Thursday, December 29, 2011

City of Taylorsville Highlights of 2011

As we near the end of 2011, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the events of the past year. Here are a few:

On Nov. 11, we held our annual Veterans Day program and parade. The first sculpture for the Veterans Memorial was displayed. The Memorial will be finished by Memorial Day 2012.

It was fun to have an Apache helicopter land prior to the Veterans program. We also enjoyed hearing from Governor Gary Herbert.

Taylorsville Dayzz, at the end of June, is always a fun event. We have the best fireworks display in the whole state. It was great to have Abracadabra perform an ABBA tribute, as well as an Elvis impersonator. Carnival rides, booths, and a parade help to celebrate Taylorsville's birthday celebration. This year we celebrated our 15th birthday as a city! 

The Taylorsville Arts Council hosted the very first, "Taylorsville's Got Talent," a fun community talent show. We hope it becomes an annual event!

To kick off the first year, we had a special guest band - BTO (Bennion Taylorsville Overdrive) perform, "Taking Care of Business." (Senator Karen Mayne, Rep. Johnny Anderson, Rep. Wayne Harper, Senator Michael Waddoups, and Mayor Russ Wall were the performers.)

Wow! This past year Taylorsville residents have had to increase their patience while driving through the city. We had a plethora of construction projects - mostly new CFI (continuous flow intersections) - which are now finished. We look forward to 2012 for the Flex Lanes project on 5400 South and the new road on 1300 West being completed.

Good news on the financial front! Sales tax revenue in the city is beginning to improve. In the past five months we had a five percent increase in revenue. November 2011 saw an 11 percent increase over November 2010. Overall we are up 2.64 percent over the previous year.

The City Center property got a new look in 2011! After years of dusty, dirt fields, the eastern portion of City Center was sodded, thanks to a grant which funded the project. The Mayor, using his creativity, traded a four-day use of the property for the Samoan Festival, in exchange for mowing and other maintenance year-round.

It's a sled dog race without the dogs and without the sled. Folks grabbed their four best buddies (of the non-canine variety), got a shopping cart, created costumes, and decorated their cart for the ride of their life! This crazy event is called the Taylorsville Iditarod! It was a fun "race" by the LARP committee that began in 2011 and will become an annual Taylorsville tradition. (Put March 3rd on your calendar to participate in 2012.)

Lastly, Taylorsville City committed to improving resident communication in 2011. We now have various forms of social media - this blog, as well as city accounts on Facebook (over 580 users - make sure you are one of them!), Twitter and YouTube. Our city website was also re-designed in 2011!

We are looking forward to a great 2012! See you next year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Taylorsville Employees Give Back

Every year Taylorsville City employees find families and individuals that they can help personally for Christmas. This year employees were able to provide a nice Christmas for a Taylorsville family and several residents at the Golden Living Center retirement home.

After putting together a list of needs, the city Christmas tree was decorated with cards. Employees have the option to take a card and purchase a gift for someone in need. 

Pat Kimbrough, executive assistant, was instrumental in putting together this program. "Our employees always come through," she said. "There was one card left on the tree and one of our employees took it, and collected funds so we could buy the father a nice pair of work boots." 

Brandy Stephens, administrative assistant to the police chief, and one of the organizers, went with several Taylorsville police officers to drop off the gifts.

"When we dropped off the gifts to the family, the dad was so grateful," said Stephens. "It was great to be able to help them."

Mayor Russ Wall is proud of the employees who spend their personal funds and time to give back to residents in need. "We have great employees who are always willing to help someone at Christmas."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Taylorsville's Christmas Street

When Alan Adams was a child, he loved it when his parents took him to Christmas Street on the east side of the Salt Lake valley. When he grew up and moved to  Taylorsville, he came up with the idea to have a Christmas Street of his own.
Adams presented the idea to his neighbors at a neighborhood barbecue over 25 years ago, and the neighbors loved it! They found various books of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and found the pictures they wanted to have on each house. Alan got the boards, painted them white, borrowed an overhead projector, got a book from the library and projected on the boards so they could pencil in the drawings. The neighbors all met in one of the garages and painted the boards.
On the street there are only four of the original people. All the rest have come and gone.   When neighbors sell their home, they inform new buyers of their responsibility to keep Christmas Street alive. They almost always leave their decorations and then new owners add to it. If someone does not have enough decorations, neighbors will pitch in and help.
 Kathy Reed, one of the original residents of Christmas Street said that their five grown kids still come back to help decorate. “We love to do this for the community,” she said. 
Reed said that they don’t even mind the inconvenience of getting in and out of their driveway when traffic becomes heavy. “We try to do as much shopping and coming and going during the day.” Sometimes if they need to run home for a minute, they will park on another street and walk to their house.
The lights go on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. At 6 p.m. neighbors start at the first house and turn on lights and go from house to house. Then they meet in a neighbor’s garage for donuts and hot chocolate.
Christmas Street begins at 5295 South 3310 West in Taylorsville. Last Saturday I took my 7 year old and he loved it! In fact, Santa was standing in front of one of the homes handing out candy canes. Adams said Santa volunteers his time and they split the cost of the candy.
“Every once in awhile we get a letter that says how the lights have given someone joy and hope in their lives,” said Adams. “That’s the reason we do this.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

