Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Who is vying for mayor?

Residents have until January 4, 2013 to turn in an application for the interim mayor post. Applications can be found on the city website,, or picked up at City Hall.

Applicants need to be a Taylorsville resident for the past 12 months, be a registered voter, and not be a convicted felon.

On January 9, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., the council will review the names submitted, interview the applicants, and then vote on who shall fill the remaining term. The term expires on December 31, 2013.

For more information, contact City Recorder Cheryl Cottle at 801-963-5400.

We will continually update a list here of those who have applied for this position. To date, here are the names of those who are interested:

Dan Fazzini, Jr.
Israel Grossman
Jon Fidler
Jerry Rechtenbach
Wendi Wengel
Doyle Unsworth
Laura Jane Hyte-Richins
Reed Noble Larson
Cheryl M. Bailey
Joseph S. Taggart
Monnica Manuel
Janice Auger Rasmussen
Royce G. Larsen
Daniel Jon Armstrong

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taylorsville Mayor Resigns to Take County Cabinet Post

At a press conference held today, Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall announced his resignation effective January 8, 2013, as he takes a position in Mayor-elect Ben McAdams’ cabinet as the Director of Public Works.

Wall is in his second term and seventh year as mayor and previously served a four-year term on the city council.

“I have very mixed emotions,” said Wall. “I’ve loved serving the residents of Taylorsville, but will look forward to assisting Mayor-elect McAdams in his vision for Salt Lake County.”

Wall said his decision to make this move was based on a number of things. Because public works is a department that affects virtually everyone in Salt Lake County, he said he was excited to serve a larger portion of the community. He also stated that his original goals and objectives when he became Taylorsville’s mayor have been accomplished. “The city has a great staff right now that is stable and hard working,” Wall said. “I know our city will continue to move forward in a positive direction.”

Wall said the demands of being a mayor and running campaigns takes a toll on his family and he’s excited to spend more time with his eight grandchildren.

“Mayor Wall has demonstrated his passion for public service as Taylorsville Mayor,” said Salt Lake County Mayor-elect McAdams. “I know he’ll be a wonderful addition to my team and all county residents as he continues to serve the public as Salt Lake County’s director of Public Works and Regional Development.” 

Mayor Russ Wall and Mayor-elect Ben McAdams

Some of Russ Wall’s accomplishments as Taylorsville mayor include:
  • Won “Best of State Mayor” for 2012.
  • Helped form the Unified Police Department and then urged Taylorsville to have all police services through UPD this year, saving the city over $600,000.
  • Promoted transparent and open government through better communication with city council members, improved customer service at city hall, and more means of communicating to the public via social media.
  • Under his watch, Taylorsville was deemed the city with the lowest cost per capita for residents of any city in the state by the Utah Taxpayers Association.
  • Improved economic development by implementing an economic development team, updating the city’s branding and logo, and helping to bring in technology and science- based businesses which brought hundreds of jobs to the city.
  • Advocated for veterans by promoting legislation to help veterans, hosted the annual Veterans parade and program, and this past year dedicated the Veterans Memorial at Taylorsville.
  • Partnered the city with YMCA and Granite School District to build a YMCA Community Center.
  • Promoted energy efficiency by creating a Green Committee and retrofitting city buildings and changing out street lights to be energy efficient.
  • Advocated walking trails, bike lanes, parks and open space. Oversaw funding, planning and construction of the city’s Little League baseball diamonds, the city’s first bike lanes, and cleaned up the Jordan River Parkway. This past year Taylorsville became a “Tree City USA” city.
  • Championed transportation improvements to aid in better traffic flow and improved public safety.

    Process for filling the Taylorsville Mayor interim term:

    The city council will be meeting on Friday, December 21 at 5 p.m. to provide notice that they will accept interested resident’s names to be submitted for the office of mayor.

    Residents have until January 4, 2013 to come into city hall and fill out an application. Applicants need to be a Taylorsville resident for the past 12 months, be a registered voter, and not be a convicted felon.

    On January 9, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. the council will review the names submitted, interview the applicants, and then vote on who shall fill the remaining term. The term expires on December 31, 2013.

    For more information, applicants can contact Cheryl Cottle, city recorder, at 801-963-5400.

