After three terms serving as the District 3 representative for the Holladay City Council, Patricia Pignanelli decided not to seek another re-election.
“I have a personal belief that there should be term limits for elected officials,” said Pignanelli.
She further stated, “I have been honored to serve three terms, and have enjoyed this position, but it is appropriate that another District 3 citizen have this opportunity.”
Pignanelli decided to run for office while recuperating from cancer surgeries. Although she was not bored, she felt she needed more fulfillment in her life. This was during a time when many living in the area were frustrated over lack of services in the newly annexed area.
Twelve years ago, when it was announced the city had plans for a councilperson to represent District 3, Pignanelli threw her hat in the race per a friend’s recommendation and the rest is history.
“Every positive change provided a sense of accomplishment,” Pignanelli said.
During her time on the council, Pignanelli worked on obtaining sidewalks to increase foot-bound citizen safety.
Her first project involved working with Holladay City Planning and Salt Lake County to complete a sidewalk on Murray Holladay Road.
“This area is now well used by walkers, runners and families,” she said.
The second sidewalk was the result of Spring Lane Elementary wishing to become part of a walk-to-school program, only to realize Spring Lane was not a safe road for students to walk on. After much city staff and public involvement, a sidewalk was installed on the south side of Spring Lane.
“Working on this project reinforced my belief that a major role of municipal government is safety of our citizens,” Pignanelli said.
Pignanelli’s sense of responsibility has not gone unnoticed. Mayor Rob Dahle described her passion for the community of Holladay.
“Pat has always been a hands-on, engaged representative. She listens to the issues intently (before voting) the decision she feels is in the best long-term interest of the citizens of our city,” Dahle said.
Pignanelli was also involved with the Holladay City Foundations scholarship program, which offers $1,000 to six Holladay students each year.
Though Pignanelli feels it is time for a change, she has loved her time on the council and will miss the frequent association with residents, city staff and council members.
When asked what she most enjoyed during her time on the council, she said, “The people my family and I have met — several have become close friends.”
Pignanelli further stated, “I will really miss the association and friendship of the present council. We represent a wide range of age, interests and philosophies.”
The council will miss her too, as fellow council member of District 5 Mark Stewart said: “I have greatly appreciated serving with Pat. Pat makes sure her constituents’ concerns are brought to the table, and has contributed immensely to many of the successes of Holladay and will be missed.”
City staff shared these sentiments, as well.
“I’ve found Pat to be one of the most caring and considerate elected officials I’ve ever worked with,” said Paul Allred, community development director for Holladay City.
Allred said he and Pignanelli started with the city within a few weeks of each other, and has been impressed with her over the years.
“She has been an example of diplomacy and tact while dealing with difficult and sometimes controversial issues,” Allred said.
Given her enjoyment of being engaged, problem solving and the feeling of achievement, Pignanelli feels she will remain involved in community activities.
“I think there are many opportunities for Holladay citizens to work together,” she said.
Pignanelli is confident the residents of Holladay are in good hands.
“I truly believe that the Holladay City Council is concerned about the citizens and projects in our city,” she said.
Pignanelli is looking forward to having more time to spend with her husband of 58 years, Francesco, their three children and seven grandchildren.