The new city manager doesn't plan to make a lot of changes in the city's operations. He believes in a consulting management philosophy.
"I don't run the show. It's up to the (City) Council. I follow council directions," Dennis W. Cluff said.Cluff said he sees himself more as the general manager of the city, running the day-to-day operations and following the dictates of the elected city leaders. He will make recommendations to the council, but they make the major decisions.
He also stressed he has an open-door policy.
"My attitude is I'm here to do a job for the citizens," he said.
Cluff, 47, took over as city manager in July. He replaces City Councilman Ken Barlow, who was interim manager for about four months while the council sought a replacement for Patrick Sorensen.
The former city manager resigned after seven months on the job because of a difference in management style.
Cluff describes the City Council and mayor as a "real good group of men" and is impressed with the close-knit atmosphere among the city employees. He's also noticed how well Clinton's recreation program is organized.
He hopes his versatile experience in city government in four different states will be an asset. He's relieved that Clinton doesn't have its own sewer system or drinking water treatment plant, so he doesn't have that responsibility.
Cluff sees a new municipal building and adequate drinking water for the future as two of his primary job challenges.
Born in San Jose, Calif., he earned his master's degree in public administration from Brigham Young University in 1975. Cluff then worked in Santa Cruz, Calif., as a management analyst before moving to Clark County, Nev., to work in county government in the Las Vegas area.
Cluff's first job as city manager was for 18 months in the small Arizona border town of San Luis. He then worked more than four years as city manager in Molalla, Ore. (south of Portland), prior to working as city manager for Brookings, Ore., for the past four years. He also spent 18 months with the Army in Vietnam.
Having relatives in northern Utah and moving his kids to a place with a different lifestyle were major factors in accepting this new job.
Cluff will be moving his wife and five children to Utah later this month. He's renting a home in Roy until he can sell his Oregon home and purchase one here.