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Bountiful officials announced Monday that they are recruiting a new city manager and anticipate filling the position by Dec. 11.

The new hire would fill the spot held for 31 years by Tom Hardy, who left in February to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

At the time, the council appointed City Attorney Russell Mahan as interim city manager, with the possibility that Hardy would return to the job after his year-long mission in the Washington, D.C., area concluded.

However, Mayor Joe Johnson and the council said in a news release that they have decided "that now is the time to move Bountiful City in a new direction by hiring a new city manager to provide permanent and progressive leadership into the future."

The release also states that Johnson contacted Hardy to share "the council's concerns and desires" with him.

"Tom indicated that he understood and supported the decision of the council, and would do whatever he could to help the new city manager be successful and move the city forward," the release states.

Johnson said Hardy and Mahan both have done a great job as city manager. Councilwoman Beth Holbrook agreed, stressing that officials have "no concerns whatsoever" with Hardy's work.

Bountiful wants to use the opportunity "to get a city manager in there that has fresh perspectives that might benefit the city down the road," Holbrook said.

The city will advertise locally and nationally for the position, with a closing date of Nov. 7. Officials hope to have the new hire start no later than Jan. 21.

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

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