Monday, January 30, 2012

Strategic Plan

Each year city officials update the 10-Year Strategic Plan. This plan outlines goals and priorities for city projects. Projects are put into categories such as year one, years 1-3, years 4-6, years 7-10, or they are parked indefinitely.

Here is the 2011 Strategic Plan.

Last Saturday, elected officials and staff met with members of the public to discuss and prioritize projects for the 2012 Strategic Plan. We appreciate members of citizen committees who were in attendance.

City staff had the residents prioritize proposed projects. This will help elected officials as they review the 2012-2013 city budget to see what projects should be funded.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the Strategic Plan!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vista Elementary Second Graders Visit City Hall

Yesterday the entire Vista Elementary Second Grade walked to City Hall for a field trip. They came into the city council chambers and each one of them got a high five from Mayor Wall as they entered.

Mayor Wall began by talking to them about the city and some things he does as the mayor. He read them the book, "It's Fun to be the Mayor," by Mike Winder.

Then he introduced Council member Kristie Overson, who is over the district that Vista Elementary is in. Council member Overson enjoyed telling the kids how she got her job and about campaigning. She also told them that the council's role is to make the laws and approve the money spent on different things. She had two girls and three boys come to the front and sit in the council seats to pretend they were Council members Rechtenbach, Johnson, Burgess, Barbour and Overson.

The kids also heard from several staffers. Economic Development Director Donald Adams talked to the kids about businesses in the city.

Community Development Director Mark McGrath told the kids how buildings are approved by the city. He was even able to tell them that he went to Vista Elementary and grew up in that area!

Communications Director Aimee Newton told the students how she interacts with the media and gets information out to their parents through newsletters and social media.

City Administrator John Inch Morgan (in the photo above) also shared with the children the many things he is responsible for in the city.

Lastly, the students heard from Police Chief Del Craig. He told them how to stay safe and what the police department does to keep residents in the city safe.

"We were thrilled to host the second grade at Vista Elementary today," said Mayor Wall. "They were such an attentive audience and we are impressed with the great teachers who were willing to do this field trip."

As the students left, Chief Craig gave them each a Taylorsville Police Department frisbee to take home. They each also received a Taylorsville pin. We would encourage any other schools to come visit City Hall. Contact Aimee Newton for information -

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Council Update for Jan. 18, 2012

The City Council meeting drew several people who came to share grievances with the WVC/Taylorsville Animal Shelter. Almost all the citizen comments were about this issue. Some of the concerns were with carbon monoxide euthanasia, management, inability to use volunteers, and lack of programs for adopting animals.

Chairman Rechtenbach made committee assignments to the council members for 2012. Here are the assignments:

Council member Rechtenbach: Youth Council, Budget Committee, Arts Council, ICSC, Taxing Entity Committee.

Council member Barbour: Economic Development Committee, Chamber West, SL Co. Sanitation Board, ICSC.

Council member Johnson: Cemetery Board, Historic Preservation Committee, Ordinance Review Committee.

Council member Burgess: Healthy Taylorsville Committee, Green Committee, LARP Committee.

Council member Overson: Public Safety Committee, Mosquito Abatement, Assoc. of Municipal Gov'ts.

Economic Development Director Donald Adams gave a compelling presentation on economic development efforts in the city. He presented information on each of the primary commercial areas of the city. He showed solutions to some of the issues and gave suggestions on some projects we can do in the future.

Judge Kwan reported the case filings and dispositions to the City Council. While traffic case filings have decreased, criminal and civil cases have increased. He also reported on the financial health of the Justice Court.

Proposed Ordinance 12-02 was introduced to the Council on Jan. 4 and then discussed in the Jan. 11 work session. This ordinance is intended to clarify the compensation schedule and processes used by the City to administer compensation for officers and employees of the City. Adoption of this ordinance does not apply to compensation of elected officials. This ordinance change was basically a clarification on the separation of powers with the Legislative and Executive branches. It passed 4-1 with Council member Johnson having the only dissenting vote.

The council considered a proposal to participate jointly with Rocky Mountain Power to construct a concrete wall at 2700 W. 5300 S. Rocky Mountain Power will be funding a major portion of the cost of the wall and has requested participation from the city. It was unanimously approved by the council.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Economic Development Open House

Mayor Russ Wall and the Taylorsville Economic Development Committee hosted their third annual holiday open house on December 13, 2011. With the goal of providing attendees with the city’s vision for potential economic development projects, the planning began. Invitations went to local residents and businesses, commercial developers, potential tenants, educators, government representatives, and others with an interest in the community.
Staff members prepared informational displays about various commercial areas and potential projects in Taylorsville, including videos about UTA’s proposed 4700 South BRT project and UDOT’s pending Flex Lanes on 5400 South. Elected officials and department directors were in attendance to answer questions about these and other prospective development for the city.
With festive holiday decorations and enjoyable refreshments, the city council chambers welcomed dozens of visitors. The committee and staff were highly commended on the quality and helpfulness of the open house.

