Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Becker Names New Captain of Economic Development

[Politics] Today at Tony Caputo's Deli, Mayor Ralph Becker called together a press conference that only hinted at a soon to be announced major economic development. From a podium set in front of a wall of olive oil Becker announced that Bob Farrington, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance for the past 16 years, would be the city's Director of Economic Development.

Among other credits, Farrington has also been heading up the downtown rising project and has successfully overseen the growth of the downtown farmer's market, and been likewise heavily involved in the city's efforts to create a year round public market.

When questioned on what Farrington's new duties would be Becker said to "take advantage of our [city's] assets and capital so Salt Lake City can grow to its economic potential."

More specifically Farrington said that Salt Lake City was unique as capital of the state, region, and major research interests, and because of that, his job would be largely multidimensional. Farrington spoke of moving forward on trax extensions, the new public market and fixing problem spots like maximizing hotel infrastructure for travelling conventions and increasing green space downtown.

He described his duties as being more of a "conductor that will orchestrate the great organizations and talents," the city already has, says Farrington. Emphasizing collaboration with all possible stakeholders.

"Once I get a phone and an office, my door will always be open," joked Farrington. (Eric S. Peterson)

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