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Candidates For Salt Lake County Recorder Emerge, McAdams Suggests Combining Office With Surveyor

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott will resign on August 1. After that, it’s up to Salt Lake County Republicans to elect a replacement, and candidates are already coming forward. 

One of those candidates is Julie Dole, who has been the chief deputy in the Salt Lake County recorder’s office since 2014. Dole says she already does a good job of running day-to-day operations in the recorder’s office.

“I’m vested in this because I’ve been running the office for over three years. We’ve got a lot of projects that I’ve been able to see through successfully and some new projects that I’d like to see through too,” including a forthcoming switch to a new software- website interface.

Republican Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton, says she will not support Dole. The councilwoman accused Dole and Ott’s aide, Karmen Sanone of trying to hide the recorder’s illness. She says she wants the office to be transparent.

“I’m hopeful that we can start fresh,” says Winder Newton, “and that we can get someone in there who can restore the integrity and the respect that that office deserves.”

Throughout media reports of Recorder Gary Ott’s absence at work and signs of his declining health, Dole has maintained she doesn’t know what’s going on with her boss’s medical situation or his personal life.

“I, like everybody else, have Gary’s best interest in mind, so if this is going to help him get to the place he needs to be, this is great,” Dole said Friday.

Dole says the people who know her and have worked with her will support her bid.

“The ones who are relying on just what they’ve read in the media and are drawing conclusions from that, they probably won’t support me if they don’t take the time to get to know that I actually work hard and that I do a really good job,” she says.

Freshman State Representative Adam Gardiner (R-West Jordan) has also announced his candidacy. In a press release, Gardiner said he wants to “reset” the county recorder’s office and says if elected, he would leave the Utah House.

But on Friday afternoon, County Mayor Ben McAdams suggested combining the recorder’s office with the office of the county surveyor.

“There’s some overlap with the functions they provide,” McAdams says. “I think we can provide a better service with a lower cost to the taxpayer if we just combine those offices.”

Such a more would require legislative action.

The agreement between county attorneys and Ott’s family, and signed by a judge on Friday, states the recorder will resign on August 1. It includes a payment of $35,000 to help with medical and other expenses for the outgoing recorder. 

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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