    Media contact: Aimee Newton Taylorsville Communications Director (801) 808-5103 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

City Council Summary 12/19/12

The city council meeting began with a visit from Santa! The elected officials were in a closed-door meeting and suddenly a mystery Santa showed up and walked in to their meeting and shooed them all out. None of them knew about his visit and it caught them by surprise, but it was very entertaining to the audience!

Mayor Wall introduced a new employee - Rhetta McIff, a long-time volunteer, was hired to work in the neighborhood revitalization department. There was also an appointment of Andrew T. Johnson as an Emergency Response GIS Volunteer. 

Judge Marsha Thomas was appointed by the mayor as the Presiding Judge of the Taylorsville Municipal Justice Court. The Presiding Judge takes care of the administrative services in the court. 

Rob Wood, CPA, performed the audit on the city. His findings showed a clean report of our financial statements. Wood said everything was well managed and John Inch Morgan gave "kudos" to our finance staff for all their hard work.

Fire Battalion Chief Jay Ziolkowski and Mayor Wall recognized a group of men from Les Schwab Tire and Taylor's Bike Shop for their work to help evacuate the Legacy Care Center during a fire. These men helped to rescue residents and provide care for them.

Employees from Taylor's Bike Shop are recognized for their help
Rhetta McIff, chair of the LARP (Leisure, Activities, Recreation, Parks) committee, gave a report for the committee. She reported on the community gardens, the Arbor Day event, working with the Azure Park neighborhood, and the Taylorsville Urban Iditarod. McIff also introduced the idea of a public market for Taylorsville.

A report from Kelly Davis, Animal Services Director, was presented. He introduced Best Friends, a group that has partnered with the animal shelter to help the goal of a "no kill" shelter. The animal save rate went from 58 percent in 2011 to 82 percent in 2012. Once the save rate reaches 90 percent, it is considered a "no kill" shelter.

Staff from Best Friends and the WVC/Taylorsville Animal Services

The council approved an amendment to the Taylorsville General Plan and Zoning Map for property located at 6068 South Redwood Road. This was just a housekeeping item to make sure the entire area there is consistent.

Mayor Wall reported that after plans to get the entire county to join VECC for emergency communications, Sandy City has decided to pull out. Since they provide 12 percent of the budget, it could change the direction that Taylorsville may go in providing 911 services.

An economic development project area was adopted for the 100 acre property commonly referred to as the "UDOT property" on 6200 South Bangerter Highway. The intent of the project is to create a funding source for infrastructure needed to create an employment center on a now-vacant parcel of land. The council voted unanimously to approve the concept plan and budget.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Economic Development Plans

Recently the city had an economic development open house to show some of the plans for redevelopment of some of our commercial corridors. We thought all our residents would be interested in seeing the boards that were displayed:

Friday, December 14, 2012


Garbage/Recycling collection day the week of Christmas and New Year’s will be moved to Friday. Please mark your calendars for pick up on December 28 and January 4.

During the month of January, you can leave your live Christmas tree on your curb for free pick up on any collection day - Jan. 4, 10, 17, 24 or 31. Please make sure the tree is bare of ornaments, flocking, tree stands, lights, etc.

In Mayor Russ Wall’s State of the City address this year, he urged the WVC/Taylorsville Animal Shelter to achieve a “no-kill” status by 2015. Thanks to help from Best Friends Animal Society, the shelter has gone from saving approximately 58 percent of the animals to over 82 percent. A 90 percent save rate would merit the shelter a “no-kill” status (shelters typically euthanize 10 percent of animals who are extremely aggressive, sick or badly injured). The partnership with Best Friends Animal Society involves a variety of programs intended to increase save rates. Adoption promotions, spay/neuter assistance, feral cat TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs and continued community engagement initiatives focusing on spaying and neutering, microchipping and licensing, adoption and responsible ownership are expected to further increase save rates. “We are thrilled with this progress and appreciate all those who have worked hard to make it happen,” said Mayor Russ Wall.

To aid in the safety of residents and to help with beautification, a block wall is being built along 4100 South just east of Redwood Road. The wall is moving along quickly and will be completed by the end of the year.

