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From firefighter to city councilman, Zach Robinson is ready to serve

Dec 01, 2017 08:00AM ● Published by Justin Adams

Zach Robinson will be the newest at-large city council member. (Courtesy of the Zach Robinson campaign)

Gallery: Zach Robinson [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com    

Zach Robinson will be the newest at-large city council member after defeating incumbent Steve Smith on Election Day by 12 points. Robinson is no stranger to working for the city; he previously spent over 10 years working for the city’s fire department.

“My dad worked for the fire department here in Sandy as well and so I grew up around the fire department,” said Robinson. “It’s been a part of my life since I was 1 year old, so that’s kind of where I got that bug.”

Robinson also has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah, which he describes as a “fallback plan if I ever got hurt or couldn’t do that job anymore.” He ended up using his post-fire department plan a little earlier than he expected, as he now works for the University of Utah Hospital in an administrative role.

“We always knew he would eventually go on to bigger things,” said Chris Dawson, who was Robinson’s battalion chief in the fire department. He described Robinson as being “very sharp,” “a fun guy to work with” and someone who has a “strong drive to help other people.”

“He had some very difficult calls, both for fires and medical situations that involved fatalities,” said Dawson. According to Dawson, Robinson even “came close to losing his life once.” But those experiences “only seemed to make him stronger. He never lost his drive.”

For Robinson, being on the city council is just another way of serving the residents of Sandy. “I felt like it’s a great way to give back to the community. There are a lot of issues out there that need to be dealt with and this is a great way to deal with some of those issues.”

Robinson had a little experience in political campaigning prior to this run; he said he had previously had a few unsuccessful attempts at running for the state legislature. “Running for office is a very humbling experience. You get built up and then knocked down,” he said.

Robinson credits the success of his campaign to his family, who he described as being a “rock” during the campaign. “They’ve been with me every step of the way,” he said. “They walked every neighborhood with me. They knocked every door with me. I could not have been successful without them. I owe everything to them.”

Based on conversations he had with Sandy residents throughout the campaign, Robinson said that people’s most frequent concern was with growth. He said he received multiple calls, emails and social media messages every day from people with concerns about how things like the Cairns project or new high-density housing projects would affect their lives. 

Robinson said he looks forward to trying to address people’s concerns, while recognizing that he can never make everyone totally happy.

“There’s a group of people who absolutely want Sandy to grow and develop. And there’s a group that likes Sandy the way it is. As a council member, you have to live in the middle of that, you have to see both sides of those stories and form a solution for both of those groups. I look forward to that challenge.”

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