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Murray Journal

Murray City Council hires Jennifer Kennedy away from the City Recorder’s office

Mar 22, 2021 04:43PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Former City Recorder Jennifer Kennedy to manage the city council’s office. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kennedy)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

The Murray City Council office gained a new but familiar face in February, as Jennifer Kennedy assumed the role of city council executive director. She took over retiring Council Director Jan Lopez’s duties in January; Brooke Smith has assumed the city recorder’s responsibilities.

As the council director, Kennedy is a liaison between the city council and the administrative staff. She will coordinate council meetings, workshops, training meetings, and open houses as well as prepare the materials, agendas and packets for them. She will also research and review issues the council will be making decisions on and provide the members with any background materials they need to make those decisions. Kennedy will assist councilors in delivering information to their constituents when required. She will also oversee the council office staff and provide orientation and training for newly elected councilors.   

“My overall favorite part of my job is working with and getting to know the councilmembers,” Kennedy said. “I enjoy learning about each of their views and vision for the city. The second thing I enjoy about my job is the wide variety of tasks I have. No two days are the same, and I love that.”

Born in Tacoma, Washington, Kennedy grew up in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, graduating from Cottonwood High School. She later graduated from Strayer University with a bachelor’s in Business Administration. Kennedy, with her husband Craig and two children, Cody and Madison, have called Murray home for the last five years.

Kennedy began working for Murray City in September 2006 as the senior billing editor for public utilities. She soon moved over to the recorder’s office as a business licensing specialist. In 2011 she became the city recorder.

“The greatest influence on my career was Carol Heales. Carol was my predecessor as the city recorder. Carol was smart, a good listener, a researcher, a teacher, and she never made you feel uncomfortable if you had a differing opinion than she did. She empowered all her employees to be confident with the decisions we would make, and she always had our backs. She taught me so much; but most of all, she taught me never to stop learning. I do not think I would be the person I am today if I had never met her. Today, Carol and I are still great friends, and I will never forget the influence she’s had on my life,” Kennedy said.  

City Councilor Kat Martinez said, “Murray City Council had a large pool of qualified candidates to choose from, and I am grateful we all agreed Jennifer was the perfect fit for the position. She is intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated to serving Murray. Her history working within the city put her in a wonderful position to transition smoothly into the role. She is doing a wonderful job already.”

As city recorder, Kennedy was a familiar face to residents applying for a business license or making a records request in person. She was also the person who administered the oath of office to Murray City’s elected leaders, police officers and firefighters. 

In Kennedy’s new role, she understands the various aspects of her new job.

“Councilmembers come, and councilmembers go. For me, the hardest part of this job will be getting to know each of the councilmembers both professionally and personally and knowing that in four years, they may or may not be working with me anymore. Although I enjoy meeting and working with new people, changes like that can be hard,” Kennedy said.

When not putting in long hours in the council office, Kennedy can be found scrapbooking or participating in a half-marathon. Although an admitted Disneyphile, she can also be found vacationing in Yellowstone or St. George.

“Jennifer is a wonderful addition to the Murray City Council,” City Councilor Diane Turner said. “Not only is she a Murray resident, she has also worked for Murray City for several years and understands the many facets of our city. Jennifer works well with the council as well as the public. She is patient, smart and a great communicator. We are very excited to have her as part of our team.”