To help motorists see the intersection signals better, UDOT has turned off the last two green flex lane lights before and after the intersections. They will also be dimming the flex lane lights so there is better differentiation between those lights and the traffic signals.

On December 11, Mayor Wall and the city’s Economic Development Committee hosted the annual Economic Development Holiday Open House. This open house had information for residents, businesses, developers, and other interested parties on projects going on in the city and potential redevelopment areas. If you would like to see  this information, please visit the city’s website at

During the mid-year budget review, the council unanimously voted to approve the mid-year budget adjustments, including a $1.3 million reduction of the city’s fund balance (savings account) to cover the $1.9 million shortfall caused by not joining the Fire District. The council postponed several studies and capital projects - including bike lanes and traffic safety projects, but found that the operational budget was extremely lean and decided that taking funds out of the fund balance was the most responsible option. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Need a Christmas Gift Idea for a Veteran??

Trying to find a great Christmas gift for grandparents is often a hard task. This year my husband and I purchased a paver at the Veterans Memorial at Taylorsville to honor our grandpas.

This past Memorial Day, the city dedicated the Veterans Memorial. It is located on the south side of the Taylorsville City Hall at 2600 W. 5325 S. There are flags to honor each branch of the military. There are two walls inscribed with quotes that honor those who sacrificed for our freedoms. And there are bronze statues representing those coming home. It is a beautiful and peaceful area to reflect on those who have served and sacrificed.

Last Thursday afternoon we picked up my husband's grandfather, Grandpa Riley, and took him to lunch. We told him we had a Christmas surprise for him.

After lunch, we drove Grandpa out to Taylorsville City Hall. We showed him the beautiful memorial and took him over to where the pavers were.

Grandpa was so touched by this and it seemed to mean a lot to him.

My Grandpa Ned passed away seven years ago, so I didn't get a chance to show him the paver, but we still wanted to honor his service. 

We are so grateful for the difficult sacrifice our two grandpas made to defend our freedom. We appreciate all our veterans and those who are still serving in the armed forces.

If you or anyone you know is interested in a paver at the Veterans Memorial at Taylorsville, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

City Council Update 12/5/2012

Tonight we had the opportunity to hear from our Youth Council Chair, Erin Penrose. She reported on the many service projects that the council has participated in, including Thanksgiving dinners for those in need and a coat drive.

Police Chief Tracy Wyant presented the following awards:

Division Commanders Award
Lieutenant Mike Schoenfeld
Detective Aaron Lavin
Detective Jaren Fowler
Detective Denise Ikemiyashiro

Citizen Award - for assisting in the safe apprehension of a criminal:
Cheryl Feld
Katie Wickman
Presented by Officer Juston Ellis

Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Jay Ziolkowski presented a report on fire services provided in Taylorsville during the previous quarter. He referenced statistics for calls for services and addressed questions from the council regarding callouts. He acknowledged that overall calls are up for the quarter referenced, and cited new records management personnel. Ziolkowski discussed community services offered by the UFA – described plans to bring the annual “Guns and Hoses” event to Taylorsville.  Proceeds will go back into the community.

Economic Development Committee Chair Lee Yates presented a report via Power Point on recent activities of the Taylorsville Economic Development Committee. He referenced the Economic Development Plan created by Wayne Harper and stated that input was given by the Economic Development Committee.  He highlighted input on the plan provided by the committee. Business retention visits were made by committee members and positive feedback was received from businesses regarding city services. Yates mentioned that the committee has been able to give feedback on the city slogan and an economic development promotional video. He also outlined goals of the committee for next year. The committee is looking forward to the Holiday Open House next week.

City Administrator John Inch Morgan referenced the recommended adjustments to the FY 2012-2013 Budget.  He described technical adjustments to recognize a $300,000 increase in sales tax revenue, grant revenue, etc. and the need to identify approximately $2 million to cover the contract for fire services. The council voted unanimously to approve the mid-year budget adjustments, including a $1.3 million reduction of the city's fund balance (savings account) to cover the shortfall caused by not joining the Fire District. The council postponed several capital projects (bike lanes and some traffic safety projects) and studies, but found that the operational budget was extremely lean and felt that taking funds out of fund balance was the most responsible option.

