Get to know County Commissioner Larry Ellertson

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Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellertson raises horses in his spare time while he manages much of Utah County. (Photo by Haley Bissegger)
Utah County Commissioner Larry Ellertson raises horses in his spare time while he manages much of Utah County. (Photo by Haley Bissegger)

County Commissioner Larry Ellertson had big dreams in his youth. He planned to become a rancher, a veterinarian, then an accountant – until his life took an unexpected turn toward politics.

The position as Lindon mayor was up for grabs and some of Ellertson’s acquaintances pushed him toward running.

“They asked me and my first response was, ‘I am not interested,'” Ellertson said. “I had never thought of doing anything like that, but they persuaded me to do it.”

That was 1996, and Ellertson has been in Utah politics ever since.

To his wife, Linda Ellertson, his transition from accounting to politics came as a surprise, but she has always had faith in her husband and thinks he is perfect for the job.

“It was a surprise because it was not anything we thought we would be doing, but on the other hand, it didn’t surprise me because I know he good he is at leading and being in charge,” Linda Ellertson said.

A good work ethic is required to do civil service, and Larry Ellertson has proved that he has what it takes. His wife, Linda, tells a story of when she and her husband were building a home in Lindon for their young family. Larry Ellertson would come straight from work to do the electrical work on the house. She says one night he was working so hard, he did not even notice the sun had began to rise until he heard a rooster crowing.

“He had worked tirelessly all night long. He has always has always been a very hard worker,” Linda Ellertson said.

Richard Nielson, director of public works in Utah County, has worked with Ellertson for years and says he has a unique way to bring people together.

“He brings different parties involved in discussions together when it appears like there is no way for them to agree,” Nielson said.

Commissioner Ellertson has served in many leadership positions throughout his years of service, including chairman of the Utah County Commission, chairman of the Council of Governments, chairman of the Utah Transit Authority Board of Trustees, first vice president of the Utah Association of Counties, president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, chairman of the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce, and many others.

In his spare time he enjoys being a dad and husband. He enjoys working in his yard, feeding and being around his horses, getting out into the backcountry to hike, ATV and go “Jeeping.” He also spends time with his wife, their five children and their 12 grandchildren. Linda Ellertson also noted that you can find Commissioner Ellertson late at night on his treadmill watching either his collection of James Bond movies or John Wayne movies.

When asked about his ultimate goal in politics, his answer: “To survive.”

“I don’t have any desire to climb the ladder and get to higher offices. I just enjoy serving the community,” Larry Ellertson said.

Linda Ellertson has personally enjoyed getting to know other politicians, and to be able to have an inside perspective. Looking toward the future, she is unsure about how much longer the commissioner will want to serve, and said they will know if it is right for him to run again when the time comes.

“He says it all depends on what is happening at the end of his term. We will see what comes at the end of those four years whether he fees like he needs to run again or go on do something like a mission instead,” Linda Ellertson said, “He will not commit because he doesn’t know what will happen.”

Commissioner Ellertson expressed his gratitude for being able to serve Utah citizens and the joys his family has experienced being a part of his political life.

“It feels very good working with good people as we benefit the community,” Ellertson said.

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