Meet Herriman’s new city managerJun 29, 2021 11:02AM ● By Justin Adams
Nathan Cherpeski will be Herriman’s next city manager. He comes from Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he served in the same capacity for over eight years. (Courtesty of Herriman City)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Starting this week, Herriman has a new city manager.
Ever since the city council parted ways with previous city manager Brett Wood late last year, they have been earnestly searching for a replacement. That search came to an end last month with Nathan Cherpeski.
Cherpeski comes from the city of Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he has served as city manager for over eight years. Before that, he held the same position for the city of Alamosa, Colorado. But while the bulk of his career has taken place outside of Utah, he has many connections to the Beehive state.
Cherpeski attended BYU where he earned a master's degree in public policy. After graduation, his first government job came just up the road from Herriman: an internship at South Jordan City Hall. That was in 1999, so he knows firsthand just how much the southwest valley has changed since then.
“When I was working in South Jordan, Herriman was quite small,” he said. “It was this little town up on the hill, with just a lot of farmland in between. That’s mostly all gone.”
Cherpeski also has a lot of family in Utah: a sister in Lehi, a brother in Draper and a child attending BYU. In fact, it was his brother who tipped him off about the job opening in Herriman and encouraged him to apply.
Since applying for and securing the job, Cherpeski has been hard at work learning about his new community in preparation for his start date of June 29.
One major difference between Herriman and his two previous stints as a city manager is population. With a population of over 60,000 (and likely to eclipse 80,000 within a few years) Herriman is a much larger city than Klamath Falls (21,000) or Alamosa (9,000).
But Cherpeski looks at the size and growth of Herriman as an opportunity and an interesting challenge for him as the next step in his career.
“Growth is a two-edged sword,” he said. “It’s a positive thing; a lot of communities want that. It can also be very negative. It can bring a lot of challenges with it. So as government professionals, how do we help our communities navigate that?”
As for Cherpeski’s management style, he said he’s a “pretty laid back guy” whose office is always open to employees or residents. He’s also adopted a hobby of baking home-made bread, which he sometimes brings to the office, much to the delight of his coworkers.
Cherpeski says his favorite thing about working in local government is how he is able to see the impact he makes.
“I have friends that work at the state and federal level, and often what they do is they write about things, but they don’t do them, he said. “It’s at the local level that you actually have to do it. It’s at the local level where you can go to a library you helped get built and see people using it or go to a local park you helped develop and see people enjoying it.”