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In a ceremony emphasizing his intent to work with the community's diverse population, Ben McAdams took the oath of office as Salt Lake County's new mayor Monday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.
The 38-year-old Democrat rode to the 9 a.m. inauguration ceremony on the "Ben Bus," accompanied by many of the valley's Republican mayors who took seats on the bus in his election campaign ads, signifying their support for McAdams and his pledge to work with people of all political persuasions, young and old, from all parts of the county.
The hourlong program in the county-owned theater extended that theme of unity.
Ten-year-old Liliena Pupu'a sang the national anthem. Imam Muhammed Mehtar of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake read the invocation, closing in Arabic. Andrew Valdez, a judge in Utah's 3rd District Juvenile Court, administered the oath to McAdams as his wife, Julie, and their four children stood close by. The gay-oriented Salt Lake Men's Choir performed "America the Beautiful." And the event concluded with a benediction by D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I will listen to all stakeholders," McAdams said, pledging to run an efficient, open and ethical government as did his predecessor, two-term Democratic Mayor Peter Corroon.
He said he is ready to begin delivering on campaign promises to be a fiscal conservative, to provide safe streets and parks, to prepare for rapid responses to emergencies and to do all of this "with the lowest possible tax bill." As the county's rapidly growing population swells from its current 1 million-plus residents, McAdams promised to provide leadership on dealing with limited water supplies, traffic congestion, air pollution and creating well-paying jobs for upcoming generations.
Also reciting oaths were three County Council members who were re-elected in November at-large Democrat Jim Bradley, District 2 Republican Michael Jensen and District 6 Republican Max Burdick. They were joined by Democrat Sam Granato, a newcomer who won the District 4 seat vacated by his party colleague, Jani Iwamoto.
Granato's colleagues welcomed him with humor. "What Sam has going for him is that he brings all these great sandwiches," Burdick said of the delicatessen owner from Millcreek.
The councilmen echoed McAdams in praising Corroon for his steady-handed leadership during the past eight years, then expressed excitement about working with the new mayor. "Ben, you have big shoes to fill," advised Jensen, "but I think you're up to it."
Corroon offered his successor a few tips about flourishing in the job: Be humble. Get out into the community to show people you care. Treat employees well. Don't drive off from functions without the staff members you brought with you. And invite your wife to events, even if you don't think she wants to come.
"I made that mistake once," Corroon quipped.
Turning serious, he added, "Do the right thing for the right reasons" and "go forth now and do good work."
McAdams said he was ready to do just that, bringing together diverse groups to prepare for the growth certain to come to the county just like the pioneers who took risks in settling the Salt Lake Valley, put down roots and made their mark in history.
Corroon moves on
After two terms as Salt Lake County's mayor, Peter Corroon is returning to the world of real estate. Less than an hour after serving as master of ceremonies at the inauguration ceremony for his successor, Ben McAdams, Corroon started work Monday for The Ninigret Group L.C.