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Mayor Biskupski's Pick to Manage Public Utilities Withdraws

Brian Grimmett
Salt Lake City and County Building.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s pick for director of public utilities has decided to withdraw from consideration for the vacant position.

In a statement, Mike Reberg said it was unclear whether he had the support of the Salt Lake City Council to confirm his appointment.

Council Chair James Rogers says Reberg is a skilled manager but he lacks the scientific or the engineering knowledge needed to oversee the city’s public utilities system.

“Having the knowledge of knowing our infrastructure, our water delivery system, our storm wastewater, our sewer treatment plant,” Rogers says. “And we have hundreds of millions of dollars of projects coming online. That to me it was, it’s all about a public health and safety issue.”

Reberg is a long-time manager, serving as assistant director of public works for Salt Lake County and director of Salt Lake County Animal Services. He was slated to fill the position left vacant last month by Jeff Niermeyer.

Mayor Biskupski says she continues to believe Reberg is one of the most qualified individuals she could find to lead the department.

“We have very strong leadership with our deputy director there when it comes to engineering,” Biskupski says. “And he’s been serving in that role for over eight years. So what we didn’t find was some sort of deficit with an engineer. The deficit we found was more of having a better management style that served the employees within the department better.”

Biskupski says she may find another position for Reberg at city hall. 

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