Thursday, August 29, 2013

Candidates for the Municipal Election

Each of the current candidates for Taylorsville office were invited to send in 200 words or less about their candidacy, and a photo. Please see below to learn more about these candidates:

Taylorsville Mayor
There will be a Mayoral Debate hosted by the Exchange Club on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.  

Larry Johnson 
5148 S. Jordan Canal Road

I am running for mayor of Taylorsville City.  I have lived in Taylorsville for most of my life.  I graduated from Kearns High School and attended the University of Utah.  I have been married for 40 years to my wife Debra.  We have four children and ten grandchildren.  Three of our children and their families also live in Taylorsville.  I have been a small business owner for 34 years in which time I have learned to manage finances during times of prosperity as well as difficult times.

During the last four years as a member of the Taylorsville City Council I have fought against tax increases.  I opposed the current mayor's recommended 47% property tax increase as well as the 30% tax increase which was approved by the City Council for the 2013-2014 budget.

My intent as Mayor of Taylorsville is to spend our tax dollars wisely by prioritizing our spending and determining between our wishes, wants, and needs.  I believe that we need to be more actively aggressive in our economic development.  This will increase the sales tax revenue to the city's budget and lower the demand on the residents.

Let's keep Taylosville City a family friendly community by keeping it clean, safe, and affordable. Please visit my website:

Jerry Rechtenbach
1615 Gaylawood Cir.

We are at a crossroads in our city. We can choose to cut spending to the bone and live as cheaply as possible, or we can choose to invest in our city to improve the quality and livability of our City, and therefore improve the quality of life for our residents. We already have neighborhoods that are in serious decline, if we choose not to invest in these areas, it will spread throughout the City.

We must continue to invest in economic development. As mayor, the most frequent concern I hear from residents has to do with the Family Center and what we can do to rehabilitate that once thriving center. Our business leaders have spoken out in favor of increased spending to enhance our main corridors and neighborhoods; they recognize that as being key to economic development. Developers tell me that our location is the best in the valley, and our demographics are sound. However, there are areas that are "run down" that are a deterrent to redevlopment and are a drag on residential property values. Reinvesting in the city is critical because businesses bring sales tax revenue to the city and keep taxes low in the future. See for more info.

District 3 City Council


Brad Christopherson
2264 Benfox Circle

Brad was born and raised in Taylorsville, Utah.  He earned his Eagle Scout award at 14.  Beginning in 1997, he served a two-year LDS mission to Paris, France. 

Following his return from France, he met his future wife, Wendy, and they married in 2002.  They are now the parents of three wonderful children.  Brad graduated from the University of Utah in 2004 with BA in Political Science & Business Minor, then in 2008 he graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law with a Juris Doctorate.  Following law school, he and his wife returned to Utah to raise their family where Brad has been practicing law ever since.  His practice focuses primarily on business law, litigation, family law, estate planning, and municipal law.  Brad enjoys college football, college basketball, running, and spending time with his family. 

He is active in politics and was appointed to serve on the Taylorsville City Council in January 2013.  He also on the faculty of LDS Business College in the Paralegal Studies Program.  In June 2013, he joined Mazuran and Hayes, P.C. (Of Counsel) in Holladay, Utah. Visit for more information.

District 4 City Council

Dama Barbour 
5538 Appian Way

I currently serve as the Taylorsville City Council Chair and represent District 4.  I retired from Harmons after a twenty-nine year career, as Vice President of Real Estate and Government Affairs.  As a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, I maintain contact with developers and retailers throughout the United States. My experience has helped with our city's economic development. I also spent eight years as Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Utah Food Industry where I worked with Legislators around the state. In 2002 I  received the Business Person of the Year award from the Utah State Chamber of Commerce, and enjoyed serving the city for two terms on the Planning Commission. 

As a fiscal Conservative, I understand that a strong commercial tax base and an Economic Development plan are tantamount to keeping property taxes low.  It is vital to Taylorsville residents that we continue to work the re-development projects underway and bring them to fruition. I will bring experience, leadership, commitment and vision in this effort. I would love to serve Taylorsville residents for four more years. Visit my website for more info:

Wendi Wengel (write-in)  
4051 W. 6480 S.

I am, Wendi Wengel, I am 29 years old and running for city council district 4. I have lived in Taylorsville for nine years. I have three beautiful daughters and an amazing husband.

Before starting my own company, I worked for an Inc. 500 company providing business financial services. I now own my own credit card processing company and in 2012 we processed over 26 million dollars. I have been blessed through lots of hard-work, detailed planning and, disciplined budgeting to now be retiring.

