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Shayne Scott takes over as new Summit County Manager

Shayne Scott
New Summit County Manager Shayne Scott

Summit County’s new county manager begins his job Tuesday. Shayne Scott spoke with Leslie Thatcher Monday about what he brings to the position and about his stints as city manager of Kaysville and Parowan.

New County Manager Shayne Scott comes to the Wasatch Back from the community of Kaysville in Davis County.

Scott grew up in St. George, graduating from Utah State University with a bachelor’s in geographic information systems. He became the GIS coordinator for Washington County shortly thereafter.

He earned a master’s in public administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. In 2010, Scott became city manager of Parowan, just north of the Brian Head ski area in Southern Utah.

In 2016, Scott took another job as city manager of Kaysville, just north of Salt Lake City.

Janna Young, who served as interim county manager after Tom Fisher left for a job in Colorado, will be deputy county manager under Scott. Young monitors the state legislature and advocates for Summit County.

Scott said he will work with Young to leverage both of their connections in Salt Lake City.

“I hope that maybe in the Legislature specifically, those are areas that that she and I overlap, and both have some relationships and some skills and abilities. But I think we need to take a look at each other,” Scott said. “And as we talk, I think there will be times when hopefully, I know someone, I can get someone on the phone. Whether you like that process, or and that way of dealing with the legislature, or you don't, I think it's all about relationships and if we can get in the right rooms and get with the right individuals.”

Scott said his time in Kaysville allowed him to make connections with state legislators, including State Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson.

Adams is a partner in the construction, development and real estate firm Adams Company. Scott said he worked with him on a development in Kaysville.

The two also attended the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual summit together, and Scott listed Adams as a reference on his county manager application.

“I was in Las Vegas a couple of years ago with him and in what was called ICSC, which is kind of an economic development conference, and we get to spend some time socially and go to dinner and talk about some of the issues of the day. So, I've been able to foster a friendship,” Scott said. “We're not best friends, we don't hang out all the time, but he certainly is aware of my good and bad and was able to hopefully convey that to the county council.”

County officials have expressed concerns about local control, especially regarding Dakota Pacific Real Estate’s proposal to rezone land in Kimball Junction for residential and commercial development. Scott said that local control will be important to him moving forward.

“That local control piece of the legislature is probably the chief concern of both cities and counties and something that I've been aware of here as the city manager in Kaysville. And certainly, that's going to be no different,” he said. “I've been able to voice my concerns with Senator Adams directly, and I will continue to do so.”

Scott expressed excitement about taking on unique, county-level projects, such as Summit’s public lands initiatives. And he said he was leaving Kaysville in good shape.

“When I took the position here in Kaysville—we did have quite a political—it was pretty tumultuous there for a time. I felt that we were really settled, so I felt good about that,” Scott said. “And I think just the county, the differences in the county, generally, counties are different than cities in some really exciting and interesting ways.”

Some of that political tumult in Kaysville included an investigation into funds procured by the director of public works in 2016. The investigation came after accusations made by a city councilmember who was accused of extortion two years later, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Scott managed a budget of $52 million and a population of 35,000 people in Kaysville. He explained that the budget was higher than one would expect for that many people because the city has its own power company.

Summit County’s budget is $72 million for 2023, an increase of 8% over last year.