Mayor Russ Wall concluded the meeting by giving information on the West Valley City/Taylorsville Animal Shelter. His goal was to see the shelter have "No Kill" status by 2014. He said that Best Friends Animals Society has been helping the shelter and the save rate is now 82 percent. Great progress has been made and the goal to be designated as a "No Kill" facility should be met soon.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Let it Snow!

The City of Taylorsville strives to maintain a healthy community and has adopted ordinances to assist in maintaining the health and safety of its residents.  Adherence to the ordinances is necessary to promote a safe, healthy and neighborly community.  Here are some good reminders as we head into the winter season:

1 - Snow removal is required on private property. It is unlawful for the owner, occupant, lessor or agent of any property abutting a paved sidewalk to fail to remove all hail, snow, or sleet within 24 hours after the hail, snow or sleet has ceased falling. If the storm ends between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m., the sidewalk and any existing curb ramp needs to be cleaned before 8 a.m. the following morning. 

2 - Clogging the gutter with snow is prohibited.  It is unlawful for any person removing snow from a sidewalk, driveway or curb ramp to deposit snow, dirt or other material in a gutter so as to clog or prevent the free flow of water therein.  

3 - Do not park on the street following a snow fall. It is unlawful for any person to park any vehicle or trailer on any street after a snow accumulation of four inches or more until 24 hours after the end of such accumulation to allow snow plows to properly clear the street.  Vehicles in violation of this ordinance may be cited and/or towed at the owners expense.

4 - Please be aware of those in need during the winter months. Many Taylorsville residents do not have the physical means or ability to clear the snow from their walks, driveway and curb ramps.  Be a good neighbor and assist whenever one of these persons may need your aid or assistance.

Please contact the Code Enforcement Division of the City of Taylorsville at 801-963-5400 if there are any questions.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tragedy at Bennion Jr. High

On Thursday, November 29, a Bennion Jr. High student shot himself on the 6200 South skybridge in front of other students. His passing has been one of shock and terrible grief for the students and staff at Bennion, along with those of us throughout the community.

Banner on the skybridge where the suicide took place

Last night Mayor Wall stopped in at the candlelight vigil to give his condolences to the students there. Today Mayor Wall and I were able to go to the school and talk to the students during their lunch. It was a very sobering experience to see how sad the students were. Mayor Wall was able to help one especially distraught girl and we left with a better appreciation for the many hard working teachers, administrators and counselors.

We have been very impressed with the professional way the Unified Police Department and Granite School District have handled this situation. Bennion Junior High is a great school, with a top-notch principal who makes good decisions for the safety of the students. The Crisis Team was excellent and many of the students we spoke with had taken advantage of the opportunity to visit with them in the library. We were especially impressed with the gentle and sympathetic manner in which the teachers handled the students. In each class the students were asked about their well being and given an opportunity to talk about what happened. Students told us how unusually quiet it was in the halls throughout the day.

We are devastated for the family of David Phan, and many residents throughout Taylorsville are praying for this family and all the students at Bennion.

David Phan

Here is some information on suicide provided by the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.

We feel it is appropriate to share the statement released by Granite School District today in regards to this issue:

This is a summarized statement on multiple topics related to yesterday's incident at Bennion Junior High. As the Unified Police have completed their communications with family, we now feel comfortable identifying the student involved in yesterday's tragic suicide as David Q. Phan. Additionally, we can confirm that the weapon was obtained outside of the school campus and at no time does it appear that the weapon was on campus. 

This morning, the administration met with faculty in a special meeting. Grief counselors provided information and guidance to teachers to help them assist students in dealing with this incident. Teachers were counseled and informed on measures that should be taken over the next few weeks with respect to students emotional needs. Specifically, they were counseled to allow appropriate amounts of instructional time for students to express their thoughts and feelings regarding the situation.

A grief counselor was specifically assigned to follow David's class schedule throughout the day. The intent being, to have opportunity for that counselor to meet and provide assistance specifically to his fellow classmates. Additionally, students and staff were notified regarding ongoing grief counseling that will be available all throughout the school day in the school's library (media center). Those services will be provided as long as is necessary.

