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Friday, July 14, 2006

Farewell to President Mansell

By John Valentine
President of the Utah Senate

Former Senate President Al Mansell gave me his letter of resignation a few minutes ago. It is with bittersweet feelings that I will be accepting his resignation.

Al Mansell has been my mentor, friend and confidant throughout the time I have served in the Utah Senate. His twelve years of service has yielded so many benefits for the state of Utah, it is hard to even remember them all.
  • One of his most noteworthy projects is his close involvement with the reconstruction of the Utah State Capitol. Who better to comprehend and oversee the renovation of our capitol than one of the preeminent developers in the state? Al has been sensitive to the historic nature of the building, while adding a number of innovations to make it more usable and more accessible to the people of Utah.

  • He presided during the post-9/11 budget crunch. Cutting millions of dollars out of base budgets was hard, very hard. But to come back in six months and do it again was even harder.

  • He brought added prestige to the state when he was elected by his professional peers as the President of the National Association of Realtors. Such national recognition does not happen very often to smaller states, such as Utah. Al presided with excellence over this association, with its powerful national and international presence. He was instrumental in providing significant humanitarian aid from realtors to the Tsunami Survivors and Hurricane Katrina victims.

  • Speaking of international recognition, Al and Margurite helped host the world during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. For 10 days, they were everywhere (I know, I saw them every place that I went).

  • As a parting accomplishment, he spearheaded the passage of USTAR, one of the most aggressive economic development programs ever undertaken by this state. “Now are the good times, but don’t waste it . . . invest in the future,” was his constant reminder.
Al will be remembered by his colleagues for sincerely caring about good public policy; being tough on the outside but having genuine compassion on the inside. His ability to grasp complex issues quickly and come to a rapid decision was phenomenal.

Thank you, Al, for your friendship and 12 years of service to Utah. You will be sorely missed.


Anonymous Dan Eastman said...

I agree with John. In my six-plus years in the senate, Al Mansell has been a significant force and influence. He is a consummate leader. His thinking is extremely well-grounded in a huge variety of political and policy issues. The caucus was very interested in his opinions and I personally looked to him for leadership in several areas.

It was a distinct honor to serve with someone of his caliber. I respect and appreciate his service and wish him all the best in the future.

7/14/2006 5:05 PM  

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