Here are some of the boards that were displayed at the open house:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

City Council Update Jan. 11, 2012

On the second Wednesday of each month, the City Council has a work session. At the work session, they cannot approve any motions. This particular work session was dedicated to training on various matters.
Council Roles and Responsibilities
Attorney David Church presented on the city council's roles and responsibilities. We have a strong-mayor form of government, along with eight other Utah cities - Salt Lake City, Provo, Sandy, Ogden, Logan, Tooele and Murray.
This means the person who runs the day to day operations of the city is an elected mayor, while the city council acts as the legislative branch. In our form of city government, as defined by state law, we have two branches of government - the executive (mayor) and the legislative (council). The mayor is the chief executive and administrative officer, and performs or supervises the performance of the executive and administrative duties and functions of the city. 
We have five city council members, elected for four years by their district. The council, as the legislative body, has defined powers and duties. They include passing ordinances, appropriating funds, reviewing municipal administration, and performing all that may be required by law. The law places limitations upon the authority of the council members as follows: “The council shall not give orders to any subordinate of the Mayor or manager either publicly or privately, but may make suggestions and recommendations."(Utah code annotated 10-3-1217).
Community Development Areas
Economic Development Director Donald Adams and consultant Jon Springmeyer gave an insightful presentation on how tax increment financing works. They discussed Urban Renewal (RDA) projects that eliminate blight. They also spoke about Economic Development (EDA) projects that bring new jobs into the city, and Community Development (CDA) projects that have voluntary participation and may revitalize older retail establishments. 
Restating Compensation of Employees
Tonight the council discussed some changes to the employee salary ordinance. These changes would clean up a few confusing ordinances and place the control over deciding which grades apply to which positions back to the administration. (See first paragraph on powers and duties of the council and mayor.) 
There was much discussion on this issue, as Council member Johnson wanted to have specific positions next to each salary grade in the ordinance. The city attorney explained this could be problematic if the nature of an employees' position changed and the administration wanted to lower their grade, or add additional responsibilities to their job description and increase the grade. Since the council has full control over the amount budgeted in each department, it seemed that most of the council was okay with the ordinance change, but it will need to be passed during a regular city council meeting.
Other Discussions
Several other discussions were had to explain how the mid-year budget process will work, if the city wants to split the cost with Rocky Mountain Power on a beautification wall on 2700 W. 5000 S., and on Chapter 37 (Design Standards) of the proposed Land Development Code.

Monday, January 9, 2012

There's Something About Mary...

Last week Taylorsville employees said goodbye to Mary Lund. Mary has worked for Taylorsville for 13 years and is the second employee to retire since Taylorsville became a city. She is retiring because of health reasons.

Mary worked as the Business License Clerk in the Community Development department. Then she became the Inspection Coordinator for the Building Division. Shortly after becoming the Inspection Coordinator, she tested with the International Code Council and received certification as a permit technician.

According to her direct supervisor, Patrick Tomasino, she was an amazing employee and will be greatly missed. Mary loved the challenge of learning something new that she had never done before. She said she appreciated the opportunity to be part of the UBLA (Utah Business Licensing Association.) She also said she will miss her co-workers most of all. "MarRae and I made a goal to laugh every single day," she said. 

According to MarRae Boyer, a fellow employee and friend, Mary was very athletic. "We ran a couple of races together. We were in the Lavender Days 5K in Mona and the SOJO race in South Jordan," MarRae said. In that particular race, MarRae took first place in their age group and Mary took third. The two of them even tried sailing one time and had fun laughing about the experience.

Mary is originally from New Zealand and has a beautiful accent. Patrick Tomasino said, "Don't ever make the mistake of asking Mary if she was born in Australia. She referred to herself as a "Kiwi" not an "Aussie." If you asked her if she was British, you would be in big trouble." He said that her annual visit to New Zealand produced some fresh smoked fish caught "down under."

According to Mary's co-worker, Lyle Hansen, "Mary has been my right hand for the last several years handling most all of my office needs and making my job immeasurably easier. I will sorely miss her. She is a dear friend." Lyle also loved hearing her accent and tales of her native New Zealand.

"We appreciate the many years of service that Mary has given to the city," said Mayor Russ Wall. "Her fun personality will definitely be missed."