The district and police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this situation. There appears to be ongoing rumors throughout social media and reported in the news media that the student was being bullied. This is of particular grave concern to the school and district. There is an indication that the student reported a bullying concerns several years ago. Consequently, school administration and counselors have stayed in close contact with him since that time. Counselors have further remained in close regular contact with David because of other issues in his personal life. Despite specific personal inquiries, David never reported any further bullying concerns and on the contrary, reported that things were going well.

If students or patrons have ANY specific information that the school and police can investigate in relation to this incident, we need that information and will continue to pursue bullying allegations vigorously.

While the administration and police still have outstanding questions with respect to what led this student to take this action, what is clear at this point in time, is that David was facing significant personal challenges on multiple fronts. Without detailing private information that is available to us, at this point in time, it would not be appropriate to make any formal conclusions.

With respect to this incident, it seems appropriate to remind our students of the resources that are available to them to report instances of unsafe behavior or activities within our schools. We have messaged our principals district-wide and requested that they reiterate to their student populations regarding the resources that are available to them to report any unsafe behavior or activities to administrators. Our greatest security system within our schools is the eyes and ears of our students and they have a moral imperative to report unsafe behavior to a trusted adult, teacher or administrator. Additionally, these safety violations can also be reported anonymously through a district safety hotline at (801) 481-7199 or via text at (801) 664-2929. Posters with this information is available in all of our schools and the information is reiterated at the beginning of the school year.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Strategic Plan Meeting Summary

On Saturday, Nov. 10, elected officials, staff and members of the public gathered to discuss the city's vision for the next 10 years. Here is a summary of the items discussed:

Mayor Russ Wall reviewed items from the Strategic Plan that were accomplished during 2012. He described the 10 initiatives included in the plan, as follows:

Initiative 1: Customer Service – A Dan Jones Survey was conducted to evaluate community service in Taylorsville. Mayor Wall reviewed results of the survey. He cited improved communication with residents, businesses and customers at City Hall through social media means, and updates to the city newsletter. He noted that the city newsletter is now distributed by email to those who are interested.

Initiative 2:  Economic Development – Mayor Wall discussed efforts to improve and increase retail businesses in Taylorsville.  He specifically reviewed plans for the following properties:  DDR/Taylorsville Family Center; 5400 South Bangerger; UDOT Property at 6200 South Bangerter; 4100 South Redwood; 4800 South Redwood; and 6200 South Redwood; 

Initiative 3:  Transportation and Infrastructure – Mayor Wall discussed the 6200 South Extension at Labrum Park; 1300 West Reconstruction; and 4700 South Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Environmental Study. 

Initiative 4: Quality of the Built Environment – The Mayor reviewed efforts made to improve weed abatement and maintenance of rights-of-way.

Initiative 5: Neighborhoods and Code Enforcement – Mayor Wall discussed code enforcement efforts within neighborhoods and cited the city’s Good Landlord Program.

Initiative 6:  Parks and Recreation – The Mayor illustrated photos of the Community Garden at City Hall and cited the many trees planted within the City. He listed parks in Taylorsville and discussed park rehab improvement projects. He also described new and future parks planned in the city. 

Initiative 7: Public Safety and Law Enforcement – Mayor Wall noted that the city made the move to the Unified Police Department (UPD) this past year. He recognized Precinct Commander Tracy Wyant and cited the smooth transition to UPD.  He described improved services available through UPD. The Mayor cited a need to rebuild Fire Station #117.

Initiative 8: Volunteers, Staff and Resources – Mayor Wall recognized city volunteers in attendance and described recent volunteer efforts, i.e. cleaning up graffiti and streetscape. City Administrator John Inch Morgan cited 23 Eagle Projects performed in the City to help with cleanup efforts. Mayor Wall mentioned other volunteer cleanup projects that have occurred, i.e. cleanup along the Jordan River; Arbor Day celebration, etc.  He cited the valuable contributions of city committees.

Initiative 9: Environmental – Mayor Wall described strides towards becoming a “paperless City Hall.”  He discussed recycling programs and recycling sites in the City.

Initiative 10: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment – The Mayor described plans for the Taylorsville Veterans Day Event on Sunday, November 11, 2012.  He described the Veterans Memorial completed during the previous year at Taylorsville City Hall.

