Salt Lake Mayor-Elect Erin Mendenhall Outlines Transition Plan

Nov 7, 2019, 11:42 AM | Updated: 11:45 am

FILE - Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (KSL TV)...

FILE - Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall spoke at the steps of the City and County Building to talk about the transition to her administration as the city’s next mayor.

Although the election results have not yet been officially certified, Mendenhall led State Senator Luz Escamilla by just over 5,800 votes in the latest tally.

Escamilla conceded the race Wednesday morning.

“I just congratulated Erin,” she said in a press release. “We had a good conversation and I wished her the best of luck as our city’s next mayor.”

“Although the final canvass isn’t for another 12 days, as we’ve seen in previous elections, the magnitude and complexity of a transition requires that we get as many work days as we can out of this time,” Mendenhall said Thursday.

Current Mayor Jackie Biskupski withdrew from her bid for a second term in March, citing a “serious and complex” personal situation.

In a controversial move when she first took office in 2015, Biskupski called on the resignation of nearly all Salt lake City department heads and employees in the mayor’s office. Each resignation was then reviewed to determine who would keep their jobs and who would be replaced.

Mendenhall was quick to say the transition to her administration would be much different.

“I will not be requesting the blanket resignation of department and division heads,” she said. “The process will soon be underway to assess political appointees’ interest in remaining in their current roles, and it’s only then that we’ll be discussing who is the right fit to lead the effort moving our city forward.”

Mendenhall set three goals for her transition – to be inclusive and equitable, make the transition seamless for businesses and residents, retain institutional memory in the city’s government.

Three people were named to lead the transition – committee co-chairs Maria Garciaz, the CEO of NeighborWorks Salt Lake; Natalie Gochnour, the associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah; and chief of staff Rachel Otto, who Mendenhall said would leave her position as the director of government relations for the Utah League of Cities and Towns.

“I am confident that these three women will not only help me implement my vision for Salt Lake City, but will bring their deep breadth of knowledge, vast relationships and diversity of experience to the table,” she said.

The transition committee was expected to begin work right away. Mendenhall said they would solicit feedback and ideas from community councils and neighborhood associations across the city.

She then planned to get into the community and speak with residents.

“After the final canvass on November 19, I will begin holding office hours in branch libraries across the city to give residents the opportunity to share their priorities for their neighborhoods and the city with me directly,” Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall Talks About Mayoral Election

Erin Mendenhall talks about her apparent win in the Salt Lake Mayoral election

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Among her most immediate efforts as mayor would be to continue her work toward healthier air.

Prior to serving on the city council, Mendenhall co-founded Breathe Utah, and has been serving as the chair of the State Air Quality Board.

She also planned to work towards a homeless solution and help with Salt Lake’s tech goals.

“Some issues of urgency and particular magnitude, like confronting our air quality problems, addressing the homelessness crisis, and building a tech ecosystem will require plans and urgent collaboration across city boundaries,” she said.

More details were expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Weaved throughout Mendenhall’s comment was a desire for inclusion among the city’s diverse communities.

“The more Salt Lakers who are engaged in the transition process, the better we are at being successful,” she said. “The Mendenhall administration will be ready on Day One to deliver results to Salt Lake.”

The inauguration of Salt Lake’s 36th mayor will be held the first Monday of January 2020. Mendenhall would be the city’s third female mayor, after Deedee Corradini and Jackie Biskupski.

KSL 5 TV Live


(L-R) Dr. Claudine Gay, President of Harvard University, Liz Magill, President of University of Pen...

Collin Binkley, AP Education Writer

Harvard president apologizes for remarks on campus antisemitism

The president of Harvard University has apologized for her remarks at a congressional hearing on antisemitism, saying she got caught up in a heated exchange and failed to properly denounce threats of violence against Jewish students.

2 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidates from left, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov....

Bill Barrow and Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press

The GOP debate field asked about Trump, but two candidates focused on Nikki Haley

The latest Republican presidential debate has demonstrated how firm Donald Trump's grip remains on their party.

19 hours ago

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Henderson agrees to extend Utah ballot access deadline to March 5 after RFK Jr. lawsuit

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said she will give independent presidential candidates until at least March 5, 2024, to turn in the required signatures in order to gain ballot access in the state after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. alleged the original deadline of Jan. 8, 2024, was unconstitutional.

21 hours ago

The Consul General of Israel, Israel Bachar (middle), meeting with two of Utah leaders...

Erin Cox

Consul general of Israel visits Utah, believes Beehive State can help Israel’s future

The Consul General of Israel, Israel Bachar, paid Utah leaders a visit this week, but his focus was not on the conflict alone.

2 days ago

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he departs a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Ce...

Gabe Stern, Associated Press/Report for America

Nevada grand jury indicts six pro-Trump 2020 fake electors

A Nevada grand jury has indicted six Republicans who submitted certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

2 days ago

FIlE - Surrounded by Army cadets, President Donald Trump watches the first half of the 121st Army-N...

Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press

Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments on removing Trump from ballot

The Colorado Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over whether former President Donald Trump should be barred from running for president again under the Constitution's ban against those who “engaged in insurrection."

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Salt Lake Mayor-Elect Erin Mendenhall Outlines Transition Plan