St. George hires ‘someone really good’ to oversee housing and economic development

Composite image. St. George City, Utah, July 2016, with undated inset photo of St. George Housing and Economic Development Director Shirlayne Quayle | Skyline photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News; inset photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — St. George officials enthusiastically announced the appointment of a new housing and economic development director during a public meeting Thursday evening.

After a monthslong vacancy, the city has hired Shirlayne Quayle to fill the role previously held by Matt Loo, who left St. George to work in a similar position for Washington City.

“We have finally found someone that we think is going to do a fantastic job for the city of St. George to represent us in our economic development efforts,” City Manager Adam Lenhard said.

Quayle, a St. George resident of seven years, comes to the position with experience in the field, having previously worked for Dixie State University and the state of Utah’s USTAR initiative, a technology-based economic development agency.

“I think Shirlayne is a fantastic choice,” Mayor Jon Pike said, explaining that city officials knew “someone really good” would be needed to fill such a vital role.

Downtown St. George, Utah, March 5, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

As housing and economic development director, Quayle will assist the mayor, City Council and city staff in advancing the city’s economic development vision by administering local, state and federal programs and initiatives intended to support citizens and businesses alike.

“I know that I will do this job with my heart and my soul every day,” Quayle said. “I really am appreciative of the opportunity, and I look forward to serving the citizens of our community.”

Specifically, some of the functions relating to housing and economic development Quayle will be tasked with overseeing include the following:

  • Administrating community development block grants to help residents secure affordable housing.
  • Requesting qualifications or proposals for contracted work on city-owned property.
  • Business licensing and permitting.
  • Working with the St. George Housing Authority to assist low income residents with living accommodations.

Lenhard said Quayle will be working with such agencies as Switchpoint Community Resource Center to address homelessness in the city.

“That’s one that needs attention,” Lenhard said of the homelessness issue. “We’ve kind of been piecing that together where we can, but it will be really nice to have Shirlayne to fill that role for us.”

Quayle said it is noteworthy that St. George combines housing and economic development into a single department.

“You can’t really do one well without the other,” she said.

On the economic development end of her position, Quayle will help ensure St. George is involved in any discussions relating to the community’s business interests.

“We are the eighth largest city in the state, soon to be seventh – maybe sixth, I dunno, the way things are going,” Pike said, referring to the rapid growth St. George is experiencing.

With many significant economic policies and programs being developed at the state capitol in Salt Lake City, Pike said Quayle’s position is critical in lobbying for the economic interests of Southern Utah.

“Even though we’re 300 miles away, we have an economic engine here that is strong and growing,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re remembered and that we’re at the table to help make decisions at the state and local level.”

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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  • NorthwesternWildcats January 5, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Quote sounds like something tRump would say.

  • homer498 January 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Which one? Most were from the “Man” in the room. Thank you Utah. I didn’t want to hear her introduce herself, and describe her qualifications and experience. Better just let us Men look at her very pretty face, and hear the “misc details” from one of our own.

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