigham Young University, he had no idea what a city manager was. That is until he had the opportunity to apply for a public administration graduate program.OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - New Fairview City Administrator Nolan Young, shown here in Fairview Community Park across from City Hall, hopes to better the community in his new role.

“I got my bachelor degree from (BYU) in sociology and history, and then knew I had to figure out what I was going to do,” said the new Fairview city administrator. “Once in the program you had an option to specialize in one of three areas, either medical administration, state and federal public administration or local government administration. I selected local government administration because it was the closest to the people. It was the place you could really have an impact on communities.”

Although helping manage cities had not been on his radar until then, Young, 63, said he’s glad to have found it.

“It’s been a very rewarding career and a fun career,” he said. “You get to have an impact on the places where people live. It’s something I’m passionate about and enjoy.”

Young’s first job was in Milton-Freewater.

“That’s where I fell in love with Oregon,” said the Rigby, Idaho native.

Learning from a mentor, Young worked his way up to assistant city manager before returning briefly to Utah, and then Reedsport for 11 years.

Young next spent 18 years as city manager in The Dalles. But on a 4-1 vote last September the council fired Young without a public explanation. The city’s mayor later indicated the termination was tied to Young’s performance evaluation in May.

“I usually like where I work and stay where I like,” Young said.

Young said he considers himself an optimist, which plays well into his approach to the management position.

“One of the things that really gives me my joy and excitement is helping other people be successful,” he said. “You get to help the city council, elected officials be successful. And then you get to help the community itself be successful in its goals. That’s one of the things I really like about the job and one of the things that drives me.”

But with only a week on the $110,000-a-year job, Young said his focus at this point is helping the city council be successful this year.

“When I come into a community, first I want to learn and understand what the goals and expectations of the community are,” he said. “If I have one goal it would be to help the council work together to meet their goals.”

In his spare time, Young is finishing a project with an intergovernmental agency that’s providing a new broadband system for the city of Maupin.

“I spend some of my weekends wrapping that up,” he said.

Still living in The Dalles, Young said for now he will make the commute between Fairview and his home.

“It’s not too bad of a commute and I’m looking for an opportunity to determine what I’m going to do long-term,” he said. “It’s not bad at all. It gives you a chance to think.”

For now, Young said he will spend some time acquainting himself with Fairview, its staff and residents.

“I’m just glad to be in the city of Fairview and I’m looking forward to a great future together as we do great things in the community together,” he said.

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