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.