Jack DeMann will step down next month as executive director of the Utah League of Cities and Towns to accept a position with Murray City - where he served as an elected official for 20 years.
DeMann will become executive assistant to Mayor Lynn Pett, a long-time friend and city-government colleague."It's a bit like returning home," DeMann said.
He will fill a position left vacant when Pett was elected mayor last year. The City Council approved $56,000 in its recent budget for the position.
Pett said Murray can use someone with DeMann's background. "I'm really excited. Jack's got so much experience in the private sector and all levels of government," Pett said.
The pair first met in 1967 when DeMann was a city commissioner and Pett was city parks superintendent.
"It's a relationship that has developed into close friends. And now it's time to turn the tables and work for him."
Asked if the position will be a springboard back into local politics, DeMann said nothing definite.
"It would be nice to conclude my career serving the people of Murray if they want that. So, I wouldn't put it (running for office) out of my mind."
DeMann, a retired public-affairs director for Hercules Bacchus Works, served as a Murray city commissioner and councilman for 12 years and represented Murray in the state House of Representatives for six years before he retiring and taking the position with the League.
Last week he received job offers from a private industrial firm as well as Murray City.
"It (the Murray job) suits my personal needs well," he said.
DeMann was the third director for the League in five years.
"It's a job that demands a lot," said Salt Lake City councilman and League first vice president Tom Godfrey.
"You have to maintain a balance of rural and urban interests. It's like walking a tightrope," Godfrey said, noting DeMann did good work.
DeMann said he enjoyed the work but added that Utah's municipal governments face a lot of problems.
"They are all hard pressed, particularly some of the smaller communities," he said.
On top of those challenges, now the League must find another director.
Godfrey said the League's executive committee must first meet to decide on a selection procedure.
He explained that finding interested applicants isn't as much a problem as convincing them to take on the challenge for $50,000 a year.
"It (the salary) is respectable, but some people don't want to work for that amount of money."