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The City Journals

Holladay City Manager Retires

Jun 08, 2016 11:26AM ● By Carol Hendrycks

By Carol Hendrycks | [email protected]

Holladay - Come mid-June, Holladay City Manager Randy Fitts will retire after dedicating 32 years in public service, 12 of those here in Holladay after serving two terms as mayor of South Salt Lake. His love for public service was influenced by Robert Fitts (father), also a former mayor of South Salt Lake. Fitts said he was always drawn to volunteer to help with events, especially the fourth of July fireworks early in his political career. Though he is a successful private-business owner, he was drawn to serving communities and has a natural ability to organize projects and match talented people to see those projects through for the greater good of the areas he served. 

Fitts says it was not an easy decision to leave his current position because he truly enjoys his job, co-workers and engaging with the citizens of Holladay. He has been the only Holladay city manager these many years, transitioning from solely a mayor form of government. Fitts has been successful helping with two mayor administrations to date. Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle said, “Randy Fitts took the reins at a time when our city needed an executive director with an extensive knowledge base and a steady hand. He led us through the redevelopment of the Millrock Office complex and our Village Center, relocation of city hall and construction of fire station 104. He has been the epitome of a hands-on leader. The residents of Holladay will be forever indebted to Randy for guiding the City the past 12 years. He leaves us much better than he found us — the proper goal for anyone entering public service.”

All of his staff and those he works closely with, such Stephanie Carlson, Holladay city recorder, says she will miss his management style, his sense of humor and his friendship. Paul Allred, community development director said much of the same: “Randy doesn’t micromanage. He allows the departments and managers to do their jobs, helps them brainstorm ideas and imparts the tough questions about a concern that will produce the best outcomes for the city and residents. He has been a fun and terrific supervisor.” His camaraderie with city council members and his approach in resolving community projects while managing tight budgets and rolling up his sleeves are commendable attributes that will certainly be missed by all. “I love taking the city council’s vision and turning those concepts into realities,” Fitts said.  

There are countless projects he has spearheaded in Holladay, such as completing a city-wide inventory of roads and passing an $8.5 million bond for road improvements; many curb, gutter and sidewalk projects, like creating “Safe Routes to School,” bringing sidewalks along Lincoln Lane for Crestview and Cottonwood Elementary Schools; numerous storm drain and flood control projects; recreation /open space projects, including all of the improvements to city hall, the park and current ball fields; construction of the Village Plaza; accomplishments in public safety; helping to form the Unified Police Department; funding a new fire station and upgrading water systems for fire and culinary use. 

Other significant achievements include the annexation of an area west of Highland Drive and north of the city above 4500 South. Fitts has secured and received several critical grants such as $6 million in federal funds, $1.6 million for the Wasatch front and ZAP funds for the acquisition for the City Hall Park, to name a few. Fitts is also known for his love of producing all of the fourth of July activities — particularly the fireworks show — as well as helping to produce the Christmas tree lighting on the plaza, organizing an emergency response plan — which includes Twitter accounts for notifications — starting a community service program saving thousands of dollars, and reclaiming endless landscaping projects throughout Holladay. He works closely with the arts council, facilitating an art show, Blue Moon Festival and photo contests and exhibits. Fitts was instrumental in hiring a new justice court judge and related improvements for sharing court contracts with Cottonwood Heights, hiring employees, receiving two security grants and installing a new recording system. These are only a few of the outstanding efforts and achievements Fitts has accomplished over the years. 

Fitts wears many hats, as noted above, but one specific talent he is recognized for — and is much appreciated by the city council — is providing a dinner and dessert during their working meetings. A simple task, but an act of kindness that goes a long way. If you have ever attended a working meeting open to the public, you would know he is generous in even offering the guests a treat from time to time. Fitts manages to work diligently while seeing to it that everyone gets the best out of their meetings, puts a smile on everyone’s face and works diligently to make sure everyone is comfortable and has the ability to focus on tough issues. 

His philosophy about how he conducts his life is one of a doer, to always stay busy. Though he retires from his role as city manager, he is still going to be very much involved with his private business that is family owned and operated. He is looking forward to helping oversee the operations of the business. Fitts is also looking forward to traveling with his wife Susan of 41 years, seeing more of his children and 34 grandchildren and relaxing at his cabin in Pine Meadows Ranch. He also promises to make lunch dates with friends and family and continue building friendships wherever he goes. Fitts is a man of integrity and humor and encourages the city of Holladay, its new city manager and residents to continue to stay closely involved in the community, remain committed to improving the city and carry on the core values that he set into motion.