CLEARFIELD -- Officials hope to give a boost to economic development by creating, and now filling, the position of assistant city manager.
"That's a priority of the organization," said City Manager Adam Lenhard. "We wanted to make sure that we are addressing this need full time."
JJ Allen was recently hired to fill the position.
The Provo native has been involved with this field for 11 years, both in Utah and elsewhere.
"As we went through the interview process, he rose to the top," Lenhard said. "He seemed to have the experience, energy and attributes we were looking for to fill this position."
Clearfield had roughly 50 applicants nationwide apply for the position. The top six had telephone interviews, while three were brought in for interviews with the city council, mayor and executive staff.
"We had a great candidate pool of qualified applicants," Lenhard said.
Allen has worked for almost three years as Pleasant View's city administrator and previously worked as an assistant city manager in Augusta, Kan., for three years.
The responsibility of recruiting businesses to Clearfield was previously handled through the city manager and community development department. While those areas will still be involved, the assistant city manager will take more responsibility.
Lenhard explained the community development director position was eliminated. Those job responsibilities were shuffled to other areas, such as the police department taking on code enforcement.
By eliminating that position, there was room in the budget to create the assistant city manager position.
Lenhard said that person's primary focus is business recruitment and retention, as well as supporting a positive business environment and facilitating the creation of new jobs and activity in the city.
Allen said he is excited to see what he can accomplish because Clearfield has a very clearly defined vision and path outlined to re-energize the city.
"Clearfield already has a very strong team," Allen said, referring to the governing body and staff.
"I hope to come in and make an already strong team even stronger. They are on a great track right now.
"I hope to be part of the successes that are part of the future."
Lenhard said this appointment will allow more focus directly on economic development.
"We have restructured our organization to be able to facilitate that," he said.
"This is a response to a change in the economy and the way we are doing business. We are trying to be more efficient and put resources where the needs are."
Allen plans to move to Layton after starting in his new position about the middle of this month.