He's a Utah original. A high-energy whirlwind with a handlebar mustache, who for the past 16 years has been the unabashed mayor of Murray.

After four terms as the elected chief executive of the town of 47,000 in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley, 64-year-old Dan Snarr is cleaning out his City Hall office after choosing not to seek reelection.

“I'm the longest tenured mayor in the history of Murray,” Snarr observed in an interview during his final week in office. . “It wasn't intended that way — there was just always one more thing that needed doing.”Snarr's administration brought progress to the town, taking down smelting chimneys he believed were unsafe, replacing them with 100-acre healthcare campus, and adopting a fiber-optic network.

But more than anything, the Murray mayor is known for his 22-inch handlebar mustache. He's chopped it off once or twice for charity, but it keeps coming back.

A cowboy poet by avocation, Snarr has even written a lengthy poem about it. One verse goes like this:

“I have a simple goal/ Based on ancient folklore./ To grow a mustache, oh so long,/I'll have to walk sideways through the door.”

Snarr said he got the notion to grow the handlebar from a Frederic Remington painting. “He looked like me but he had an outrageous mustache. I said to myself, I'm going to grow myself a manly mustache.”

But such facial hair, when waxed, can be hazardous, he explained. Recently, while having his picture taken with Gov. Gary Herbert and his wife, Jeanette, Snarr turned his head suddenly and his mustache poked the first lady right in the eye.


The Murray mayor also has a hard time saying “no” to people who want him to marry them. He says he's probably married more couples than any other Salt Lake County mayor. He's married them on Ferris wheels, trampolines and even motorcycles. But most, he explained, were married standing on the ground.

Snarr decided to run for mayor 16 years ago, after his sister Trisha Beck was appointed to a vacant seat in the Utah state legislature. Snarr owned a landscaping business before running for mayor.