Wednesday, March 27, 2013

City Awards Banquet Honorees


Back Row: Scott Lloyd, Steve Porten, Ted Andersen, Marsha Thomas, Lee Bennion, Lynn Handy, Tom Smolka
Front Row: Peggy Sadler, Pam Roberts, Russ Wall, Dale Kehl, Cheryl Peacock Cottle, (Missing: Vanessa Giron)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, Taylorsville City held the annual Awards Banquet. This year volunteers, employees, service providers, and former Mayor Russ Wall, were honored with an Award of Excellence. Here is the info on the 13 winners:

Our first Volunteer Award of Excellence goes to Lynn Handy. Lynn has been involved in the city for many years. He served from 2005-2009 as a council member for district 5 and has faithfully stayed involved in the city as a member of both the economic development and budget committees. We see Lynn at City Hall on many late nights attending the city council meetings. Currently he is the chair of our budget committee, which has been instrumental in advising elected officials on budget and financial matters. We appreciate Lynn’s leadership and dedication to make Taylorsville a better place to live. 

Our next Volunteer Award of Excellence goes to Peggy Sadler. Peggy has served on the Public Safety Committee for a number of years, and is currently serving as the chair. She has also served on the Emergency Volunteer Coordinating Committee.  This committee was dissolved to make room for a more functional Volunteer Emergency Task Force, created in December.  She currently serves on it as the Public Outreach Leader.  In addition, Peggy has trained for the city’s emergency operations center, and assisted the Planning Section in our 2012 Shakeout Drill. Peggy helped write our Emergency Preparedness Guidebooks to present to our local businesses, schools, church groups and apartment complexes. According to our Emergency Coordinator Lisa Schwartz, "Peggy has always served with a smile.  She brings with her tremendous professional skill.  She continues to accept more volunteer responsibilities upon her professional retirement.  She not only does a professional job with her assignments, but she has always accepted those assignments that are time intensive and difficult. Peggy is truly an asset that the city has been very fortunate and grateful to utilize.  To know Peggy is to know what true community spirit and dedication encompasses!" 

Our next Volunteer Award of Excellence goes to Lee Bennion. Lee has faithfully served the citizens of Taylorsville for over 20 years. Many years ago he was instrumental in the transformation of the Taylorsville Cemetery. Lee oversees all the business, maintenance, and record keeping. He also helps families in their deepest hour of need. In addition to taking calls at all hours of the night, he devotes his Memorial Day weekends to directing visitor’s to their loved one’s graves and will personally meet them at the cemetery to help them throughout the year.  Lee checks the sprinkler system daily during summer months since it uses secondary water from the ditch which gets clogged with debris and would cause costly repairs to the pump system. He is at most burials to oversee that they run smoothly for families. He supervises all maintenance and makes sure the equipment is serviced and in top shape. Lee does all of these things as a volunteer. He does not get paid, but does it out of a love of serving others and taking care of the cemetery of which he takes deep pride in. Lee, please accept this award as a token of our gratitude for all you do.

Dale Kehl is a man who prefers to be under the radar, but he truly emulates the model citizen of Taylorsville and we present him with Volunteer Award of Excellence. Dale continually contributes to the growth, development and beautification of our City. Dale has served for numerous years on different volunteer committees. He brings to these committees his professional expertise in the area of development and zoning. He has served on the Planning Commission two different times, the first as a founding member. He has a desire to understand the issues, to review, to ponder, to debate and to act in a positive, fair and productive way for the ultimate benefit of our City. Through the years, Dale has developed friendships with those he works with as a volunteer and concerned citizen. It is obvious that his peers value Dale’s opinion and respect his insight to problem solving. Dale works well with people in all facets of the City’s administration and economic development departments. The very nature of Dale’s profession has been an asset to this City. Professionally, Dale’s residential subdivisions, as well as his commercial endeavors, enhance the community because of their high quality. Dale is not prideful, but he is proud. Dale is proud of our City, and it is reflected in all that he does unselfishly for the strength and future progress of the City of Taylorsville. 

