Salt Lake County, Utah

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Transparency Grade
Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials P
Administrative Officials P
Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying Y
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Public records
Local taxes Y
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County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

Salt Lake County is a county in Utah. The county seat is Salt Lake City. It had a population of 1,029,655 at the 2010 census.[1] It occupies a valley, Salt Lake Valley, as well as parts of the surrounding mountains, the Oquirrh Mountains to the west and the Wasatch Range to the east. In addition, the Great Salt Lake is partially within the northwestern section of the county. The county is famous for its ski resorts, which led to Salt Lake City hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Website evaluation

In 2011 Salt Lake County earned a Sunny Awards for having a perfect website transparency score.

This website was most recently reviewed April 9, 2012.

Main article: Evaluation of Utah county websites

The good

  • Budgets are posted on the County Auditor page[2]
  • The meeting minutes and agendas are posted[3].
  • Information on the Assembly members (including contact info) is posted.[4].
  • There is Contact Information for Elected Officials.[5]
  • There is Contact Information for Administrative Officials listed under respective departments.[6]
  • Building Permit and Zoning information is available.[7][8]
  • Audits are posted on the County Auditor page[2]
  • Bidding and contract information is available.[9]
  • There is a list of registered lobbyists.[10]
  • Information on how to obtain public records is posted.[11]
  • There is available information on local taxes.[12]

The bad

Elected Officials

Salt Lake County Mayor is elected at large and for a four-year term in partisan elections. The current county mayor is Peter Corroon, a Democrat. The Mayor may appoint a Chief Deputy to act in the Mayor´s stead during his or her absence or disability; the Deputy must be a County resident and be either a Department Director or Chief of Staff.[13] The Mayor enforces policies established by the County Council by assigning work in the executive branch including Public Works, Human Services, and Community and Support Services as well as exercising power of veto.[5]

Besides a mayor, Salt Lake County also has a county council. Members include three elected at-large and six elected by district. Council members from districts serve four-year staggered terms in partisan elections while at-large members serve six years. The Mayor has no supervisory authority over the other 17 elected officials of the County, which are the Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Council (9 members), District Attorney, Mayor, Recorder, Sheriff, Surveyor, Treasurer.[13] Here are brief explanations of what other elected office's role in county government is:[5]

  • Council - Adopts the County budget, a portion of which is supported by property taxes, and directs the activities of the Board of Equalization.
  • Assessor - Establishes the assessed value and classification for all locally assessed property. Assesses and collects the personal property tax.
  • Auditor - Calculates the tax rates for all taxing entities in the county. Acts as clerk for the Board of Equalization. Prepares and delivers annual Valuation Notice (also know as the Truth in Tax Notice) to all property owners.
  • Clerk - The Salt Lake County Clerk directs the Elections Division, Marriage and Passport Divisions, and the Council Clerk Division.
  • District Attorney - The District Attorney's Office is responsible for a wide variety of legal work, including prosecution of all felony criminal matters in the County, as well as handling civil governmental legal work and government litigation.
  • Recorder - Maintains records of property ownership, liens, filings, etc. as well as legal descriptions and related plats of all property in the county.
  • Sheriff - The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with the community, protects and serves the community through progressive, comprehensive, and cost-effective law enforcement, corrections initiatives, and court services.
  • Surveyor - Provides quality surveying and mapping services to protect, preserve, and perpetuate property boundary rights.
  • Treasurer - Bills and collects all real property taxes, administers statutory tax relief programs, refunds tax overpayments, distributes all taxes collected to local tax entities.

Elected Officials: Council Members

Name District Salary
Peter Corroon Mayor $169,202
Randy Horiuchi At Large A $56,124
Richard Snelgrove At Large B $54,721
Jim Bradley At Large C $59,412
Arlyn Bradshaw District 1 $47,109
Michael Jensen District 2 $43,656
David Wilde District 3 $57,439
Jani Iwamoto District 4 $54,769
Steve DeBry District 5 $43,656
Max Burdick District 6 $61,620

Administrative Officials

Name Title Salary
Lee Gardner Assessor $154,364
Gregory Hawkins Auditor $176,653
Sherrie Swensen County Clerk $158,536
Sim Gill District Attorney $191,621
Gary Ott Recorder $165,199
James Winder Sheriff’s Office Unavailable
Reid Demman Surveyor $158,363
K. Wayne Cushing Treasurer $166,416

Salary information.[14]


Adjusted Budget
Adopted Budget
$674,018,592 $724,144,407 $762,329,063


Salt Lake City, the county seat, received $985,012,261.60 in federal stimulus funding in 257 contracts and grants.[15]

Local taxes

Property tax information and links to County Assessor, Treasurer, and Auditor are available. Limited information is easily accessible for tax rate and revenue information.[16]

County In the News

An Arizona judge has refused to disqualify prosecutors in public corruption case against a pair of polygamous border town officials. Colorado City Fire Chief Jacob Barlow and town Manager David Darger each face more than a dozen felony allegations, including unauthorized Turbo Tax purchases and hundreds of dollars in travel expenses.

Barlow and Darger were indicted on 30 and 13 public corruption counts, respectively. The charges came after police served warrants, looking for evidence of illegal money transfers, travel expenses and purchases. The majority of people living in Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah are members of the Warren Jeffs-led Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.[17]

External links