I have served in both stake and regional callings in my church, and it has been my privilege to serve as a state delegate or precinct chair for eight of the nine years I have lived in Taylorsville.  I have earned the trust of my community by listening to their input and involving them in the voting process. I am currently serving on the ad hoc fire committee for the city.
I love Taylorsville and it is imperative that we can make a plan to provide for our future generations without compromising the needs of today. I want this to be a place where I can raise my children and where they can also raise theirs’.

District 5 City Council

Ken Acker 
2570 Brucemont Drive

My wife, Gina, and our family have lived in Taylorsville for 27 years.  I have volunteered for the city the past 9 years on the Budget Review Committee, the past 2 years on the Economic Development Committee, attended the city’s strategic planning meetings, volunteered at Taylorsville Dayzz, and as a Boy Scout leader for over 17 years at the local, district, and council levels.

My professional training includes a BS degree in accounting from BYU and an MBA degree from USU.  I have had a CPA license for 25 years, and have had a resident producer license for insurance sales for 4 years.  I am currently the CFO for both Standard Optical and Opticare of Utah Inc.  I have worked for both public and private companies from startup companies to multi-billion dollar companies.  I know the needs of small and large businesses, citizens, and the City of Taylorsville.

My platform: common sense economic development, a long-term plan to fill shopping areas to maximize sales tax revenue, avoid raising property taxes, promote local assets so businesses want to locate in Taylorsville, spend tax dollars wisely, public safety, ordinance enforcement, and transparency from our government.

Daniel Jon Armstrong  
2920 W. Robinwood Drive

When I decided to run for city council my daughter remarked, “I never thought I’d be the daughter of a politician!”  Rather than a politician I consider myself a public servant.  I want to represent your concerns and create a city where you want live, raise families, and enjoy life.

For over 20 years I have loved living in Taylorsville, but I am concerned with the economic direction our city is trending with the business base declining, and the property taxes and city spending increasing.

I am a CPA with over 30 years experience as a private business owner.  During those 30 years I have seen the impact of increasing taxes on families; I have worked with businesses large and small;  I’ve audited government entities in Utah and Wyoming;  I’ve worked as a member of the American college of Forensic Accounting (fraud); and I’ve served on the board of directors for various corporations and non-profit organizations. This qualifies me to understand the financial status of the city, to recognize opportunities for growth and progress,  and I have the experience needed to help make decisions for change.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Open Streets Promote Healthy Communities

By Rhetta McIff

Around the world cities have temporarily closed their streets to cars and opened them to residents to promote activity up and down the streets - by bike, by skateboard, on foot - however they pleased. The tradition is called CiclovĂ­a and it has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon. 

CiclovĂ­as (Open Streets) are the perfect opportunity to promote healthy living, local businesses, sustainable transportation, and civic pride. That's why we are partnering with Bike Utah in hosting the second Utah Open Streets event here in Taylorsville. By shutting down traffic for part of a day on a major thoroughfare like 2700 West, residents can gather to get some exercise (walk, bike, skateboard, rollerblade, jog), participate in spontaneous activities (slack lining, African drums, badminton), and interact as a community. 

The Taylorsville Open Streets event will be held Saturday, September 28th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along 2700 West. Activities will start near City Hall and Taylorsville Fire Station #118 going north to the Taylorsville Rec Center and Library.  Ride your bike, bring scooters, try a new game, play soccer in the street, do chalk art showing what a healthy community looks like, and dance to the music. Having fun is only part of the event…building a healthy community is our goal! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

King of Taylorsville Baseball, Edo Rottini, Dies at Age 81

Last night Edo Rottini, 81, passed away due to natural causes. Rottini began the Taylorsville baseball program and for 54 years coached Taylorsville Little League and Babe Ruth programs.

In the 1960’s Rottini started a baseball program with neighborhood kids, and later started the Taylorsville League. “He taught thousands of kids to play baseball and affected their lives, even beyond sports,” said Dave Gray, a colleague and friend. “He taught discipline and hard work.”

During his tenure, the Taylorsville Little League teams at several levels have combined for more than 30 state championships and five national AAU championships. Rottini also coached boys who would later become players on the Taylorsville High School team and some who went on to play professionally like John Buck and Brandon Lyon.

“Edo turned Taylorsville into a baseball town,” said Taylorsville Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach. “He has left his mark on this city forever, not only because he put Taylorsville on the map for baseball nationally, but because he taught Taylorsville youth hard work and discipline.”