City Council Update - Dec. 14, 2011

The council meeting began with an open house for outgoing council members Bud Catlin and Morris Pratt.  Council Chair Jerry Rechtenbach began the meeting by recognizing these two council members for their years of service. A proclamation for each of them was read, signed by the council chair and Mayor Wall. 

Catlin's proclamation honored achievements including helping to form the City of Taylorsville Police Department, organizing Public Safety and Healthy Taylorsville promotional events and in advocating for his constituents.

Pratt's proclamation honored achievements with preserving the Taylorsville-Bennion area’s history, caring for citizens in need by championing the creation, construction and operation of the Taylorsville Food Bank, and by his general advocacy for his constituents.

City administrator John Inch Morgan said in an email, "In as much as I am unable to attend Wednesday, please extend my heartfelt appreciation for these men. In writing the proclamations I realized how much of an impact these individuals have had in bringing the city to where it is today."

Mayor Wall also shared his appreciation for the time these men have spent away from their families to serve the city. He said the city has felt their impact and will for years to come.

Pratt and Catlin had an opportunity to speak. "It's been a great ride," said Pratt. "I am grateful for this city - one of the best cities in the state."

Catlin said he started his public service in the mid 50's. He said, "It's been fun and I will miss it."

Other Council matters:

Dave Ballou was appointed to the Ordinance Review Committee. 

Police Chief Del Craig discussed the VAWA and VOCA grants and gave his quarterly report.

The council unanimously accepted a $500 grant from the Utah Department of Health - Division of Disease Control and Prevention. Catlin praised the Healthy Taylorsville committee for their involvement in this.

The council had a discussion on prohibiting smoking on or in city-owned parks, trails, and recreation facilities. The Council asked to have it brought back at a future meeting.

A discussion was held on the proposed Land Development Code. Chapter 32 was site plan review, which states the process the city goes through in reviewing a plan. Chapter 33 was the conditional use permit chapter. It establishes the standards for granting conditional use permits and brings the city into compliance with state law in relation to conditional uses. Chapter 34 is on appeals and variances. It articulates the process the city goes through when they hear an appeal or a request on a variance. The Council had few questions on these chapters.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Farewell to Council members Bud Catlin and Morris Pratt

This Wednesday evening, Taylorsville residents will have an opportunity to bid farewell to two of our city council members - Bud Catlin and Morris Pratt.

The city will host an open house prior to their last council meeting from 6-6:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

I have tremendous respect for anyone willing to spend time away from their family, withstand public scrutiny, and give their best to improve their city. So I would like to highlight some things that these two council members have done over the years.

Council member Bud Catlin

Catlin was elected in 1997, and began his term 1998. He is the longest serving council member in Taylorsville. Catlin was involved in getting City Hall built and the Senior Center finished.

When Bud and Donna Catlin moved to Taylorsville in 1989, there were no sidewalks on the north side of the road by Fremont Elementary and he was concerned for the safety of the students. He was instrumental in getting a sidewalk put in, along with a fence, to provide safety for elementary school children.

Catlin felt it was important to put streetlights in all the neighborhoods and wanted to see that happen. He also helped secure the Taylorsville Rec Center and participated in building the skate park.

Catlin is proud of his record of voting against a tax increase.

"He has loved being on the council and being involved," said Donna Catlin. "I think he's really going to miss the camaraderie with his fellow council members. He has made a lot of long time friends."

Thank you for your 14 years of service, Council member Catlin!

Council member Morris Pratt

Pratt has served two terms, representing District 2 on the city council.

He is very proud of his role in helping the Taylorsville Food Pantry open. He would like to ask residents in Taylorsville to please make a donation to the Food Bank.

Pratt was instrumental in creating a plan for the city to own and operate the Taylorsville cemetery, thus helping to keep the maintenance up and preserve this historical place.

He was a big proponent of the Millrace Dog Park, and helped see that to fruition. Pratt was also instrumental in getting the Freedom Shrine Memorial completed on 4500 South by the Jordan River.

Probably some of Pratt's most active volunteerism has been to keep the historical area around 4800 South intact. He served as the advisor over the Historical Preservation Committee, and was supportive of the efforts of the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center.

Thank you for your eight years of service, Council member Pratt!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

City Council update for Dec. 7, 2011

Mayor Russ Wall gave his Mayor's report and included an update on visiting the Silvercrest senior living facility on 2099 W. 4700 S. It is a newly-built facility that will eventually house 186 units.

