Friday, September 30, 2011

Taylorsville Election

This year will be one of the most exciting elections Taylorsville has ever seen. (Of course our first election in 1995, with 70+ candidates is definitely the most exciting, but I would say that this one is a close second.)

Several "Meet the Candidate" events are coming up, so mark your calendar! The first one will be Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. It is sponsored by the Taylorsville Exchange Club.

The second one will be on Tues., Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall. It is sponsored by the city's Economic Development Committee. 

Here are the candidates from each district:

DISTRICT 1  (roughly from 4100 South to 4700 South and Jordan River to 2700 West)

Ernest Glen Burgess

My name is Ernest Burgess and I am running for Taylorsville City Council in District 1. My wife Connie and I have lived in Taylorsville for the last 27 years. We have 9 children and 25 grandchildren. I enjoy being a part of the Taylorsville community. It's an ideal place to live. Raising a family here has been a great joy.
I have been in management for 32 years. For the past 2 1/2 years I've served on the Taylorsville Planning Commission and have learned a lot about how the city works. Attending meetings of the city's Economic Development Committee and the City Council has helped me recognize the vibrant growth potential of Taylorsville.
In order to maintain our city's quality and continue to improve, much work is to be done over the next few years. My desire is to help move this great city forward. As we do so, people and businesses will see what we have to offer and join us in making Taylorsville a shining jewel in Salt Lake County.
 I want you to have a voice in our city government. Feel free to call me at (801) 261-3436, email me at, or leave a comment on my website at with any questions or suggestions.

Israel M. Grossman

My name is Israel Grossman and I am running for Taylorsville City Council in District 1. I live at 4438 Thornwood Avenue. I have been married to my wife Michelle for 17 years. Michelle and I have a 16 year old daughter, Chloe, who will be a junior at Taylorsville in the fall. I also have a 22 year old daughter, Haley, from a previous marriage. I love to golf and spend time with my family. We like to camp and spend time outdoors.

I am a Senior Buyer at Core-Mark International. I have a Bachelors of Business Administration with an emphasis in Government Relations and Politics. I have a Masters of Arts in Human Behavior as well.

Since moving to Taylorsville five years ago I have become very active in the community through church callings, the Cabana Club, and in emergency preparedness. We enjoy attending Taylorsville Dayzz, and visiting the museum and historical sites. I serve on the Taylorsville Budget Committee and attend all of the City Council meetings.

I have decided to run because I have a strong sense of commitment and loyalty to our city.  We need to continue to provide the resources necessary to ensure public safety.  We need to focus on economic development. We need to bring in new businesses and help our existing businesses thrive. I am dedicated to making Taylorsville a destination city, where families can enjoy any and all activities right here at home.  ‘Opportunity in Every Direction’ needs to be opportunities within Taylorsville, and I will strive to make that a reality. Together we can play a part in making our city a better place, a place to be proud of. If you’d like to volunteer or contribute to my campaign, or for more info, please visit

DISTRICT 2 (roughly from 4700 South to 5400 South and Jordan River to 2200 West)

Kristie Steadman Overson

I am Kristie Steadman Overson, candidate in district 2. Moving our city forward in a positive direction is my commitment to you. Encouraging new business and retention of existing business both large and small is critical to a stable revenue stream. Public safety is a high priority and I am an advocate of full participation with the Unified Police Department. Enhancing our level of service while cutting costs is a responsible and positive step forward. Well-maintained streets and neighborhoods through street beautification, business and neighborhood revitalization and code enforcement will reinvigorate and unite our city, improve our quality of life and will give us a “sense of place.” Our historic legacy, open spaces and sensitive land areas are unique to district 2 and must be maintained and enhanced as we plan for the future.

Applying my 11-year experience as a planning commissioner, my vast community involvement on several city committees and my 46-year residency in this community makes me your best choice. I am open-minded, thoughtful in decision making and have the time to make city council my full-time job. I am dedicated to moving Taylorsville toward a vibrant and healthy future. Please see my website at

Morris K. Pratt

My name is Morris Pratt. It is no secret that I have a continuing desire to serve the Taylorsville community. That desire has been fueled by telephone calls, emails and personal visits from many residents inside and outside of my district who appreciate the representation I have provided over the last eight years.  

