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Holladay Journal

Drew Quinn wins reelection, ready to work on city improvements

Jan 05, 2024 10:30AM ● By Zak Sonntag

Drew Quinn, who came to government after a career as an administrative law judge for Medicaid, loves the work of city government. (Courtesy Drew Quinn)

Drew Quinn, councilmember of Holladay City Council District 4, is deeply dedicated to her work in a city that she’s called home for a long time.

Quinn, who came to government after a career as an administrative law judge for Medicaid, loves the work of city government, but admits she wouldn’t be here were it not for one man: Steve Gunn, the popular Holladay councilmember who spearheaded the city’s tree ordinance, and who recruited Quinn as a replacement when stepping down in 2019. 

Building on that endorsement, Quinn sailed to victory on a message of fiscal responsibility and a promise to take on Short Term Rentals (STR), whose clientele have developed a reputation for being uniquely unneighborly in her district.

Now Quinn has won reelection, earning a second term after defeating challenger Matthew Tracy with 72% of the vote. 

Once in office for her first term, Quinn voted to aggressively penalize STR violations, even as she admits the problem is far from settled. 

“It's still a big problem. It's a problem with parking. It's a problem with noise. It disrupts the neighborhoods. So we're still fighting and it's a battle that has not been won yet despite our new ordinance,” Quinn told the Holladay Journal in an interview this fall, expressing frustration with state-level protections for the STR industry. 

She also helped steer discussions on road repavement projects, and supported a property tax overhaul that allowed the city to bond for road repair and other infrastructure needs. 

“I’ve been very interested in getting the roads in my district repaved,” she said. “Because they need it the worst. And people are thrilled to see that repaving happening.”

She’s taken on a large role representing the city in the Community Renewable Energy Agency, a multi-community program that pools resources to help participating entities move toward renewable energy with the goal of being 100% renewable by 2030.

“There’s so much that goes into a huge program like this,” said Quinn, explaining that her background as an administrative law judge has come to hands when drafting opt-out clauses and other contingencies in the program.

Quinn also likes to emphasize her abundant discretionary time available for council work.

Unlike many councilmembers in weak-mayor styles of government like Holladay’s—in which governance work is handled predominantly by professional bureaucrats, whereas elected officials work limited hours for limited pay—Quinn, retired, says she has additional hours at her disposal and that she’s happy to put them toward efforts like renewable energy. 

“I put a lot of hours in for city council, maybe more than another person who was working full time would be able to, and I think that's an advantage that I have,” she said.

Quinn also touts her nativist credentials: She was born and raised in the area, attending Oakridge Elementary, Churchill Jr. High and Skyline High School, which she believes lends itself to a rich understanding of people she represents.

“I’ve lived in the Holladay area for most of my life, and for [council work] that definitely comes in handy.” λ