Royce Larsen was unanimously appointed to the Budget Committee.

Aubrey Thompson from the Youth Council gave a report. The Youth Council is currently working on their annual Sub-for-Santa project.

Ed Erickson and Rob Wood with Hanson, Bradshaw, Malmrose & Erickson, did the 2010-2011 annual financial report and fiscal year audit report. They said that the city's net assets decreased by only $300K. The city's reserve fund balance is $4.3 million. He deemed the fund balance to be "very healthy." We are in the upper part of the range for the maximum, which is 18 percent. Council member Dama Barbour said, "I'd like to thank the firm for their hard work, and also thank the administration. I like to see these kind of reports." City administrator John Inch Morgan said, "This is really a report card for Scott (Harrington) and he got an A+ for a job well done." Council Chair Jerry Rechtenbach continued the praise, "We've had a clean report for so many years now, and it says a lot about our administration."

The council unanimously approved a minimum bid for property at 1881 W. 6200 S. for $140,000.

John Inch Morgan presented an inter local agreement for the development of a Taylorsville-Murray transit corridor study. The total cost would be $420K. Taylorsville would pay $80K, with UTA bearing the largest cost. This has been a very important project to the Mayor and the community development department. Council member Catlin was concerned about giving money to UTA for fear that we wouldn't get anything out of it. Council member Barbour made a motion to approve it. Council member Johnson was the only dissenting vote and it passed 3-1.

Tonight the council reviewed the proposed Land Development Code. Chapter 29 was Addressing and Street Naming, Chapter 30 was Subdivision Review, and Chapter 31 and Condominium Development. There was relatively little discussion on these chapters and the council approved the draft as submitted.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fishing Finds in Taylorsville

By Dave Ballou

Top five things my 4-year-old daughter has said to me:
5. “Daddy, you have a really big nose.”
4. “I really love Rammstein!” (German Heavy Metal... and yes, she really does.)
3. “Daddy, I love you way more than mom.”
2. “Ewww, that car has one of those ugly red U’s on it – I don’t like those. Go Cougs!”
And last, but not least:
1. “Daddy, can we go fishing today?  I want to fish all the way until tomorrow morning!”
To me, with the exception of a hot tracer bullet fired at close range, there is nothing in this world that warms the heart quite like spending time on the water with my girls. Normally, we’ll load up our gear, jump in the car, and drive an hour or so to Strawberry, Rockport, or Jordanelle – all great fisheries.  Unfortunately, with the price of gas soaring and the lack of excessive free time, we haven’t been able to get out as often as we’d like.  
During the first part of this year, I would often think to myself, “Self...this stinks!  We need to go fish, but gas prices are ridiculous! It’s all Russ Wall’s fault!” (Isn’t it always the mayor’s fault??) But as the summer rolled on I noticed my inner thoughts started getting a little bit crazy. We were all getting cabin fever, and clearly something had to be done. A few Google searches and a few phone calls delivered the goods; I’ve lived in Taylorsville for almost four years now and never realized that there are two quality fisheries right in my back yard. 
Millrace Pond
1200 W. 5400 S.
Much like the Utah Vs. Colorado State game, this place is a hidden gem.  With over three acres of clean, green, fishing heaven, Millrace Pond might just be the perfect solution to your next, “If-I-don’t-get-the-kids-out-of-the-house-and-out-of-my-hair-in-the-next-ten-seconds, I’m-going-to-shred-the-closest-object-into-oblivion” moment.  
The city secured half a million dollars in funding from Salt Lake County and funds from the Division of Natural Resources. The Division replenishes the fish in the pond, and the city is responsible for the maintenance. It has become a great birdwatching site for bird lovers around the state because of the rare species of birds that are sited around that area of the Jordan River, too.
Along with large mature shade trees, the pond also includes covered picnic areas, clean restrooms, a fish cleaning station, and fishing pier.  To top it off, you can catch five different species of fish with relative ease: Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Large mouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and Rainbow Trout.
Here is a shot of a little Rainbow Trout that we hooked into just last week: 
The Jordan River
If you don’t know the address, then you should stop reading this article and go get help.
I know what you’re thinking, “The Jordan River is gross and the fish that come out of there will probably have toes growing out of their third eye. Why would I want to subject myself to that?” Well, this has been my thought for pretty much my entire life, so I don’t begrudge you your opinion. But truly, the Jordan River has become one of my all-time favorite places to fish. Not only is the action fast, but you can bet your life that along with severed limbs, crocodiles, countless flushed goldfish, turtles, and snakes, that the state record of several species of fish is hiding in those murky depths. A simple worm and a sinker will allow you to catch any number of fish, including: Channel Catfish, Mud Cats, White Bass, Walleye, Trout (seriously, I’ve seen photographic proof!), and most importantly, Carp.  This particular beauty is only 4” short of the state record, and took me only thirty minutes to land: 
Here is a 20” Utah Sucker that we hooked into just a few weeks ago – the fight was phenomenal: 
In short, don’t let the old hubbub about the Jordan River scare you away.  The cities surrounding the river have made dramatic improvements to access and availability, the state has implemented many new laws and codes that are keeping a lot of the pollution that used to be dumped in, out of the river, and there are plenty of spots that you and your family can take a lunch and relax for a few hours. And seriously, there’s never anything wrong with catching a whole bunch of fish. (Unless you’re at a pay-per-fish trout farm, and then it’s not cool at all!)
I know that Old-Man Winter is swiftly making his way to our front doors, but take advantage of the waters that are within 10 minutes of your front porch and invite your family to get out and have some fun. I’m just sorry that I didn’t realize what T-ville had to offer sooner.
Tight lines, and I hope to see you out on the water in a few short months! Oh, and if you need a fishing partner, give me a ring:
Dave Ballou
Cell - 801-641-7641

