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After 16 years on the Salt Lake City Council, Carlton Christensen is moving over to Salt Lake County government.

He will fill Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams' newly created position of regional development director, responsible for coordinating the actions of county agencies with those of city governments and other pertinent players on matters of importance to the county as a whole.

Those issues range from promoting economic development and gang intervention to building the infrastructure needed to keep pace with population growth and delivering 911 emergency response services, McAdams said.

Christensen, 47, is "no stranger" to these issues or the people of influence in determining the outcomes, the mayor said, making him a logical selection for this position. He grew up in Rose Park, the council district he represents in northwestern Salt Lake City that is among the state's most diversified areas, and he has worked as a community development representative for Zions Bank, McAdams added.

And even if Christensen is a Republican, his council tenure showed he repeatedly "reached across party lines to get things done," said McAdams, touting this appointment as an example of his fulfillment of a mayoral-campaign pledge to build a bipartisan administration.

"I'm excited to be part of the team," said Christensen, eager to put 16 years of council experience to work in a broader context on issues of long-lasting significance. "With Salt Lake County's [projected] growth," he noted, "it's time to find some real solutions."

McAdams said he will announce several initiatives over the next few weeks that will emphasize the need to approach issues from a regional perspective and that Christensen will be the county's point person, working to ensure that the delivery of various services is "effective, efficient and with minimum duplication."

The time to prepare for the future is now, he added, and "everyone on my team is focused like a laser on getting the future right."

Christensen will begin work for the county on Aug. 19, McAdams said, while filling out his City Council term, which ends in January.

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