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Murray Journal

Greenwood to helm Community and Economic Development

Jan 21, 2019 01:51PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Melinda Greenwood will take over Murray City’s Community and Economic Development Department. (Photo courtesy Melissa Greenwood)

By Shaun Delliskave|[email protected]

It’s a pretty daunting task to jump into the role of Director of Murray City’s Community and Economic Development, considering the number of balls that the director will need to juggle with just the Murray City Center (MCCD) alone. Yet Mayor Blair Camp found an experienced candidate in Melinda Greenwood, who was approved by the city council to lead the department.

“I have always loved economic development, and the areas of redevelopment which Murray has are more challenging and therefore more enticing than typical economic development strategies,” said Greenwood.

Greenwood worked in Arizona from 2002 to 2009 for the City of Chandler and then Casa Grande. She returned to Utah in 2009, working as the Grand County administrator in Moab. In 2012, she started working for Pleasant View City as their city administrator, where she worked until 2017. She then went to work in the private sector with Jacques & Associates, a communications and public relations firm.

“During my time in the private sector I realized how deeply rooted my passion is for local government and being part of a community,” she said. Greenwood has an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and a master of public administration from BYU, which she received in 2002.

According to Greenwood, “It is fun to drive down a street knowing I assisted in property acquisition and design, creating a safer and more functional road for the public.”

Murray’s culture is what attracted her to the job. “Murray City has an outstanding reputation for wonderful employees, stability, independence and good governance, which appeals to me.”

She will inherit a department that will be organizationally restructured from her predecessor. In the interim vacancy, some changes were made to better structure city functions. Greenwood feels that there may be more shifting in the future, but that is unknown at this time.

“In the context of economic development, redevelopment often faces more challenges and scrutiny than new development. I look forward to assisting the city in the process of finding the right solutions to bring new vision and vitality to the redevelopment areas,” Greenwood said.

Camp has specifically asked her to focus on the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) areas, six of which exist in the city. Some areas such as the MCCD have complex historical elements like the former Mount Vernon school property that was part of a lawsuit to prevent them from being torn down.

City Councilman Brett Hales noted Greenwood’s enthusiasm after she was sworn in, “I love your honesty about the RDA… You said I am going to learn it and get to know it.”

“In a position such as this, I believe integrity, flexibility and the ability to have a long-term vision are incredibly important. In addition to those qualities, I hope I can bring Murray City exactly what it needs,” remarked Greenwood.

Greenwood believes she has been fortunate to have many outstanding mentors and peers who have given her great advice and support. She believes it important to take time to reflect on difficult situations and to learn from them.

When she is not at work, she is at home with her husband, Eric, and their two Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers, Flynn and Fig. Because Eric is employed as a surveyor for the U.S. Forest Service, they love to hike, camp, bike, ski and do all things outdoors. Besides loving the outdoors and making jewelry, she also loves hippopotamuses. “Any animal that can hold its breath for up to five minutes is pretty astounding.”