At the last council meeting we approved $1.5M worth road projects for the 2018 calendar year. Click here to see a detailed list of the projects and associated costs. Among the projects is rehabilitating 6000 W from 105550 N to 11800 N at a cost of $615K. Two of the originally planned projects were pushed out. One was delayed because a development was approved adjacent to the road which will put a lot of heavy equipment on the road. The other was pushed into next year because of budget limitations.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Thursday, January 18, 2018
At the council meeting on January 9th, 2018 I proposed a set of rules for us to follow during our meetings. The council was very supportive of my thoughts. The underlying objectives of these rules are to:
- Have our residents feel welcome and free to participate in the meeting regardless of which side of an issue they are on. Often those with a minority opinion are reticent to speak out for a variety of issues. We want everyone to be able to share their thoughts.
- Encourage civil debate between the council
Here are the rules I covered:
Those attending council meetings who wish to make comments on items that are aligned with an agenda item are encouraged make them following the staff presentation for that item. If they need to leave prior to the agenda item they are welcome to make their comments during the initial comment period.
We will put cards on the podium for commenters to put their contact info on if follow-up is required or requested. We will also provide comment cards at the door for residents to fill out if they do not wish to stand at the podium.
Council members may ask clarifying questions of those making comments but should not interrogate or otherwise be argumentative with the person making a comment.
Those making comments should address their remarks to the chair (the mayor or if the mayor is absent the mayor pro temp). The chair may ask a council or staff member to comment or follow-up.
Discussion between council members should be respectful. It is appropriate to disagree with an idea, even strenuously. Vigorous debate is encouraged. It is inappropriate to make direct personal remarks. It is the duty of the chair to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak their peace.
Clapping, booing, standing to show support for someone making comments on an issue under discussion is inappropriate for a couple of reasons. (1) Clapping and standing to show support for a position might intimidate a non-supporter from sharing their perspective with the council -- we want to encourage the expression of all views and (2) council decisions are supposed to be based on information as opposed to public clamor. Note. clapping or standing to show support for individuals who are being recognized for their contribution to the community is very appropriate and encouraged.
I will briefly go over these “rules” at the beginning of each meeting.
Those violating these rules of etiquette will be called out of order.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions or disagree with anything mentioned please let me know.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
City Council Agenda for 9-Jan-2018: East-West Connector Resolution; Boundary Change Resolution; Survey
I am making a change to how I report on city activity in my blog. Going forward I will share my thoughts with you on key items that will be on the council agenda for the next meeting rather than providing an after action report as I did when I was a council member. As mayor I generally do not have a vote on issue but I do help formulate the agenda. As such I will try to provide inside into upcoming issues and share some of the discussions which precede council meeting. Upcoming agendas are posted on the city web page. Click here to see a list of the upcoming and previous agendas.
As residents you can best influence decisions by connecting with council members in advance of meetings (see Tips on Influencing Local Government).
Monday, January 1, 2018
As the year begins I wanted to share with you the goals and priorities for the coming year. We will have a work session early in the year where the council will get to go through their goals and work to put them in a priority order. Below is a list I provided to council members a couple of weeks ago. Feel free to share your thoughts. Did I miss something you think is important? Am I heading somewhere you think is ill advised? … .
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
The fire district board tonight approved a contract with Reed Thompson to be the new fire chief. Mr. Thompson was the unanimous pick of the board plus the fire chiefs of Lehi, American Fork, and Pleasant Grove, who were part of the selection committee. The local chiefs all said that we be hard pressed to find a better candidate no matter how long we looked.
Mr. Thompson comes to us from the S. Jordan fire department where he currently serves the deputy fire chief. He has an Master's of Public Administration from BYU, serves as the chair of the Utah State Urban Search & Rescue Advisory Board (SUSAR), and the vice president of the National State Urban Search and Rescue Executive Board, and He has over 20 years of fire department experience. He will start on or before December 29th.
For those who had or have concerns about the process used to hire Mr. Thompson, we started with national search and received 16 applications from across the nation. As soon as Mr. Thompson submitted an application, his father, Mayor Mark Thompson, resigned from the fire district board. A selection committee comprised of the city administrators from Alpine, Cedar Hills, and Highland, plus board chief Sheldon Wimmer (Mayor of Alpine), and Brian Gwilliam (acting Fire Chief) with some assistance from local fire chiefs selected 6 applications to interview. From these the top 3 were selected to be interviewed by members of the board, the 3 local fire chiefs, and members of the Lone Peak Fire District. One of the top 3 candidates dropped out before the final interviews. Reed Thompson was the unanimous pick of the board members, who participated in the interviews, the 3 local fire chiefs, and was unanimously approved by the fire district board. Note, I did not participate in the interviews due to a schedule conflict (my mother-in-laws funeral).