In January we were sad to say goodbye to our mayor, Russ Wall. Russ’ city service began when he was upset by some of the city ordinances. He joined the Ordinance Review Committee and then decided to run for city council. He served for four years on the city council and then seven years as mayor. 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 share space for a YMCA after school 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. Helped build 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.

     We are grateful for Russ and the many years that he has served the city and would like to present him with the Mayor Award of Excellence.

We are pleased to present the Service Provider Award of Excellence to Pam Roberts with the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District. Pam and her team have done a great job handling our sanitation services. We are always impressed with Pam's detailed information, consistently high customer satisfaction surveys, well-presented quarterly reports, and helpful demeanor. She is a pleasure to be around and to work with. Pam is known for her innovation and her desire to do more with less. She has started a program to convert vehicles to natural gas to cut down on fuel costs and to improve the environment. This year, as the Sanitation District has separated from SL County, Pam has had her hands full with the transition. She has done a great job serving the citizens of Taylorsville and we would like to recognize her.

Tonight we honor a great unsung hero – Firefighter/Specialist Tom Smolka.  As a paramedic, and fire prevention inspector, Specialist Smolka has worked and served the residents along the west side of the Salt Lake valley, specifically Magna, Kearns, and Taylorsville, for 38 years.  For over 28 of those years, there is no question he aided thousands of patients while working as a medic in operations, and likewise conducted hundreds of business inspections while serving in prevention for the past 10 years.  At present, Tom serves faithfully on our internal Plans Review Committee and on the UPD Community Action Team.  The fireworks displays enjoyed by so many at high school events and during Taylorsville Dayzz are coordinated through his efforts, and he likewise teaches public education at our schools and businesses, as well as during specialty events throughout the community.  Annual and routine fire inspections are also conducted by Tom at home and commercial day cares, nursing homes, and in assisted living centers.  In addition to these responsibilities, in 2012 alone, Tom had oversight of the Nelson Lab expansion, Sliver Crest project, Bennion Care remodel, Legacy West construction, and several new subdivisions.  Each inspection and interaction conducted with the intent of keeping those who enter, safer.  Yes, all a part of the job, but with no expectation of praise or reward. So tonight, we not only honor Tom with the Firefighter Award of Excellence for Taylorsville, but also give recognition to a lifetime of dedication to his organization and the community he serves.

The Police Officer Award of Excellence goes to Detective Scott Lloyd. On December 20, 2012, UPD Officers were called to Workforce Services in Taylorsville on an aggravated domestic dispute involving a knife.  Officer Scott Lloyd was the first to arrive in the area and immediately located the suspect vehicle.  As Officer Lloyd was properly positioning his patrol vehicle and on-board camera system, he observed a very volatile situation, whereby a male suspect was holding a female victim hostage.  After the situation continued to deteriorate and after multiple verbal commands were given, Officer Lloyd diffused the situation with the use of deadly force.  These actions undisputedly saved this young mothers life. Officer Lloyd’s quick response and ability to immediately assess the dangerous situation allowed him to intervene in an extremely volatile and dangerous encounter.  Officer Lloyd’s actions and professionalism should be commended.  The citizens of the City of Taylorsville are forever indebted to you for your valiant and brave service.  

Our first employee award of excellence goes to Ted Andersen. Ted is our GIS coordinator in the community development department, but he helps employees in all departments. He truly loves his job and it shows. He performs under tight timelines and is often pulled in many directions by multiple projects and people. He is detail-oriented and goes out of his way to make his projects as comprehensive and detailed as possible. Ted’s talent and ability to perform his job as the GIS Coordinator has earned the respect of numerous professionals throughout the state. He vocalizes often how much he loves his job and his co-workers. He is willing to learn the latest technology just so he can be more efficient as an employee. 

Our next employee award of excellence goes to Steve Porten. Steve is our building inspector. Even though Steve’s work makes him a target of anger, criticism, and often rudeness, he is unfailingly pleasant and patient with citizens who need to request inspections. He is highly qualified for his job through his continuous training and experience, and his integrity is unquestionable as he administers his duties. Steve many times must explain what needs to be changed and why, often multiple times to the same person. He knows how to stay polite and controlled, regardless of their attitude. His job is one that could make one a little grumpy, but Steve always seems to manage to stay upbeat and philosophical about the process. He is good at helping his co-workers. One of his co-workers, Jean Ashby said, “Steve is always so kind and offers assistance with anything that looks difficult, such as moving boxes, unloading copy paper, or anything he may notice us doing. He is proof that chivalry is not dead after all! He always gives us a laugh and keeps this workplace a pleasant one.” 