3. Strategic Planning Process Introductions – Mark McGrath

Community Development Director Mark McGrath reviewed the 10 initiatives outlined in the 2013 Strategic Plan. He discussed city planning that he was recently able to personally observe in the City of Boulder, Colorado. He illustrated designs to facilitate bicycle and pedestrian transportation.

4. Individual Planning Initiatives Discussion and Survey – Mark McGrath, Facilitator

McGrath distributed responder devices to citizens and gave directions for operating units in response to a survey. Citizens in attendance responded electronically to survey questions.
  1. Initiative #1: Customer Service
City Administrator John Inch Morgan and Mayor Wall discussed administration’s customer service goals.

Rhetta McIff suggested having a TV screen on the main floor of City Hall to display pertinent city information for citizens who are waiting, etc. Suggestion was also made to install a kiosk.

Several citizens commented on ideas regarding customer service.  The need was noted to provide an image that better identifies the city. Demographics were discussed.

The Arts Council and Historic Preservation Committee expressed desire to have a more easily accessible page for community events on the city website. 
  1. Initiative #2: Economic Development
Discussion was held regarding priorities for economic development in Taylorsville.

Ideas were presented regarding capitalizing on baseball/softball tournament events held in Taylorsville.  

Community identity ideas were further discussed.  Economic Development Director Donald Adams stressed the importance of revitalization in neighborhoods.  He explained that the city must be willing to invest in itself in order to draw businesses that are willing to invest in Taylorsville.

Gordon Wolf suggested that building a performing arts center could be a key element in drawing retail businesses into Taylorsville.
  1. Initiative #3: Transportation and Infrastructure
Discussion was held regarding transportation issues in Taylorsville.

Additional discussion ensued regarding the importance of providing transit stops in Taylorsville, in order to generate revenue from those traveling through the city.

McGrath defined bus rapid transit as being similar to light rail transportation.
  1. Initiative #4: Quality of the Built Environment
Comments were made regarding beautification walls and streetscapes in the City.
  1. Initiative #5: Neighborhoods and Code Enforcement
Code enforcement issues were discussed. The suggestion was made that efforts be made to help neighbors who are unable to maintain their yards. Property rights were addressed.

Mayor Wall gave clarification on code enforcement issues and the need to provide balance.

McGrath explained the way that special improvement districts operate and how assessments may be made. Keith Sorensen commented that a Special Improvement District should have been implemented to cover cost of the 4100 South Wall Project.

Community revitalization ideas were discussed. City Administrator John Inch Morgan cited programs, i.e. Adopt-a-Street, Adopt-a-Neighborhood. It was noted that community councils could help implement such programs.
  1. Initiative #6: Parks and Recreation
Park maintenance was discussed. Questions were addressed regarding the implementation of new community parks. Mayor Wall noted that current parks in the city are over utilized. The necessity of maintaining and developing quality parks in relation to economic development was emphasized.

The importance of community trails was reviewed and voted upon.  Efforts were cited to connect park spaces to trails. The need for urbanized trails for students was referenced.

Recreation facilities in Taylorsville were discussed. Bringing in Classic Skating and other similar family recreation businesses was suggested. Economic Development Director Donald Adams noted that these types of businesses have been targeted.

LARP Chair Rhetta McIff presented ideas for utilizing existing parks and closing off streets for neighborhood/community recreational events. McIff cited a need to teach youth bike safety and biking techniques through school programs, etc.
  1. Initiative #7: Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Emergency Management
Discussion was held regarding public safety issues and needs.  Judge Michael Kwan suggested incorporating a performance center into a potential new Justice Center.

The need to make improvements to Fire Station 117 was cited and Battalion Chief Jay Ziolkowski described specific conditions of that building.

Jon Fidler suggested that a new third fire station in the southeast part of the city does not make sense.

Emergency Response Coordinator Lisa Schwartz explained the purpose for a community emergency operations center.

Chief Ziolkowski, Chief Wyant, and Schwartz gave numbers for responders per citizens in Taylorsville. It was noted that Taylorsville’s ratios are much lower than other cities.

Judge Michael Kwan gave explanation on court services and special court programs.
  1. Initiative #8: Volunteers, Staff and Resources
The need for additional volunteers in the City was cited, i.e. the Public Safety Committee, the Ordinance Review Committee, and the Arts Council.