I am excited that we have a new chief, who has the full support of the board, and look forward to seeing the district move forward in a positive direction. Click here to view Reed Thompson's resume.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Several issues were raised during the campaign that require more than sound bite responses. Here our what I think are the top four issues and my thoughts on them. Feel free to share your point of view.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Highland residents from all across the political spectrum, including some who disagree with me on issues that are important to them, talk about why they support my run for Mayor. So why do they support my candidacy? The biggest reasons are transparency, sharing information, and a willingness to engage.
Renee Braddy and her husband Kevin are actively involved in the community. They have made a difference in education, local and county politics as well as simply serving their neighbors. Renee reviews their interactions with me and my efforts to communicate with the residents of Highland..
Friday, October 20, 2017
On Oct 12, 2017, the city sponsored a debate between candidates for city office. The format of the meeting was that each candidate was given time for an opening statement. Then candidates were given between 30 and 90 seconds to respond to questions. Following the question period each candidate was given the opportunity to give a closing statement.
City council candidates (Chris Kemp, Dennis LeBaron, Kurt Ostler, and Scott Smith) went through the process first followed by mayoral candidates (Jessie Schoenfeld and me – Rod Mann).
Saturday, October 14, 2017
The East-West or Murdock Connector is a road which has been under discussion for about 40 years. When built, it will connect N. County Parkway (4800 W) with Alpine Hwy (5300 W) south of Lone Peak High School.
Friday, October 6, 2017
An Open Meeting Violation is Being Referred to the County Attorney’s Office According to Senator Dayton
The East-West connector and development of the land south of Lone Peak High School continues to be most interesting. Was the meeting Senator Dayton expressed concern (my 15th “Issues and Information” meeting held at city hall on 5-Oct-2017) a violation of the Open Meeting Act. Good question. Let’s start with Senator Dayton’s email:
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Here are five Highland residents discussing why they support my run for Mayor. In the group are those who did not vote for me when I ran for city council, are members of different political parties, and disagree with me on issues. Some I have known for twelve years others a just a few. These were recorded during the primary. More will be coming.
Sixty-three residents were in attendance most were there for the Dry Creek Lake or the Library Expansion presentations.
Dry Creek Park – Lorin Powell, Lehi City Engineer. Lorin gave a presentation (click here to open the presentation) on the current status of the Dry Creek Park plan. Before I do a brief overview of the presentation let me first go over some background info:
Saturday, September 30, 2017
City Council 1-Aug-2017: Safety Enhancement 11800 and Highland Blvd, Preliminary Approval for Ruby Estate, Urban Deer Control Discussion
Thirty residents and guests attended the council meeting. I don’t believe there was one single issue that brought most of the residents although I believe a number came to see the 11800 N / Highland Blvd Intersection safety construction motion approved.
David Larsen, a junior cabinet member, from Lone Peak HS, proposed putting an image of the LPHS Logo in the intersection of N. County Blvd and Cedar Hills Drive. The council indicated that they would support the initiative but that N. County Blvd was a state road and UDOT would need to authorize the project.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
City Council 18-Jul-2017: Country French No Build Zone, Preliminary Plats for Dr. Larsen Dental Office and Oak Ridge, Financial Sustainability Study, R-1-30 Zone Application
Forty-two residents and guests attended the council meeting. Most were there because of the No Build setback question in Country French Estates.
Anne Hansen: Expressed support for proposed fireworks ban and indicated she would support a complete ban in the future.
Neal Evans: Asked that item 9 (R-1-30 zone application) and 3 (Oak Ridge Preliminary Plan) be discussed together. Request was denied as they were independent issues (i.e. the result of a vote on one has no bearing on the other).
Monday, September 4, 2017
10 residents plus Scout Troop 1128 were in attendance.
- MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Regular Session – June 6, 2017 Click here to view the minutes. Approved unanimously with minor changes.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
We received the final report from the State Auditor’s office regarding the Lone Peak Fire District. There are a number of things that the district can improve on and I am thankful to the state auditors for putting together a comprehensive list of items to work on.You can read the report below (click here to view the official pdf version of the report).
Here are links to stories in the media that cover the report:
Friday, August 4, 2017
I occasionally feel like Mr. Bean looks when it comes to deciding whose box to check on the ballot. Let me share some thoughts on what I believe is important based on having served nearly four years on the Highland City council.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
City Council 6-Jun-2017: Annexation, New Veterinary Office Permit, 2017-18 Budget Approval, and Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan
Sixteen residents attended the meeting; three were candidates, the rest had items of concern on the agenda or were there for scouting. We were done in less than an hour – most likely a record for an annual budget meeting. We were able to get through the budget “quickly” because of the discussions that we had in prior council meetings/work sessions, staff’s thoroughness in preparation and the mayor who moved things along.