EAGLE MOUNTAIN — John Hendrickson, grandfather, ex-Central Intelligence Agency officer and former Draper city manager, will be Eagle Mountain's new city administrator, Mayor Don Richardson announced Tuesday night.
After months of turmoil and vacancy associated with the city's managerial position, the Eagle Mountain City Council unani- mously ratified Hendrickson's contract Tuesday night with no hesitation.
To Hendrickson, who agreed to step down from his position in Draper amid conflict and a "split vote" by that city's council, the unanimous motion in Eagle Mountain came as a relief.
"It's nice to know, at least going in, that you have that support," Hendrickson said. "In many ways (the situation in Draper) was a situation of a very divided council. I want to be very careful with what I say, but people make choices and we made a choice. And that's about where I want to go with that."
Hendrickson was chosen to be city administrator over Brent Bluth, city administrator in Bluffdale, who has also dealt with some controversy with his position. Eagle Mountain council members publicly interviewed both Bluth and Hendrickson about three weeks ago before formalizing their choice this week.
"There were a number of great men and women who applied for this position," Richardson said. "We're very fortunate to have John."
Hendrickson, who has a master's degree in public administration from Brigham Young University, has more than 30 years of experience in public management. He inherited the government gene from his father, who worked for the federal government for 20 years.
Hendrickson grew up in Wyoming, but he moved frequently because of his father's employment.
Hendrickson received his undergraduate degree from BYU, before he became employed by the CIA. He also worked as a military intelligence officer during the Vietnam War.
"It's been an interesting life." Hendrickson said. "It's never been dull for me. I always thought I would go into medicine or dentistry and then I got sidetracked into government. I had a professor who said, 'I think you would be a good city manager.' I said. 'What's that?' and then here I am 30 years later."
Hendrickson, 63, currently lives in Sandy with his wife, though he says he may move to Eagle Mountain "when the time is right." The grandfather of 30 says he is used to "60-plus" hour work weeks.
Before coming to Eagle Mountain Hendrickson worked in city government positions in Wyoming, Idaho and California — but he's had his eye on Eagle Mountain for awhile. After five years of working in city government in California, Hendrickson says he was drawn to come to Eagle Mountain because of its potential.
"It's the fact that it's a growing city," Hendrickson said. "I've managed a number of fast growing cities in my career. ... I always had some interest in what was going on out here and how that might develop. ... There's just lots of issues. I didn't want to go into a position where I felt like I was vegetating. I don't think that's going to be the case at all here."