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where Do You Shop in Taylorsville?

As the holidays approach us, we encourage residents to spend their shopping dollars in Taylorsville. The greatest revenue source for the city is from sales tax. As residents shop in the city, they keep that revenue within Taylorsville.
Here are some of the places in Taylorsville our elected and newly-elected officials may be shopping for the holidays: 
Council member Dama Barbour loves Jo-Ann’s, PetsMart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Famous Footwear, T-Mobile, and Sally’s.
Council member Bud Catlin and his wife, Donna, will be shopping at Harmons and Wal-Mart this season.
Council member Larry Johnson visits Harmons to purchase items for their holiday feasts. 
Council member Morris Pratt tries to shop at any store in Taylorsville.
Council member Jerry Rechtenbach frequents Mr. Mac’s and Seagull Book. His wife, Teresa, loves Ross Dress for Less.
Council member-elect Ernest Burgess shops at Shopko, Sports Authority and Dollar Tree. He likes to use FedEx/Kinkos to mail packages. His kids love the Guitar Center.
Council member-elect Kristie Overson said The Army Navy Surplus is a great place to buy creative stocking stuffers and emergency preparedness items.  
Mayor Russ Wall enjoys shopping at Mr. Mac’s and Skechers. He bought his bikes at Taylor’s Bike Shop, and is hoping Santa shops for him at RC Willey (in the electronics department - hint hint)!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preventing Vehicle Burglaries

Thanks to our great police department for these tips!
With the Holiday’s nearing, criminals are ever aware of presents and other valuables left in vehicles.  Vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity and people can minimize their chances of being a victim by taking a few simple steps;
  • Keep all car doors and windows closed and locked – even if it’s a quick errand. 
  • Do not leave valuables or packages in plain sight in your vehicle. If you must leave valuables in the car, put them in the trunk. 
  • If your vehicle has a built in security system, use it. If you don’t have a security system installed, it is worth the investment. 
  • Park your vehicle in an area that is visible to the public and well-lit at night. If possible, park your car in the garage. If garage parking is not available, the next best option is to park your car in the driveway and install motion-sensor security lighting on your home. 
  • Never leave an electronic garage opener in the car.
  • Headed to the store? Burglars are, too. When you pack the car, bring as few items as possible with you - leave jewelry, watches, laptops, etc at home. Keep any necessary valuables like keys, identification, and credit cards on your person. 
  • Keep a list of serial numbers (include make and model information, as well) for the commonly used electronic equipment you may keep in the car, like CD players, stereo faceplates, MP3 players, etc. Keep a copy of this inventory in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. We also suggest that you engrave your driver’s license number on your valuables to aid in their recovery, should they be lost or stolen. 
  • If your car is burglarized, please report it to the police department immediately. 
  • Remember….  If it can be seen, it can be stolen!
In addition to protecting your own property from criminals, you can be a good neighbor by watching out for suspicious persons or activities in your area. No one knows a neighborhood better than the people who live there, so the Police Department depends on the assistance of concerned, responsible residents to report suspicious persons or activity. If you see something that looks suspicious, call dispatch @ #801-743-700 or call 9-1-1. Suspicious activity may include;
  • A person looking into parked cars may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left in plain view inside. 
  • The sound of breaking glass or car alarm could mean a vehicle break-in. 
  • Any vehicle cruising slowly, or following a course that seems aimless or repetitive is suspicious in any location.  Persons walking around a neighborhood pulling on car door handles may be looking for unlocked vehicles to steal from. 
  • Persons going door to door without a legitimate reason (asking for someone who doesn’t live at the residence) or without business license.
Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed if your suspicions are wrong; think instead about what could happen if your suspicions are right and you don't call. It is the Police Department’s job to investigate suspicious matters, and any assistance in spotting suspicious activity is greatly appreciated! Our dispatch non-emergency phone number is 801 743-7000 or in an emergency dial 911.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving day, we are grateful for the many people who work hard to benefit Taylorsville residents.

