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Council chooses Atkinson as city manager

Reversing last week's decision, the City Council chose not to conduct a region-wide search


ATKINSONThe Sandy City Council reversed the position it voiced at its July 1 meeting, when five of the seven councilors held out for an expensive region-wide search for a new city manager.

Instead at its Tuesday night meeting July 9, (after The Post’s press time), the council hired Sandy Finance Director Seth Atkinson as the new city manager. The majority of the meeting was in executive session, discussing personnel matters.

Scott Lazenby, who has been Sandy’s city manager for the past 21 years, will be leaving at the end of July to take a similar position for the city of Lake Oswego.

Sandy Mayor Bill King said this would be the easiest transition to a new city manager imaginable, since Atkinson has worked directly with Lazenby for the past five years in the role of assistant to the city manager and as acting city manager in Lazenby’s absence (vacation).

King said the council’s position on how to hire a new manager changed during the course of Tuesday night’s meeting, when the panel interviewed each of the city’s department heads, asking how they felt about hiring Atkinson as an interim city manager.

“The confidence level in (Atkinson) was so high from every department head,” King said, “that we felt like we should just offer him the job.”

Atkinson, who was the only department head to write a letter of interest in the interim position, has a similar background to Lazenby. Both came to Sandy from municipal positions in finance. Atkinson had been a budget analyst at Park City, Utah.

Atkinson has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics with a GPA of 3.82/4.0 and a master’s in applied economics, graduating in 2003 magna cum laude.

“I’m excited and anxious to embark on the next stage,” Atkinson said late Wednesday morning. “We have a lot of neat things going on in Sandy. My goal is to make this a smooth transition, and to continue these exciting projects and neat things that are happening right now.”

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