The suggestion was made to initiate a regular day each month to gather volunteers and assign them to volunteer projects. It was recommended that information be placed on the city website and that ideas be submitted for project initiatives on the city website.  The idea of working with religious or church groups was presented. The Mayor described ways that the city currently works with church groups. The return value of a paid volunteer coordinator was cited.

The importance of establishing community councils in organizing neighborhood volunteers was noted. Ideas were discussed for incentivizing volunteers. Mayor Wall cited the Volunteer Appreciation event where volunteers are recognized and rewarded.

Rhetta McIff suggested that volunteers should help with improvements in the city for the “feel good” effect that serving inspires and to personally invest in their own community. Ways to inspire volunteerism were addressed.
  1. Initiative #9: Environmental
The importance of environmental factors was noted. Ways to improve environmental factors in the city were addressed, i.e. recycling; improving energy efficiency; maintaining clean energy; preservation of open/natural space. It was noted that the City Center is geo-thermal.
  1. Initiative #10: Arts, Culture and Entertainment
The importance of cultivating cultural arts and entertainment into Taylorsville was discussed. John Gidney cited the lack of a venue for monthly activities that are sponsored by the Taylorsville Arts Council. He referenced the positive impact of cultural activities on economic development and described ways of drawing people and revenue into the community. He cited Taylorsville demographics that contribute to the need for improved cultural activities. He listed ways that local events are advertised.  

Arts Council Chair Susan Holman noted that pricing is kept very reasonable for Taylorsville events. Gordon Wolf described the type of facility needed.

Input was given on public art, performing arts, neighborhood activities, community activities (i.e. Taylorsville Dayzz, Farmers Market, etc.) in the community.  

5. Closing Comments

Community Director Mark McGrath recognized the quality caliber of conversation during this meeting and praised the great ideas that were presented.

Chairman Rechtenbach recognized the valuable ideas that were discussed and invited those present to continue giving input. He noted that most ideas must be budgeted for and funded. He cited the large number of people that were invited to this meeting and the relatively small turnout. He asked that those present invite their neighbors to provide input and participate in city discussions.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What is Mayor Wall Grateful For?

We asked Mayor Russ Wall what he was grateful for on this Thanksgiving. Here is his list:

1. My wife, kids, and grandkids. I am grateful to have a family that supports me in the things I enjoy doing. They stand behind me even when life is rocky and I love all of them.
2. Volunteers who help make the city a better place and save us money.
3. Employees and contractors who are the life-blood of the city. Nothing happens without our employees - our roads are paved, lawns get mowed, emergencies are handled.
4. Our businesses who help generate sales tax revenue that pay for the services we all need. They add to the quality of life to our residents.
5. Those who provide our public safety and emergency services. We are honored to be part of the Unified Police Department and Unified Fire Department.
6. Well-maintained and safe parks for my grandkids to enjoy.
7. Neighborhood watch groups who are taking charge and taking a stand against crime in their neighborhoods.
8. CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers who spend countless hours training for something that we hope never comes.
9. The Taylorsville Food Bank and those who are thoughtful enough to donate to it to help those less fortunate.
10. People who are willing to put themselves out to run for public office. I am grateful for those who are courageous enough to make hard decisions for residents of our city, county, state and nation. Thanks to our city council - Councilmembers Burgess, Overson, Johnson, Barbour and Rechtenbach - for all they do for the city.
11. Religious organizations in the city who provide an opportunity to worship how we please. I am grateful for that freedom of religion.
12. Beautiful mountains that surround us and provide beauty and recreation.
13. Signs of recovery in our recession. I still think of those who continue to struggle and wish the best for them in their individual situations.
14. Friends and neighbors. I am also grateful for the many new friends I've gained as a result of being involved in the city.
15. People willing to share their talents - acting in plays, singing at "Taylorsville's Got Talent," or displaying their art.
16. Grateful for the privilege of serving as Mayor. It is an honor to represent the 60,000 people here in Taylorsville. I appreciate their patience and forgiveness when I have made mistakes.
17. A great education system that teaches our kids from preschool through college. It will prepare them to make our world a better place.
18. Many non-profit groups that take care of people when they are down and provide assistance.
19. That I can look out my window and see an American flag flying and remember the many freedoms that I enjoy. I am so grateful for the men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for these freedoms.
20. Two dogs and a rescue cat at home that love me unconditionally, no matter what my political philosophies are.
21. I am grateful for Atomic Fireballs, Life Savers Wint-O-Green, and Hershey Chocolate Candy bars.
22. I am grateful for the way residents of Taylorsville give back to their community, help their neighbors, and make this a great city to live in. I love hearing the many great stories of residents who are every day doing something to help their neighbor or community.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Do We Enforce Our Codes?