We have a tremendous police department! Thanks to those who are working on holidays, like today, to protect our residents. We are lucky to have some of the best officers in the state!

Thanks to our fire fighters and other emergency responders. Many of them are also working holidays to keep our Taylorsville residents safe. We have some of the best around!

We have a great Justice Court, Community Development department, and Administration department! Thanks to all those who go above and beyond to make sure Taylorsville residents and businesses are taken care of!

Thanks to our crossing guards, who keep children in our city safe!

We have hundreds of volunteers in the city - from citizen committees members, to planning commissioners, to CERT teams, to neighborhood watch volunteers. Thank you for all you do for Taylorsville!

Thanks to all our residents who make this a great city by keeping yards nice, obeying the laws, helping neighbors, and participating in government. It takes all of us to make Taylorsville a great community!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taylorsville Officials Meet to Update City Strategic Plan

News Release
Nov. 21, 2011
Contact: Aimee Newton
(801) 808-5103

Each year Taylorsville elected officials and staff members meet to discuss the city’s 10-year Strategic Plan. Saturday morning, the annual meeting was held at City Hall and elected officials and staff named their number one priority for 2012: Economic Development.
“Part of attracting good businesses to the city includes plans to revitalize existing neighborhoods,” community development director Mark McGrath stated. “We have a great city and keeping up our neighborhoods will show new businesses the kind of city we are.” McGrath and other senior staff members expressed desire to improve infrastructure and aesthetics throughout the city.
City Engineer John Taylor agreed. “We have put off many projects that will need our attention in coming years. If we don’t reinvest in the city now, road projects will only get more expensive.”
Newly hired economic development director Donald Adams is thrilled about the commitment to economic development efforts by elected officials. “We have some exciting things happening in Taylorsville, but they will need commitments by our leaders to make them happen,” said Adams. “It is great to have our elected officials unified in supporting and funding our efforts to revitalize our shopping and employment districts.” Earlier this year the city council approved a $10 million bond for economic development incentives. 
“All around we had some great discussions and are excited for the new year,” said Mayor Russ Wall. Wall said the public will be invited to participate in the strategic plan process in January.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Pit Bull Legislation in Taylorsville

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                           Contact: Aimee Newton
Nov. 19, 2011                                                                                                                 (801) 808-5103
No Pit Bull Legislation in Taylorsville
Taylorsville elected officials have decided not to develop an ordinance to ban pit bull dog breeds from the city. They will be looking to strengthen existing vicious animal ordinances.
Several weeks ago a resident spoke at a council meeting, asking city council members to ban pit bulls. Citizens on both sides of the issue spoke at the next meeting and the council heard reports from two representatives from  Taylorsville/West Valley Animal Services.
Both the city administration and council have stated that they are not interested in breed-specific restrictions. They are, however, interested in tightening their vicious animal ordinance and have referred the matter to the  Ordinance Review committee. 
“Enforcing a breed-specific ordinance becomes problematic,” Council Chair Jerry Rechtenbach stated. “Currently there is no Legislation pending on this issue.”
Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall was also concerned about enforcing an ordinance of this nature. He believes that pet owners should be the ones held responsible. “I support stronger vicious animal ordinances that send a clear message to pet owners,” Wall said. “In Taylorsville, we will not tolerate vicious animals.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

City Council Meeting - Nov. 16, 2011

Mayor Wall spoke about the Veterans Programs last Friday. The parade and program were a success and Wall thanked all those involved.

Elaine Waegner, a recent retiree from the city, was appointed to the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee. She was also presented with a plaque for her many years of service to the city, and given a standing ovation.

Gregory Poole was appointed to the Economic Development Committee.

Gregory J. Christiansen was appointed as an administrative enforcement hearing officer.

Laura Hanson, from the Jordan River Commission, gave a report. Many volunteers have helped to make the Jordan River area nice. The Commission is working on a trail map, signage, and funding for the tunnel to connect under 90th S. Once that's completed, people will be able to ride a bike from 200 South to 14800 South.

Pam Roberts, executive director for Salt Lake County Sanitation, gave her quarterly report. Weekly recycling collection is going well. When asked about doing green waste collection, she said it would be up to public demand as to whether or not they start doing it. Residents can take their customer service survey by going to this link and scrolling down. There is a weekly glass collection bin by the Senior Center on 4800 S. Redwood Road.

Judge Michael Kwan gave his court report. The revenue numbers are down by $30K, but the expenses are down $33K.