There are a number of challenges that our city has faced and will face in the next 10 years. Quality economic development is number one, followed by fiscal responsibility and community pride. There are so many negative comments from people that have an effect on community pride and do nothing but hurt our city. I want to be part of the solution and work with other council members and the administration within our roles to keep Taylorsville a great place to live, work and play.  There are many differing opinions on various topics from taxation, to ordinance enforcement and economic development and it will take personal commitments on everyone’s part to keep a good balance of government within our lives. See for more information.

DISTRICT 3 (roughly 5400 South to 6600 South and 1300 West to 2700 West)

Dave Ballou

My name is Dave Ballou. Growing up, my father was passionate about serving other people.  He never preached it, but his actions spoke louder than words ever could have.  Whether it was pulling weeds for a neighbor, mowing grass for the widows on the street, subbing for Santa, or just giving rides to co-workers who were down on their luck; my Pop was always the first to volunteer.  Much to the chagrin of my brothers and me, he usually had one or all four of us in tow, grumbling all the way.  As a young boy, I had zero interest in serving other people, especially when there were forts to be built, bad guys to shoot, and friends to go goof off with.
As a husband and father, I look back on those memories with sort of a reverent fondness and realize how truly lucky I am.  Without knowing it, I have become my father in many ways, especially when it comes to serving others.  I want to be your next City Councilman because I feel that it would be an excellent opportunity to get out, get my hands dirty, and be a voice for the great people of this city.  In a time when government seems to be more interested in bickering amongst themselves, it's great to know that at our local level, even the smallest voice can be heard.

I am honored and humbled to be considered for the position of City Councilman, and I look forward to working with the people of Taylorsville for years to come. See for more information.

Jerry W. Rechtenbach

My name is Jerry Rechtenbach and I am running for City Council in Taylorsville District 3. I have been a resident of Taylorsville for almost 27 years. My wife and I have raised four children here. I have always considered it my obligation to be actively engaged in the community and in the neighborhood where I live to help keep it a nice and safe place for families to live and raise their children. I assisted in the Taylorsville City incorporation by lending engineering expertise to help establish city boundaries. When Taylorsville incorporated, I served on the Public Safety Committee and the Planning Commission, serving as both chair and vice-chair. In 2004 I was elected to the city council. This is the second time I have served as chair of the council. I also currently serve on the board for the Salt Lake County Sanitation District.

I volunteered to serve as a Planning Commissioner and on the Public Safety Committee because I cared about the future of the City and wanted to help in a positive way. I decided to run for city council because I saw a need for the City to be more progressive in its approach to economic development, and to improvements to the infrastructure and public rights-of-way. During my tenure we have made substantial progress but I feel there is much that still needs to be done. There are some projects/initiatives that are only partially done and I feel an obligation to see them to completion, which is the reason I am running for another term in office. 

As a city, we have been able to maintain the size of City government at the lowest level per capita in the county while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates of any city in the county. Over the next four years my goal is to focus on economic development initiatives in the City that will boost sales tax revenues by attracting new business to the City, and enhancing those that are already here, so that we can maintain our standard of living while keeping the cost of living at a minimum. See for more information.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taylorsville Senior Center

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Taylorsville Senior Center. It was the first time I've ever been and I was so impressed!

The Senior Center is located at 4743 S. Plymouth View Drive, just east of Redwood Road. This week is the 9 year anniversary of the opening of the facility.

It was fun to see Mayor Wall interact with all these residents. They were so cute and wanted to shake his hand and some wanted to take their photo with him. He said two of his favorite places to visit are the elementary schools and the Senior Center.

Stuart Lawson has recently been hired as the new manager at the Taylorsville Center. The Center is primarily funded by Salt Lake County Aging Services.

There is a lunch served each day at noon. For seniors over age 60, a donation is recommended, for those under 60, the cost is $5.25. Today there were over 100 people at lunch for their birthday/Oktoberfest celebration. Generally they have between 20-120 people that come for lunch.

