Today, UTA welcomed Carlton Christensen and Beth Holbrook to its newly formed full-time board of trustees. Christensen will represent Salt Lake County. Holbrook will represent Davis, Weber, Box Elder counties. A third board member will be appointed at a later date to represent Utah and Tooele counties.
Governor Gary R. Herbert spoke at the swearing-in ceremony, calling the appointments a new beginning for UTA.
“This really is a new opportunity to build upon the past for a brighter future. This is the important part - how we start here today is going to mean a lot to how we’re going to finish.
The change in UTA governance from a 16-member, part-time board to a three-member, full-time board with a nine-member advisory committee was outlined in SB 136 and passed during the 2018 legislative session. Board members were nominated by their communities and appointed by the governor.
Christensen comes to UTA after serving five years as the director of regional transportation, housing and economic development for Salt Lake County. Prior to his work for Salt Lake County, Christensen worked as a community development representative for Zions Bank. He has an extensive track record of public service, including 16 years spent on the Salt Lake City Council. Christensen has also served as chair of the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency and Salt Lake City Council, as president of the Utah League of Cities & Towns, and as president of the associates board for the Museum of Natural History of Utah. He is an ex-officio member of the Salt Lake City Airport Board and was chair of the Wasatch Front Economic Development District. Christensen also previously served on the board of Shelter the Homeless and as a member of the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council.
After he was sworn in, Christensen reflected on the importance of making decisions that will benefit the community for decades to come.
“Sometimes good decisions are hard to make, and sometimes it takes a little bit of fortitude and it certainly takes a lot of collaboration. As we go forward as an organization, I look forward to that opportunity,” he said.
Holbrook joins the board after more than a decade of service on the Bountiful City Council. She was first elected to the council in 2007 and has served on several boards including the Bountiful Power Commission, Planning Commission and the Utility Facility Review Board. She is the outgoing president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns; having served there since 2011. Holbrook started her career in the financial sector, established a real estate firm in 2002 and in 2010 went to work for Zion’s Bank as the Director of the Business Resource Center in Salt Lake City. She also served as the public sector solutions manager for Waste Management of Utah.
Holbrook spoke of her plans to reach out to stakeholders and the community to better understand public transit needs. She said that the board welcomes questions and concerns from the public.
“This is going to be a learning experience for me. My intention is to dive in and really understand the dynamics.”
UTA Interim Executive Director Steve Meyer said the trustees and advisory board will be a critical force in helping the agency find ways to improve.
“I’m confident in Trustee Christensen and Trustee Holbrook’s experience and wisdom, and trust that they will successfully lead this organization into a bright future.”
UTA Board of Trustees Outgoing Chair Greg Bell also asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of former UTA board member and North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor. Taylor was killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 3 during a military deployment.
“He was deeply interested in UTA’s future and in the future of our state,” Bell said. “We’ve all been touched by this sad happening.”