Planning Matters
An appeal of an animal hobby permit denial was brought before the council. They have the option to uphold the planning commission decision, remand it back to the commission, or hear the appeal. The council voted to uphold the planning commission decision.

The council approved the sale of property at 2024 W. 6200 S. to Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity. A "green" home will be built for a woman who has been putting in her hours with Habitat for Humanity. Neighbors were happy with the outcome.

City attorney, John Brems asked the council to enact a temporary moratorium on Reiki, Shiatsu, and Thai massages. They are not recognized as proper, licensed massage and the city has had some problems with these being used inappropriately. Until the city can figure out how to best deal with these, the council has temporarily banned them with this moratorium, which received unanimous approval.

Financial Matters
The public hearing was held for the CDBG funds. CDBG stands for Community Development Block Grant. These funds are given to cities that are experiencing poverty, to distribute to non-profit organizations to help in their communities. A representative from the Road Home and Assist came to ask for funding.

The council authorized the acceptance of a grant from ZAP (Zoo, Arts, and Parks) Tier II for the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center in the amount of $4732.

Mark McGrath, Community Development Director, led a discussion of the proposed Land Development Code. The council discussed Chapter 26 - signage and outdoor advertising. The council discussed specifics regarding standards for temporary signs, news racks, and permanent signs (pole, monument, and wall signs). The council discussed the fine line between supporting business and economic development, and keeping the community aesthetics in check by diminishing clutter.

John Inch Morgan, city administrator, discussed the park at City Center with the council. He proposed fees for various uses and guidelines to manage the park.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

City Council Work Session - Nov. 9, 2011

The work session began with a discussion between the City Council and Police Chief. The Council had some questions for the Police Chief about citations and staffing.

Community Development Director Mark McGrath introduced the Strategic Planning Process. The Council will be meeting for a retreat on Nov. 19, 2011. At the beginning of the year, that process will be opened up to the public to spell out the priorities for the city. The Strategic Plan articulates the city's priorities and helps elected officials decide which projects, goals, and objectives should receive funding and identifies time frames.

Kelly Davis from the Taylorsville/West Valley Animal Services alliance gave his quarterly report. Several council members asked Mr. Davis on items such as response time, phone process, and whether they give West Valley priority over Taylorsville. Mr. Davis spoke about some recent Pit Bull calls.

Layne Morris, West Valley City Community Preservation Director, gave a presentation on K9 Breed Specific Restriction. He started by giving a history of bull-baiting and selective breeding.

About half the dogs in the shelter are Pit Bulls. U.S. dog bite fatalities from 1979-1998 show that 32 percent are Pit Bulls and 18 percent are Rottweiler.

Other breeds cause greater damage when they bite (Akita, Chow, Wolf Hybrid). Pit Bull bite strength is similar to those of other large dogs. The notion that pit bulls have a locking jaw that keep them from letting go, is not true.

Currently in Taylorsville they estimate there are 13,000 dogs, but only 2,800 dogs are actually licensed. Between 2008-2011 there were 603 dog bites that were reported to the Taylorsville/West Valley Animal Shelter from both Taylorsville and West Valley City. At least 19 percent of bites were from Pit Bulls and 15.3 percent were Labrador bites.

Some of the options Mr. Morris presented as possibilities were a) an outright ban, b) legal declaration of "vicious" and things like higher license fees, mandatory spay/neuter, mandatory microchip, fence, sign, etc., c) ownership restrictions - ownership prohibition for convicted felons, prohibition from public areas, d) require conditions for public presence (muzzle or chain, AKC canine good citizen test, etc), or e) limit the size of a dog by pounds.

For information on both sides, you can visit this website which is against Pit Bulls or this one that is for Pit Bulls.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Council Members Elected!

Tonight was the municipal elections where three council seats were up for re-election. The results are in and two new council members will be joining the Taylorsville City Council in January. Only one incumbent will remain.

In District 1, Ernest Burgess and Israel Grossman ran a hotly-contested race. In the end, only 56 votes separated the two. Ernest Burgess won with 505 votes to Israel Grossman's 449. The final percentages were 52.71% to 46.87%.

In District 2, Kristie Steadman Overson defeated Morris K. Pratt with 660 to 432 votes. The final percentages were 60.38% to 39.52%.

In District 3, Jerry Rechtenbach defeated Dave Ballou 466 to 304 votes. The final percentages were 60.21% to 39.28%.

Congratulations to those who worked so hard and ran such great campaigns! This was one of the most exciting elections years we have ever had.

Provisional ballots will still need to be counted and could slightly change the vote totals. The final canvassing will be done in two weeks and all the votes will be certified then.

For election results of all Salt Lake County races, click here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Taylorsville's Got Talent!

Friday, Nov. 4 was the Taylorsville Arts Council debut of "Taylorsville's Got Talent." To show support for the Arts Council, Mayor Russ Wall, Senate President Michael Waddoups, Senator Karen Mayne, Representative Johnny Anderson, and Representative Wayne Harper opened the evening by lip syncing, "Taking Care of Business."