There are all kinds of activities at the Center - crocheting, cards, performances, aerobics, line dancing, Facebook classes, Bingo, Yoga, beginning Spanish, arts and crafts, and classes. Taylorsville helps to fund a van that can pick up seniors in the city who cannot drive to the center. The Center is open Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Two Taylorsville residents have been volunteering at the Center since it opened. Joe and June Pons received the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for all of Salt Lake County. They have been instrumental in helping the Senior Center thrive.

For more information, feel free to call the Taylorsville Senior Center at 801-293-8340. Or you can visit the Salt Lake County Aging Services website at

Here are some great photos taken by Carole Graff at the celebration:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

City Council Update for Sept. 21, 2011

Tonight at the City Council meeting, there were no citizen comments.

Mayor Wall gave his report, and reported that construction has begun on the Veterans Memorial Project. The current work and some future work will be done with donated labor and equipment from some local labor organizations including Operating Engineers Local #3. He invited the public to put November 11th on their calendars for the Veterans Parade and Program, including the unveiling of a portion of the statue display.

The Green Committee presented their GIFT awards (Green Ideas For Taylorsville). Several students were recognized and were given gift cards (no pun intended) for their projects.

Nicole Peterson was unanimously approved as a new member of the city's Budget Committee.

Pam Roberts, Director of Salt Lake County Sanitation gave her quarterly report. She showed that 66% of Taylorsville residents supported weekly recycling. Weekly recycling began on Sept. 1.

Judge Michael Kwan gave his court report. The court is under budget by $22K.

The Council reviewed the proposed Land Development Code, chapters 15, 16 and 17. There was relatively little discussion on those particular chapters.

An ordinance to adopt Taylorsville Cemetery rules and regulations was passed.

A discussion on changes to the Employee Appeal Board ordinance were discussed. The ordinance basically puts the burden of proof on the employee and gives advantage to the employer. City attorney John Brems said the appeal board members have been frustrated because they do not know what the "standard" is for basing their decision.

Mayor Wall said, "The city has a right to discipline employees. If an employee feels like they have been singled out or discriminated against, it should be the employees' burden of proof to have that overturned. You have to have a standard."

Council member Morris Pratt said, "This ordinance has come prematurely and unfairly. I want to hear from the previous appeal board before we make a decision."

The council gave direction to tentatively hear this again on Oct. 12. They will be inviting the previous appeal board members and others to give input.

Taylorsville ordinance enforcers have identified over 185 vacant homes in the city. Tonight the council approved an ordinance regarding abatement of weeds, garbage, etc. Taylorsville will be abating some of these homes that are out of compliance.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Veterans Memorial Parade and Program

Mark your calendars for an great event on Friday, Nov. 11. It is Veteran's Day and Taylorsville will be honoring all those who have unselfishly sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

We are seeking photos of our military veterans for display at our annual Veterans Day event. Please contact Jean Ashby at 801-963-5400 or by e-mail at if you would like to submit a photo, artifact, or brief history.

What: The City of Taylorsville Veterans Day Committee in- vites all students in 1st through 8th grades who live in Taylorsville to participate in the Veterans Day Poster and
Essay Contest.
When: The contest ends on Friday, October 21,
2011 at 5 p.m. All entries can be brought to the City of Taylorsville (2600 West Taylorsville Blvd., second floor at
the receptionist desk).
Ceremony: The Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 11, 2011. The First Place winners of the essay contest will
be invited to read their winning entries at the Veterans Day Ceremony and they will receive a certificate of recognition from Mayor Russ Wall. First place winners of the poster contest will receive a certificate of recognition from Mayor Russ Wall during the ceremony, and their posters will be prominently displayed in City Hall for the Veterans Day Event.
Who: Taylorsville students in first through fourth grades are eligible for the City’s poster contest. Students in fifth through eighth grade are encouraged to participate in the essay contest.
Background: The Veterans Day Ceremony and Parade is a community event sponsored by the City of Taylorsville and the United Veterans Council of Greater Salt Lake City and County. The parade starts precisely at 11:00 a.m. The program commences immediately after the parade and includes the recognition of the winners of the poster and essay contest, music, speakers, honor guard, and the unveiling of the Veterans Memorial Project Scope. If you have any questions, please contact Patricia Kimbrough at 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Primary Election Results

