Pared from a field of 157 applicants, Michael Dyal, 51, is Orem's new city manager. He'll take up the reins Oct. 3, succeeding Daryl Berlin who resigned in early June.
Dyal has been city manager for North Las Vegas the past 12 years where he feels he's met his goals and brought the city to a point where it can function well without him."You reach a point, at least I did," said Dyal, introduced to the public Tuesday evening, "where if you're going to survive, you've got to be experiencing growth. I'd accomplished what I wanted to do in North Las Vegas.
"This (Orem) is a town that's also growing. That's exciting to me. I like the size. What you do will make a difference."
North Las Vegas' population ranges between 60,000-70,000, comparable to where Orem is right now, he said.
Mayor Stella Welsh said that's one of the reasons Dyal was selected. "He knows how to manage a city this size. He can just come in and take over where Daryl left off," she said.
Councilwoman Judy Bell and Councilman Kelvin Clayton said the selection committee spent countless hours perusing the applications and felt very good about the seven finalists they submitted to the council for scrutiny.
Bell said the committee and council felt Dyal was "by far the superior" choice for the job and he will be an addition to the city staff.
"I think his leadership ability stood out, his vision for the future," said Clayton.
Dyal said he sees his role as one of support, to the council, to the mayor and to the city employees. He intends to take the time to step back and take stock of Orem's strengths and challenges before he begins to make decisions.
"I'm a strong manager, however, I believe strongly in delegating power as well. This is not going to be a one-man show," said Dyal.
"I expect to work with the city council in determining where the city is as far as being prepared for the future," he said.
It's always a challenge to deal with the financial stresses and demands of a growing city, he said. In North Las Vegas he saved $547,000 by reorganizing the police department and took out an entire level of management in another streamlining move. He introduced measures such as early retirement options to enhance the total quality picture for the city.
"How to pay for the improvements is always a question and how to finance the capital requirements of a growing community like Orem is difficult to determine," he said.
He and his family, which includes a wife and six children, between 8 and 16, will spend the next month relocating.
"We have loved southern Nevada, but I've done what I wanted to do there. We have family here and we had decided - before we knew Daryl Berlin was leaving - to make a serious effort to move to Utah," said Dyal.
He is originally from California but has attended and received a master's degree from Brigham Young University and spent a cumulative three years in Utah, he said.
Although offers had come from various parts of the nation, Dyal chose "the most livable city" of Orem because it's "just the right size" and still growing.
"You can always go to the bigger city but you can't stay in touch so much with the employees. You must be in touch with the employees to make it work."