Peter Corroon says his legacy is restoring public trust in county government

Published: Sunday, Dec. 23 2012 7:20 p.m. MST

Corroon took the latter so seriously that his family recently adopted a Yorkshire terrier puppy from Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Corroon's family had wanted a different dog they saw at an adoption event but another family beat them to it.

A couple of weeks later, animal services employees dropped by Corroon's office with "Biscuit," placing the 6-month-old puppy on his lap. The pup hopped down and relieved himself on the carpet. "I said,  'He'll fit in well in our family.'"

Corroon proudly describes the dog as the family's "pound puppy." No toney designer dog for Corroon, the model of fiscal conservatism, Dunn said.

For example, Dunn revealed, Corroon buys his dress shoes at Savers thrift store.

Recently, while wrestling on the couch with his sons, Corroon told them not to muss his sportcoat, lest he have to pay $7 to have it dry cleaned.

His thrifty nature has apparently rubbed off on his wife, Amy, who insisted that Corroon visit their family doctor after falling and injuring his hip while playing a pick-up game of hockey instead of traveling to the emergency room by ambulance.

By the time Amy Corroon received the call, however, the mayor was en route to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a broken hip.

That was a Friday. Corroon returned the office on the following Tuesday.

Corroon has maintained a grueling schedule throughout the past eight years. He's up at 5 a.m. every day but Sunday. He gets up early to exercise, shower, eat breakfast and arrives at the office about 7 a.m. He uses the early hours of his work days to return telephone calls and e-mails. His responsibilities often last until the evening if he's attending a function.

"When he started, he would say, 'Nobody knows who I am. I really have to prove I can do this job,' " Amy Corroon said.

More family time

While the family has enjoyed many of the opportunities the job has brought their way, Amy Corroon said she looks forward to having more family time once her husband leaves elected office.

The Corroon children, Sophie, 11, Peter Jr. ,10, and James, 9, are at ages that they need their father's influence even more, she said. They notice when he's unable to attend a sport practice, game or musical performance, she said. The children have literally spent their childhoods with their father in the public eye.

Corroon said he, too, looks forward to a return to private life but does not exclude the possibility of another run for office.

He's mulling job offers in the private sector but won't say what they are. He has a dozen offers to serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations. Corroon came from the private sector and has a bachelor degree in engineering and graduate degrees in law and business.

He had hoped to fill his successor Ben McAdams' unexpired term in the Utah Senate but Utah Democratic Party delegates picked state party chairman Jim Debakis over Corroon by six votes.

Amy Corroon said her husband didn't dwell on the loss. "He would have been the best person for the seat but it was almost a relief. It means we will have him at home more."

Perhaps his greatest disappointment in eight years as mayor of Salt Lake County was his finish in a weight-loss contest among local mayors. Corroon finished second.

"He was probably more upset about that than the Senate seat," Amy Corroon said.

Corroon said he has struggled with his weight throughout his life. His weight peaked at 287 pounds during his term as mayor. It's now down to about 205 pounds.

As mayor, Corroon enjoyed a lengthy period when Democrats held the majority on the County Council. Republicans have held the majority in recent years, during which they refused to place on the ballot a $110 million bond for parks and open space in 2011.

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