By Michael Kwan

Primary Election Results

By now, you’ve most likely seen or heard the results of the primary election held on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.  In District 1, Israel M. Grossman and Ernest Glen Burgess finished within four votes of each other to move on to the general election in November.  In District 2, incumbent Morris Pratt survived the primary and will face a tough campaign with Kristie Steadman Overson who finished first in the polls with 133 more ballots than Pratt.  In District 3, incumbent Jerry Rechtenbach cruised through the primary collecting over 52% of the votes.  He will face Dave Ballou in November.
While we congratulate the candidates who will move on the general election, we should thank all who gave their time, efforts and money to run for office.  It isn’t easy to put yourself out there, share your ideas and vision for the city hoping that it all resonates with the electorate.  It is particularly difficult in municipal elections that are non-partisan which means little to no help or guidance from political parties. 
Knowing this, a few brave souls tossed their hats into the ring.  Democracy works best when people come forward to present their ideas on improving our government.  In the marketplace of ideas, our Founding Father had faith that the best ideas would rise to the top.  Competition for political office is essential to ensuring that our government continues to represent the ideals of the people.  So if you happen to see John E. Gidney, William J. "Bill" Forsgren, Marsha RosatiDykes or Daniel Steven Isham pat them on the back, thank them and encourage them to stay involved and engaged in improving our city.
On another note. . .
As you no doubt have heard, our community suffered a great loss with the death of Sherri Winder in a tragic car accident.  She and husband, Kent, who suffered serious injuries as well, owned Winder Farms.  Together, they were the rare combination of successful business owners, responsible corporate partners, civic minded individuals and devoted parents.  Sherri was the co-chair of the Taylorsville Incorporation effort. Kent served on Taylorsville’s first City Council.  Kent and Sherri are the parents of our own Aimee Newton, Taylorsville’s Director of Communications (and the usual author of this blog).  Although I did not know Sherri in this lifetime, from what I have learned through my association with the remarkable daughter she raised, she must have been a very special person. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Update on Sept. 7, 2011 City Council Meeting

The Mayor introduced Adam D. Larson as the new Taylorsville Orchestra Conductor. The orchestra will be doing a Halloween performance.

Congratulations to the Lopez family who won for the Best of Taylorsville award. They have a beautiful yard which was recognized in the meeting.

Reagan Gabbitas from the Youth Council reported that the Community Yard Sale was a success. The Youth Council is urging people to "Commit to be Fit." (Taylorsville wants to win the Salt Lake County award as the fittest city in the County. Please click on this link to sign up. (And you get a free smoothie!)

The Council unanimously approved appointments to the employee appeal board. Ken Cook and Dean Paynter are the new board members.

The city engineer gave an update on some of the road construction projects. The intersection at 6200 S. Bangerter is under construction. Storm drain construction in Misty Hills is underway. At 4015 W. 5400 S. there will be median U-turns. Because of the new flex lanes on 5400 South, UDOT feels this is a good way to mitigate heavy traffic issues at 5400 S. 4015 W. There have been concerns that the safety of the Kearns Jr. High students may be compromised. Mayor Wall recommended a fence be installed between the junior high and the u-turn area to mitigate safety issues with kids running into the street.

The highlight of the night was the Economic Development presentation by the new Economic Development Director, Don Adams. The Economic Development Team has identified five geographic areas of concentration for the next six months - 4100 South Redwood Road, 4800 South Redwood Road, 5400 South Bangerter Highway, 5400 South Redwood Road (Family Center), and 6200 South Redwood Road. They will be concentrating on attracting new retailers and restaurants, revitalizing shopping centers, attracting new employers, and marketing to select groups.

The city is focused on providing retailers and businesses solid facts and figures which clearly point to Taylorsville as a quiet giant which provides greater levels of disposable income than most other communities in the valley. The city is discovering that with detailed data, developers and businesses, perceptions of Taylorsville are changing for the better.

If you would like a copy of this presentation, please email me at

The Council spent a good amount of time discussing Chapter 11 of the Land Development Code. After discussing guest houses for awhile, they decided to finish the rest of the discussion at the work session next week.

