A dogged political officer who spent 20 years in top local and state positions and helped structure Salt Lake City's current form of government died unexpectedly at her home Saturday.
Alice Shearer, 65, was active in Salt Lake-area community affairs and Republican politics and was first elected to a two-year term on the Salt Lake City Council in 1979. She served in several high-level posts under Govs. Norm Bangerter and Mike Leavitt.Mrs. Shearer was Executive Director of the state's Department of Administrative Services when Leavitt took office. "I worked side-by-side with Alice in every level of Utah politics for 20 years," Leavitt said. "She was a wonderful person, a dear friend and a worthy public servant."
Leavitt later appointed Mrs. Shearer to the Utah State Tax Commission, a position she held until June.
In the late 1970s, Mrs. Shearer was part of the first City Council under Salt Lake's new form of city government and helped to craft the system that equalized power between the mayor and council.
"Alice's particular expertise was how services could be delivered most efficiently," said former Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis, who was on that inaugural council with Mrs. Shearer.
"She spent her time trying to figure out how to best make government work smoothly and efficiently."
DePaulis and then Mayor Ted Wilson often sparred with Mrs. Shearer politically, but DePaulis said her respected her sense of humor and irony.
Funeral services will be at noon Wednesday at St. Marks Cathedral, 231 E. 100 South in Salt Lake.