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Snarr points to success in the world of business

Dan Snarr's mother likes to talk of when her 5-year-old son solemnly advised a neighbor, "I was born to work!"

Forty-three years later, Mrs. Snarr's kid is still at it.After a career that included stints as a computer salesman and steel sales manager, Snarr and a business partner built a small landscaping business into a major company that employs 40 people in the summer and 20 year-round.

Snarr said success in the business world has given him the freedom, economically and otherwise, to explore a new direction in life.

So now he's submitted his application for a different kind of job: mayor of Murray.

Snarr, 48, makes his first foray into the political arena after finishing second among eight mayoral candidates in the primary election, collecting 671 votes.

"I'm in a position right now where I can have the freedom and time to service the people of this city," he said.

And Snarr believes the business acumen and financial skills he has developed over the years will serve him well if he's given an opportunity to guide Murray into the 21st century.

Born and reared in the Millcreek Canyon area, Snarr graduated from Skyline High School and went on to earned a bachelor's degree in organizational communication with a minor in finance from the University of Utah.

He counts himself fortunate during his early years to have grown up around neighbors like O.C. Tanner and Lowell Bennion, who took an interest in helping shape the lives of young people.

"Obert was my greatest mentor . . . I went to work for him when I was 8 years old, weeding his garden," Snarr recalled. "When I was 12, I went to work for him landscaping full time in the summer and part time the rest of the year."

Snarr said he learned many lessons in life from his philosopher-professor-entreprenuer neighbor.

From the philosopher-friend, he learned Plato's premise that the most important things in life were "beauty, goodness and truth."

And from the businessman who became one of Utah's best-loved philanthropists, Snarr learned also Tanner's business credo: "I love to solve problems."

"Not only does it make me a better person," he told young Snarr, "but it makes my company a better company and, ultimately, it helps make the world a better place."

As he grew to manhood, married the former April Thompson and became the father of five, Snarr said he came to appreciate that "sometimes, problems are just opportunities in disguise."

The 11 years he spent serving in the 19th Special Forces unit of the Utah National Guard also taught Snarr another great lesson in life, "Never give up."

He believes all of those lessons have helped prepare him for service as mayor of the community where he makes his home and has chosen to rear his family.

"As I've walked the entire city and listened to the people, my vision of the city has become clearer," Snarr said. "People need to realize they have a voice in a democratic system, and that the mayor should be there listen to them and act on their concerns."

To facilitate that input, Snarr said he has made a personal commitment that if elected he will stay in his office one night a week to help residents solve problems.

"I think I can bring a business perspective to the city," he said, and provide the kind of hard work and leadership Murray needs as it goes about the process of strengthening and revitalizing its commercial and economic core.

After all, it's another one of those jobs that needs doing.

And when you're "born to work," Mrs. Snarr's boy figures, it's time to get cracking.