Thursday, January 5, 2012

City Council Update Jan. 4, 2012

Prior to the council meeting, the three new council members were sworn in. Council member Ernest Burgess will represent District 1, Council member Kristie Overson will represent District 2, and Council member Jerry Rechtenbach will continue to represent District 3.

The city council meeting began with the Mayor's report. He reported that the city has put in their application and have met all the qualifications to be a Tree City USA city. Because of volunteer efforts, with trees donated and volunteer hours, we have met this criteria. Thanks to Rhetta McIff and the LARP committee for their hard work in accomplishing this.

Every two years we start a cycle of new elected officials. Statutorily we are obligated to appoint a recorder and treasurer. Mayor Wall put forth John Inch Morgan as the city treasurer and Cheryl Cottle as the city recorder. This passed unanimously.

An ordinance restating the compensation for employees was proposed. This ordinance does not apply to elected officials. The council will set the salary ranges and the administration will administer the salaries. The council decided to table this item to next week's work session to discuss the matter further. Currently we have ordinances that say the council can approve individual salaries, which is an administrative function. The proposed changes still provide checks and balances by giving the council ability to approve the budget and salary ranges.

A grant was accepted by the council for the Utah Local Governments Trust. The amount of the grant is undetermined at this time and must be spent on safety equipment to reduce accidents or claims against the city.

The council is nearing the end of discussion on the proposed Land Development Code. Tonight they discussed chapter 35, which explains public notice requirements, and chapter 36, an 80-page section on definitions. Next week is the final chapter on new architectural design standards.

An ordinance to prohibit smoking on or in city-owned parks, trails, and recreation facilities was approved unanimously. The only change to the proposed ordinance was to add a provision to allow smoking in a vehicle.

On Jan. 28 the administration is hosting a Strategic Plan session where citizen committee members will be invited to attend and give input on the Strategic Plan.

Since it is a new year, the council elected a new chair and vice-chair. Council member Jerry Rechtenbach was re-elected as chair. Dama Barbour was elected as vice-chair.

Generally council members receive laptops to do city business. Because the two laptops from old council members were eight years old and would need to be replaced, the administration decided to purchase iPads for council members. The cost for the five iPads was less than replacing the two laptops. The administration has a goal to do everything paperless.

Council members were challenged to participate in the Taylorsville Urban Iditarod, which is coming up on March 3. For more information, see the Taylorsville Iditarod blog.

The 2012 Taylorsville City Council
Larry Johnson, Dama Barbour, Jerry Rechtenbach, Kristie Overson, Ernest Burgess

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Council Members

This new year brings with it a few changes to our government leaders. In the November election, Ernest Burgess, Kristie Overson, and Jerry Rechtenbach were elected to represent districts 1, 2 and 3 on the Taylorsville City Council. Rechtenbach is a familiar face on the council, but the other two are newcomers. I thought it would be fun to highlight Council members Burgess and Overson so we could get to know them a little better as they begin their four-year term. I've asked them to tell us a little about themselves and some things they are looking forward to on the council.

District 1 Council member Ernest Burgess

As a resident of Taylorsville for the past 27 years, my wife Connie and I have been grateful to raise our nine children here. We have been married for 38 years and have participated in various volunteer opportunities. I have enjoyed working on the planning commission for the past three years. It has provided great experiences which helped prepare me for service on the city council. 

I went to Carbon High School, playing the trombone in the marching band. My highlight was performing in the 1966 Rose Bowl Parade. I finished my high school years wrestling for Provo High, then continued my education at BYU on a wrestling scholarship and contributed in winning two WAC championships. 

Moving forward in service on the Taylorsville city council, I would like to see our city continue attracting more businesses to maintain a steady tax base. I'm excited to be a part of helping this wonderful city grow and develop in a positive direction.

District 2 Council member Kristie Overson

I am excited to begin my service on the City Council. I look forward to strengthening communication and relations between the council, administration, city employees and residents. I am anxious to become more familiar with citizens and businesses in district 2 by hosting quarterly meetings to listen to concerns and ideas for making Taylorsville even better. I am also looking forward to the committees that will be assigned to me and the opportunity to get to know more citizens dedicated to service within the city.
My history with Taylorsville dates back to my great-great grandfather Hickman who lived “over Jordan” in a dugout by the Jordan River. My home is built on property once owned by my grandfather Steadman.

I am married and have five children and nine grandchildren, with number 10 due in the summer. I enjoy gardening and sharing my harvest with neighbors and friends. When the weather is warm you can find me bike riding along the Jordan River Parkway or playing with my grandkids at Millrace Park.

Congratulations to these two! They will be sworn in on Wed., Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. prior to the city council meeting.