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As the new city manager of West Valley City, a former NFL player takes the helm



West Valley City, Utah – The manager of Utah’s second-largest city recently took over.

On Monday, Ifo Pili took over as West Valley municipal’s municipal manager. He had previously served as Las Cruces, New Mexico’s city manager.

“When this opportunity came knocking it’s one I was really interested in because of my friends and family that lived in West Valley City,” he told FOX 13 News. “All proud to be a part of this city and the diversity that came along with that.”

Pili approached his position in local government in a different way. Before turning pro and playing for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, he was a collegiate football player at Brigham Young University, where he participated in Super Bowl XXXIX.

“My whole goal was go play professional football and go back to Samoa where I grew up and help with government. I made a pit stop along the way in Eagle Mountain, Utah,” he said. “That’s where I began my career in local government and fell in love with the city and everything that has to do with local government.”

He made a joke on the parallels between local governance and professional football.

“Sometimes there’s a little more action in municipal government,” he said. “Certainly things you learn from football and being in a team sport translates into the workplace.”

The city manager is in charge of day-to-day operations in West Valley City because the city has a part-time mayor and council system of administration. For a rapidly expanding city and the most racially and ethnically diverse municipality in Utah, Pili will hold the highest position in the administration.

“There’s a high concentration of Polynesians. In fact, I think one of the most, one of the highest concentrations of Polynesians in the country here in West Valley City,” he said. ” It’s not only Polynesians, you have Hispanic populations, Asians, people from all over the world, really.”

Pili stated that while he gets used to his new position, there are many things that both he and Mayor Karen Lang and the other members of the city council would like to see completed.

“Economic development has always been a focus of mine in all the cities I’ve been a part of,” he said. “I’m sort of licking my chops at the industrial park right now. I see so much potential there.”

According to Pili, the city council has stated that they would like to see more festivals and other community activities held. Additionally, there are plans to upgrade the communal areas and infrastructure in West Valley City. There is also a chance that West Valley City will host the Winter Olympics in 2034.

“This is a city that has been managed well and I think it’s certainly a city on the rise,” he said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”


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