SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Erin Mendenhall is pleased to announce that Blake Thomas has joined Salt Lake City to serve as the Director of the Department of Community and Neighborhoods (CAN).
Thomas comes to the city with broad experience in government both at the state and local level, having worked as Salt Lake County’s Director of Economic Development and in the Governor’s Office of Energy Development where his focus was on renewable energy development and alternative transportation projects.
“We’re so glad to have Blake join our team. His extensive experience will serve our residents well. From economic development to homeless services, to transportation and planning, I’m looking forward to seeing our shared visions for these important divisions and the services they provide come to life in new and innovative ways,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said.
Thomas’s appointment was confirmed by the Salt Lake City Council in late August.
The Department of Community and Neighborhoods includes seven divisions:
Building Services, Community Engagement, Engineering, Housing and Neighborhood Development, Planning, Real Estate Services and Transportation.
“I’m really excited to dig in,” the 32-year-old Thomas said. “CAN does tangible work in the community that our residents really care about. As director I am committed not just to the success of each CAN division, but to the successful development and preservation of sustainable and equitable neighborhoods across Salt Lake City.”
Thomas, who earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Utah State University, said he looks forward to engaging with residents and other stakeholders — from regional partners and nonprofits to Capitol Hill — as Salt Lake City develops plans for its expected growth.
“I think the diverse backgrounds and experiences of residents provide ideas and insights that must be considered by city staff,” Thomas said, who is also a resident of Salt Lake City. “I’m ready and willing to listen and collaborate with anyone who shares the City’s goals of smart, equitable and affordable growth.”
Thomas takes over as director just as CAN launches a new blog to share information and news about its divisions and the programs, projects and critical community services each provides.
The monthly Our Neighborhoods blog can be found at www.ourneighborhoodscan.com or by joining a subscribers mailing list posted on the homepage.