Big changes coming to Gov. Gary Herbert's cabinet

Published: Thursday, Nov. 15 2012 7:00 p.m. MST

Burbank said the governor’s actions are what would be expected from a brand-new governor, not one first elected as lieutenant governor in 2004.

“You didn’t really get any sense of change in the election. That was about as low key an election as you could have,” Burbank said, referring to Herbert’s win over Democrat Peter Cooke with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

It’s more than the governor’s cabinet changing. Miller said the governor is also adding to his priorities for the next four years.

While economic development and education remain at the top of that list, Miller said the administration will also focus on what the governor sees as the state’s No. 1 challenge, population growth.

Miller said that means a “renewed emphasis on long-term planning” for dealing with the impact of more Utahns on air and water quality, transportation needs and other issues related to growth.

Those issues include recognizing the needs of Utah’s increasing minority population, including refugees, Miller said. “That brings something different into the mix that we have to be aware of.”

And there will be a new emphasis on outdoor recreation, at a time when the state has been at odds with the industry over public lands issues. “We just can’t take that for granted,” Miller said. “That’s hand in hand with our tourism industry.”

The elections results, Miller said, mean the governor is already on the right track.

“We’re not looking at a wholesale change in the governor’s agenda and priorities, but we are going through a process where we are re-evaluating,” he said. “A lot of it is just emphasizing the things that are important and not letting them be taken for granted.”

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com, Twitter: dnewspolitics

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