Rottini was a retired employee of the LDS Church and a dairy farmer. At his home he had a full dirt infield, two batting cages, and a garage, which was used for practice in the winter. Even though he coached the Yankees, he would let any of the teams come and practice at his facility. The Taylorsville Baseball field at 5000 South 2200 West is named Rottini Field in his honor.

According to Gray, “Rottini was the only coach I know of that made it mandatory to have a team prayer before every game. He led by example in everything he did.” Gray coached with Rottini this past season when Rottini was in his wheelchair. “He was one of a kind. Edo Rottini made a mark on Taylorsville and will be missed.”

Funeral service arrangements are still pending.

Deseret News article about Edo from 2004

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

City Council 8/21/13 and UFA Report on Fire District

Mayor Rechtenbach gave his Mayor's Report at the City Council meeting. He spoke about the recent findings on Fire Station 117. Here are the slides from his presentation:

Unified Fire Chief Michael Jensen gave a report in response to the Fire District Ad Hoc committee.

Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini spoke and said that joining the Fire District saved $2.5 million, replaced their savings fund, and met the needs of the community.

Here were the slides from Chief Jensen's presentation:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mayor's Message - Find Time to Volunteer!

By Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach

As I reflect back over the summer, I am reminded of the great volunteers in our city.

We have several hundred residents who serve on our city committees. We have people like Gordon Wolf and John Gidney, who have been on numerous committees since we became a city. People like Keith Sorensen, Ken Cook, Bruce Wasden and Lynn Handy who are former elected officials, but continue to volunteer and give their expertise on citizen committees. Jim Dunnigan and his Taylorsville Dayzz committee give thousands of volunteer hours every year to make our city’s birthday celebration great. Our Arts Council, Green Committee, Public Safety, Healthy Taylorsville, LARP, Historic Preservation, Ordinance Review, Budget, and Economic Development committees are filled with dedicated and caring residents who want to see the city improve.

We had over 800 volunteers work on projects to clean up the city at our Comcast Cares Day of Service a few months ago. These volunteers gave a half day to better our parks, plant trees, pull weeds, and add character to places around Taylorsville. We have dozens of Eagle Scouts who have done projects to benefit the city.

Recently neighbors banded together to rebuild playgrounds at two different parks – Azure Meadows and Bennion Park. Resident Danny James, actively took part in improving his Azure Meadows neighborhood. As a city, we love to see residents see a need in their neighborhood and participate in getting the city and the entire neighborhood involved to fix it.

Last week I met with three residents of the Morningside Cove neighborhood, Bob, Linda, and Melanie, that had some concerns, but more importantly they had solutions, over some of the issues affecting the Millrace Park.  The other day Bob Brunisholz spent several hours trimming along the Millrace Park fence line. We love to hear of residents like Dean Paynter and his neighbors who go out and weed along 2700 West. We’ve “caught” other residents doing the same. Doug Anderson is a retired man who came to City Hall one day and asked if he could help clean up areas in the city. He first took down trash trees and hauled them away. You may see him from time to time, pulling weeds along public right-of-ways.

We recently set up our community councils and we appreciate Jason Wyatt, Jerry Milne, Dean Paynter, Dave Ballou, Kathy Jeffs, Doug Arnesen who have volunteered to chair their individual community councils.

Our CERT teams and HAM radio operators provide a vital service that we may need someday in a city emergency.

As I reflect on all this time dedicated to bettering our city, I am in awe with the valuable contributions of all our volunteers. Whether these volunteers are in official capacity with the city, or if they are quietly serving their neighbor, they make a difference. 

I urge each of our Taylorsville residents to find one hour per month where you can serve in some capacity.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Council Work Session 8/14/13

During the City Council work session, we had a great presentation by Resident Danny James, and Neighborhood Services Coordinator Rhetta McIff about the Azure Meadows Park renovation.

About a year ago Danny James, a resident who lives across the street from Azure Meadows Park, came to a Town Hall meeting to talk to city officials about the poor condition of the neighborhood park. He started an Azure Meadows Facebook page and got residents involved in lobbying the city for help.

Below is the presentation:

After the Azure Meadows Park report, City Administrator John Inch Morgan talked about the SWOT exercise. This exercise is to examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the city. City officials hope to get some answers to these questions:

What specific strategies can we employ to accomplish our goals? What are our strengths and how can we leverage them? What are our weaknesses and how can we address them? What opportunities can we take advantage of? What threats pose a risk to the well-being of the city?

Morgan hopes to get ideas from all the city committee members and finish the exercise in the next few months.

A resident, John Purvis, spoke to the council and said he was impressed with the SWOT analysis concept because it is something that has been done in business.