Ken Bullock doesn't let his age or, rather, his youth - stop him from doing anything.
The 30-year-old is the youngest director ever to lead the 3,000-member Utah League of Cities and Towns - a post traditionally reserved for the "more experienced." He's also the youngest executive director of the 48 leagues of cities and towns nationwide."I guess you don't know what you can't do when you're young, so you do it anyway," he said.
The league is a non-profit, non-partisan group representing 228 Utah cities and towns. It assists local governments, lobbying state legislators and helping officials understand the implications of federally mandated state programs.
Though Bullock won't tell you, his experience as a legislative analyst and assistant executive director for the league qualified him for the appointment.
"Ken is the person mayors around the state would call if they needed something done, if they needed one of the League's services," said Dave Spatafore, lobbyist for the league.
"For some people, it is difficult to acceptthe growth of a young guy," Spatafore added. "But (Bullock) has bridged that gap; there isn't one elected official I know that doesn't respect him."
Bullock's vision for the league is simple: Do everything possible to allow local governments to govern themselves.
"On a day-to-day basis, citizens are most affected by what their local officials do," he said. "They (citizens and elected officials) need to be more autonomous, have more power to govern in their communities; they are most familiar with the issues affecting them."
Bullock said he hopes to foster an improved relationship between local and state government.
He said smaller communities, with fewer resources than larger cities, get lost in the legislative process and the league provides a powerful voice to assist them.
The league also plans to train city and town officials.
State and federally mandated programs are often a challenge to interpret, Bullock said. Regulations passed by the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, require extensive analysis and implementation.
Workshops will help local government officials analyze and implement the programs effectively.
In addition, the league has organized an 18-member task force of business and community leaders that will review local revenue structures and suggest funding alternatives.