This song, originally sung in the 70's by BTO - Bachman-Turner Overdrive, earned its place in Taylorsville history as the new group, BTO - Bennion-Taylorsville Overdrive, performed with great enthusiasm.

This is the first year the Arts Council has done "Taylorsville's Got Talent," but they hope to make it an annual event. This community talent show had 14 contestants who performed and judges awarded the winners with a cash prize and opportunity to perform at Taylorsville Dayzz.

"Taylorsville has many talented musicians, from American Idol contestant Megan Joy, to "High School Musical" actor Ryne Sanborn," said Mayor Wall. "We are proud of the many talented adults and children in our city."

Special thanks to Mask Costumes in Taylorsville, a year-round costume shop, for providing the amazing costumes for this event, including Mayor Wall's vintage polyester bell-bottoms. Guitar Center of Taylorsville was very generous to allow us to use some of their electric guitars. Both of these shops have some incredible things, so stop by - they are located in the 5400 S. Redwood Road area and have been great supporters of Taylorsville!

Thanks to Taylorsville High School band for the use of their drums and keyboard. We especially want to thank the contestants, who so willingly shared their talents with us. A big thanks to all the members of the Taylorsville Arts Council for all their hard work to make this a successful event!

Now... if you want a good laugh, watch this:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

City Council Update, Pit Bulls, and Campaign Disclosures - Nov. 2, 2011

The hot topic in Taylorsville yesterday was pit bulls.

We had many calls yesterday at City Hall - from a radio station, the humane society, and numerous residents. Somehow a rumor started that the council would be considering an ordinance to ban pit bulls at the council meeting.

Two weeks ago a woman spoke at the city council meeting asking for the council to consider an ordinance to ban pit bulls in the city. The council has plans to hear a presentation about pit bulls from our animal services director next Wednesday.

According to the animal services director, on Oct. 10 a pit bull attacked and killed a cat in a Taylorsville neighborhood. The animal was detained, the owners were cited, and the dog has since moved out of the city.

Neighbors were upset from this incident. According to some residents at the council meeting, other incidents have occurred and neighbors have submitted a petition to get rid of pit bulls.

Other people spoke out during citizen comment time in favor of vicious dog ordinances, tethering, but against breed-specific ordinances. This issue was not on the agenda, but anyone can speak about any issue during citizen comment time.

Mayor's report
Mayor Wall gave his report and thanked staff who attended the EMI conference over the past two weeks. This conference trained staff on emergency management. (See previous posts for details.) Mayor reported that the path between the Senior Center and Jones Dairy was completed. It is the first canal trail in the city and we are grateful for the relationship with the canal company. Lastly, Elaine Waegner, volunteer and events coordinator, has officially retired from the city.

Best of Taylorsville award
The Bowen family, on Quailstone Drive, received the Best of Taylorsville Home and Business Beautification Award. They lived in Las Vegas and then moved to Taylorsville. They wanted to move to a neighborhood where people take care of their yards and they love all the stares as people drive by.

Council approved the adoption of an interlocal cooperative agreement with Salt Lake Community College for the transfer of property located at 2200 W. 4700 S.

Council approved a sub-grant agreement between the city and Salt Lake County for the conduct of a home investment partnership program.

Council accepted a grant from the State of Utah in the amount of $100,000 to support the city's effort to construct the Taylorsville Veterans Memorial.

Land Use Development Code
The council discussed Chapters 24, 27, and 28 of the new Land Use Development Code. Chapter 24, Parking Access and Circulation Requirements, is fairly consistent with our existing code but will improve landscaping and improved access to parking lots of busy streets. It also includes some residential. Most of the council discussion revolved around parking recreational vehicles on private property. Chapter 27, Grading and Excavating, is a new section of our code that will provide regulations for builders when they change the natural grading. In staff's opinion this will be a vast improvement to our existing code. The council echoed that sentiment. Chapter 28, Fencing and Retaining Walls, provides direction on how tall fences can be and provides protections to prevent fences from blocking clear view for vehicles.

Newsletter Options
Last month options were given to the Council to look into alternate distribution of city information. Currently we use the Taylorsville Kearns Journal by buying advertising space for our city newsletter. This month the council looked at doing a separate city newsletter, paying extra money to mail the Journal, or continuing with the current method of distribution. They decided to stay with the Journal and urge management to make sure it is being delivered to residents.

