OGDEN -- Two-term Weber County Commissioner Craig L. Dearden announced Tuesday that he won't be seeking re-election.
Dearden joked that he'll be making the change, literally, for greener grass.
"I plan to start mowing fairways and greens at the golf course," he said, noting that he hasn't made any formal application toward this new career.
He said he's hoping he can find someone who will give him the chance to operate such machinery, and that if he does, he'll be spending time hitting golf balls when he's not mowing.
"It's a large goal," he joked, "really high standards."
Dearden, 59, said his wife, Sheryl, retired a year ago as a special programs administrator at the headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service.
"She's been having a good time," he said. "Now I'll be able to join her. ... We'll be doing some traveling and kind of doing some things."
Dearden said he made the announcement Tuesday, during the first county commission meeting of the year, to allow time for potential candidates to decide and prepare themselves for the election process.
Candidates must file in March in order to run in the fall, he said.
Commissioner Jan Zogmaister said Dearden brought stability and wisdom to the commission, and he will be greatly missed.
At Tuesday's meeting, Dearden also was named commission chairman for the year.
Dearden said he has run successfully in four elections, two for Weber County sheriff and two for county commissioner.
"I decided that was probably good," he said.
Family get-togethers during the holidays, Dearden said, offered a chance to discuss his plans with family members, and that's when he decided not to seek another term.
This time next year, Dearden will hang up his hat on a 39-year career in public service that started when he worked as a detective and school resource officer in Pleasant View before running for Weber County sheriff.
After eight years as sheriff, Dearden was the Utah Commissioner of Public Safety for four years before he first ran for Weber County commissioner.
Among his accomplishments, Dearden listed the addition of a new building for the Weber-Morgan Health Department and a new Weber County library.
He said setting up a 911 special service district dispatch center in the county also was noteworthy.
A big issue Dearden has been addressing is proposed development at Powder Mountain Ski Resort. "At least there won't be a town, that we know of," he said.
Keeping the county in good financial shape was another effort Dearden took pride in.
"We've had no tax increase since I've been there," he said. "That's good and positive."
As commissioner of public safety, Dearden said helping to organize public safety during the Olympics was of note.
Under his direction, a seven-county public safety communication system also came into place.
This system has since moved to include counties both north and south of the area that originally participated.
As Weber County sheriff, Dearden started a citizens' academy and an inmate work program throughout the county.
He also started working on a new jail in the county and a new sheriff's office that existed before officials moved into the jail complex.
Dearden also was behind starting the D.A.R.E. program in Weber County, he said.
"I've had a good career," he said. "I've had some really great jobs."