By Mayor Russ Wall

Sometimes I get asked why our code enforcement officers are giving tickets for things people are doing on their private property. Other times I get asked why we don’t do more to enforce the laws and ordinances that we have adopted to keep our city looking nice. 

When ordinances are established, there is a fine line between property rights and affecting other people’s rights and property values. We are always trying to balance this and in doing so, find many reasons why enforcing our ordinances is a good thing.

For example, if your neighbor let weeds in their front yard grow six inches tall, parked their car on their grass (or weeds) or let their garbage litter their property, it would affect the neighborhood. Statistically speaking, crime increases in neighborhoods where property is not kept up, property values would certainly decline, and rodents or other pests may invade surrounding areas.

We want to keep the city looking nice to protect all residents. Enforcing our ordinances not only helps with property values and decreases crimes, but it enhances our economic development efforts as we try to attract high quality businesses here. 

Thank you to those of you who take the time to follow the ordinances and keep your property looking nice. To those who struggle, please help your neighbors by taking the initiative to improve your property. It benefits everyone.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sanitation District Separates from Salt Lake County

By Pam Roberts, Executive Director
SLCo Special Service District #1 (Sanitation)

In 2013 the Sanitation District becomes its own organization and manages its own employees and funds.  Please note that sanitation funds are fees paid by customers.

History and Background:

The Special District was established in 1977 by the Salt Lake County Commission under State Statute 17 B. The name of the district is Salt Lake County Special Service District #1 (Sanitation). The county commission served as the board of trustees for the district and had all governing authority over the district. The purpose of the district was and still is to provide waste collections for what was then the unincorporated Salt Lake County. The County Sanitation Division was designated as the service provider for the district and was set up and still functions as an enterprise fund within Salt Lake County.  

Since 1977, the cities of Taylorsville, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay and Herriman incorporated and remained in the service district and the sanitation division remained the service provider through Salt Lake County. As you know, the citizens of the county voted to change the government structure from three county commissioners to nine council members and a mayor. The county council then became the board of trustees for the sanitation district.  

As time progressed and the concept of local control developed, in November 2009 the county council created the nine member Administrative Control Board (ACB) to be effective January 1, 2010. The board consisted of one elected official from each of the four cities, four county council members and the county mayor, or designee, who is Patrick Leary, PW Department Director.

Over the past two years both the county and the board have voiced a desire to have the district function as its own independent entity. The district would hire its own employees and manage its own funds rather than have Salt Lake County provide employees and manage funds for the district. 

On May 23, 2012, the ACB passed a resolution and requested that the county allow the district to transfer the sanitation employees from the county to the district and to transfer funds from the county to the district effective January 1, 2013. To be clear, these funds are fees paid by district customers and not county tax dollars. On June 5, 2012, during a Committee of the Whole and the  county council meeting, the council approved and ratified the ACB resolution and gave direction for a county resolution to be drafted to establish the Sanitation District as its own fully functioning organization transferring sanitation employees from the county to the district. 

Why the Sanitation District should be its own fully functioning organization with its own employees and managing its own funds:
·   The District is all ready its own entity and it’s confusing and unnecessary for the county to provide employees for an independent entity.
·   The change acknowledges the rate payers (customers) get to control the District as an independent entity.
·   In essence, the rate payers will be the owners and managers of the company (District) that provides their waste and recycling collection services through their elected officials on the Board.
·   It reduces the amount of management the county government has to perform due to the reduction of managing human resources and accounting functions. (Small reduction with 76 employees)
·   Reduces the need for the county to maintain separate budgeting as an enterprise fund.

If you have further questions on this issue, you can contact the sanitation district directly at 385-468-6325.