Election Financial Disclosures
As a side-note, financial disclosures were due Nov. 1 from all candidates who filed to run for city council. If you are interested in the campaign financial statements, you can click here and look up each candidate's info by clicking on their name. Elections are next Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mayor and Legislators show that "Taylorsville's Got Talent"

Mayor Russ Wall and four Legislators kick off a Taylorsville talent show with a surprise band number this Fri., Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at Taylorsville High School.
Senator Michael Waddoups, Senator Karen Mayne, Rep. Johnny Anderson, Rep. Wayne Harper and Mayor Wall will be sporting mullets and electric guitars as they open the evening singing, “Taking Care of Business.”
“We had to come up with our band name and decided on BTO - Bennion Taylorsville Overdrive,” said Wall. “We are thrilled to make our debut at ‘Taylorsville’s Got Talent.’ I just hope drummer, Waddoups, can keep up with me.”
The Taylorsville Arts Council is hosting the event and Arts Council Chair Susan Holman said 14 residents have turned in applications. They range in age from 12-70. Judges will award an adult winner a $100 cash prize and a junior winner a $50 cash prize. Winners will also be giving on-stage performances at Taylorsville Dayzz next summer.
Tickets to the performances will be sold at the door for $5 per person, $25 per family of 6, and $40 per group of 10.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Retirement to Elaine Waegner!

The first employee to retire from the City of Taylorsville, had her last day of work today. Elaine Waegner, hired in 1998, was the city's event and volunteer coordinator.

Today employees threw a farewell party for Elaine, complete with a song, cake, and gifts.

"Elaine is one of the hardest working employees I've ever seen. She loves the city and it shows in her work," said Mayor Russ Wall. "She will be greatly missed by all who worked with her."

City administrator John Inch Morgan said she was the seventh employee hired by the city when it incorporated, so she is one of the longest-serving employees. She is the first employee to actually retire from Taylorsville.

"Elaine has seen the city change in a number of different ways. When she was hired, we had a strip mall city hall. She saw and participated in the building of the current city hall, Fire Station 118, Senior Center, and Taylorsville Rec Center. She has been an integral part of every city function from Taylorsville Dayzz to the volunteer picnics," said Morgan.

"My favorite part of working here was the people - the employees and the volunteers," Elaine said.
She particularly loved working with the Youth Ambassadors and Youth Council. One year she had 41 kids on the youth council. She feels like they are her "kids" and loves going to wedding receptions and such for the students she has worked with.

One of Elaine's favorite memories was working on the city float in 2002. The float won the "Theme Award" at the Days of '47 Parade.

Elaine is planning to still serve the city as a volunteer. "I am filling out an application to be on the Taylorsville Dayzz committee," she said.

Taylorsville is lucky to have Elaine Waegner! We wish her all the best in her retirement!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Planning for an Emergency, Part II - The Simulation Exercise

*Please note that this is an exercise and not a real situation. The places mentioned are not real.

This week disaster struck Capital City in Liberty County. A tornado blew through the town, leaving homes destroyed, families separated, and residents injured.

Mayor Russ Wall gave continual updates on the tragedy and assured citizens that recovery crews were doing all they could to restore utilities, open roads, and find missing civilians. He wrote policy to help the ROC (Recovery Operations Center) dictate priorities and carry out their duties.

Aimee Newton, Public Information Officer, sent out news releases, arranged press conferences, and did whatever was necessary to keep the media and public informed.

Community Development Director, Mark McGrath, helped facilitate a mitigation and recovery plan for the city, as dozens of businesses were destroyed, families were displaced, and the community needed to be rebuilt.

Police Chief Delwin Craig gave updates on the progress of emergency responders and made decisions necessary to help save as many lives as possible.

Patrick Tomasino (Chief Building Inspector for Taylorsville) played the role as a Public Works Branch leader. He was even on T.V., giving residents the instructions for how to dispose of debris left on their property from the disaster.

Lisa Schwartz (Taylorsville's Emergency Management Director), played the part as the Volunteer Coordinator for Capital City. She helped get hot lines set up to organize donations and volunteers. She also set up facilities where volunteers could participate in the recovery efforts.

Scott Harrington (Taylorsville's Chief Financial Operator) was the finance manager for the disaster. He helped make decisions on where money should be prioritized and how to best apply for reimbursements from the State and Federal government.

Rosie Rivera (Taylorsville PD Lieutenant) helped carry out public safety measures to ensure proper policy was followed and civilian deaths were minimized.

This is the Taylorsville group at the Emergency Management - Recovery and Mitigation Course in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In addition to this group of eight, last week a group of six Taylorsville staffers attended a different emergency management course.

As I said in the previous post, FEMA covers the costs for cities like Taylorsville to get trained. We learned important skills on how to recover from a major disaster, as we sat in classes for four days. The best part of the experience was the simulation exercise when we participated in our various roles. We learned many things to prepare the city in case of an emergency.

The worst part of the week???

The cafeteria food was not very good. Can you see the green hue of the hot dog? Yuck! (Photo courtesy of Mark McGrath. Mark, did you seriously eat that??)