The council passed a resolution joining the National Moment of Rememberance of the 10th Anniversary of September 11th. Taylorsville City will be doing a moment of silence at 11 a.m. on September 11th. During this minute, police cars and fire trucks will be sounding their sirens. See this link for more details.

There was a group of Salt Lake Community College students in a sign language class who came to the meeting and took turns signing to each other. I spoke with them and they said it was extremely difficult to translate a council meeting.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elections, sales, and events!


This week is the last week for early voting. Taylorsville City Hall is a polling place and anyone who lives in Salt Lake County can vote at City Hall this week. The polls are open today, Tuesday, Sept. 6, until Friday, Sept. 9 from 10-4. If you miss out on voting this week, you will still be able to vote on Primary Election Day, which is Tues., Sept. 13.

We've had a few questions on who gets to vote. Every four years the council and mayor seats are up for election. Council districts 1, 2 and 3 are up this year. In two years Council district 4 and 5, and the Mayor will be up. This year, if you live west of 2700 West (and between 4700 - 5400 South, west of 2200 West), you will not need to vote in the Primary election next week.

For the final election on November 8th, only Districts 1, 2 and 3 will vote, unless Salt Lake County puts a bond on the ballot. We will let you know if that happens.


If you live in District 1 (approximately 2700 West to the Jordan River and 4700 South to 4100 South), you will get a chance to Meet the Candidates running for City Council!

Rep. Johnny Anderson is hosting a Meet the Candidates BBQ at his home this Thursday, Sept. 8 from 6-8 p.m. Anyone is invited! The address is 4289 El Camino St (approx 1785 W) and hot dogs and ice cream will be served. Come meet the candidates running for city council - John Gidney, Ernest Burgess, and Israel Grossman.


Don't miss this sale! This Taylorsville Historic Preservation Committee has a sale going on a few items. The first is a book called, "Taylorsville, Utah from "Over Jordan" 1848 to Taylorsville-Bennion 1995." It is a hard-bound, 539 page book, written by Pauline McConkie Derhak. The regular price is $40 and it is on sale until the end of October for $25.

Tombstone Tales DVD's are on sale for $5 each or three for $12.

If you are interested in either, please call Joan at 801-265-8478.


The City Council meeting is tomorrow night, Wed., Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 is Pet Fest - a Pet Health and Wellness Fair. It is from 10-2 at the West Valley City Animal Shelter at 4522 W. 3500 S. There will be youth activities, face painting, entertainment, K9 demos, training demos, info booths, food booths, animal shelter tours and prizes.

Sept. 24 is Museum Day! Come visit the Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Center at 1488 W. 4800 S. between 2-6 p.m. Refreshments will be served. (Okay, I visited this museum and it is a treat! Take your kids!!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Hall Meeting update/ Reporting Vacant Homes


Roughly once per quarter, whenever there is a fifth Wednesday, Mayor Wall hosts a Town Hall meeting. Since City Council meetings are run by the Council (the Legislative branch), Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for the Mayor and administrative staff (the Executive branch) to interact with the public.

Historically these meetings have begun at 6 p.m. and in a format similar to Council meetings. Residents are invited to the podium and can speak to the Mayor and Council about any issues they'd like. We usually only see a few individuals get up, and then the meeting ends after 20 minutes or so.

This month the Mayor wanted to try something new. The Town Hall meeting was an open house from 6-7:30 p.m. and residents could mingle with elected officials and staff in a very informal setting.

I did not hear all of the conversations, obviously, but I did hear a resident upset about the lack of striping on 6200 South. Another resident was interested in renaming 3325 West, "Christmas Street" since the entire street decorates for the holidays.

A few residents came to just observe. One gentleman had questions about economic development plans and another wondered why there wasn't more code enforcement in neighborhoods.

We had another resident ask about UPD and why we weren't joining.

All in all it was a great night to meet some of these residents and hear what they had to say. Thanks to those of you who attended!


Our ordinance enforcement department is keeping a log of vacant homes in Taylorsville. Generally vacant homes create problems for the neighbors with unkempt yards, vandalism and theft. We are asking that you contact the city if you have a vacant home in your neighborhood, no matter the condition. Please email and give the address of the home. Thanks for your cooperation!