Vanessa Giron has served the City of Taylorsville for nine years, currently as the Judicial Services Manager, managing a team of four employees.   Because she has such a history with the court, she knows what is required of most positions or tasks and is always willing to pitch in whatever capacity is needed. She is a steady presence and is always available to answer questions or to give input.  She actively stands up for the needs of her employees, and is willing to try different things to help the court improve. Additionally, her ability to speak both Spanish and English is invaluable in her position as it enables her to communicate not only effectively with the variety of litigants and defendants who interact with the court, but is valuable for in-court proceedings when an interpreter may not appear as scheduled. She also periodically will bring a pan of homemade Chilaquiles which are enjoyed by all and not to be missed.  A morning when those arrive suddenly becomes 100% better. 

Judge Marsha Thomas has dedicated herself to the court and its clerks. She treats everyone she comes in contact with respect and professionalism. Judge Thomas has a fantastic sense of humor and her uniquely wonderful personality leaves the clerks feeling comfortable to approach her with any questions or concerns they have. She has and continues to work hard to improve the court. She has worked to make countless improvements in the courts processes and procedures. She listens carefully to the concerns of the clerks and works to solve issues as they arise as well as before. She is meticulous and has an ability to see the ‘big picture,’ as she looks to see what needs to be done today as well as tomorrow, next month and the upcoming years. Her knowledge and resources are irreplaceable; she is not afraid of change and has made changes to move the court in a very positive direction. 

Cheryl Peacock Cottle is one of Taylorsville's most accommodating and pleasant employees. She is always willing to take on assignments, but more important, she takes the initiative to "get things done" without being asked or assigned. Cheryl is one of the most knowledgeable municipal clerks in Utah. She studies the laws that govern elections, protocols for legislative council meetings, the proper handling of ordinances and resolutions, and is always a good check point or touchstone for the City Attorney and the City Administrator in following policy and law. We would all be remiss in assessing Cheryl's strengths if we did not recognize her character and genuine care for the people she works with, and those we serve in the community. She is an angel of love and compassion, extending these attributes to all of those she encounters. During the last three months of 2012, Cheryl stepped in to do the city council agendas while we had an employee away. There were many times that she had planned to take vacation days, but ended up working instead to make sure everything was done, or to be to a city meeting. Many times as we leave City Hall after a council meeting, we look up at the building and see that the light in her office is still on, as she finishes her work even late into the evening. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THESE AWARD RECIPIENTS!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Taylorsville City-Wide Clean-Up

You are invited to participate in the largest Taylorsville City service project we have ever had! On April 27 residents throughout the city will spend the morning making our city more beautiful. Comcast is helping to sponsor this program and will provide breakfast, lunch and T-shirts to participants. Get your neighbors, church groups, youth organizations, scout troops, and families involved for this Comcast Cares City-Wide Clean-Up and Day of Service!
To sign up for this event, click here and fill out this form.


Day of Service FAQ’S:

What if we have a group that wants to work together on the same project?
When filling out registration forms keep them all together with a paperclip or staple and a note on the top form that the group wants to stay together on a project. Comcast will do their best to keep all groups together that request it. You have a much better chance if you sign up earlier while there is adequate space on the volunteer lists!

If we don’t have a form but still want to help what do we do?
You can call Seth at Comcast (801-401-3234) to request a form, or pick one up at City Hall. You can also fill out a form online through www.taylorsvilleut.gov and email it. If none of those options work, please come to the UDOT north parking lot 4501 South 2700 West that morning and register there.

If we want to do our own neighborhood project, does it still count?
Yes! This is a city-wide clean-up day and any efforts are welcome! We would still love you to have your group register so we can count our volunteer hours, and your group can join us for breakfast and lunch and get a t-shirt. Call Rhetta at City Hall (801-963-5400) to discuss what type of clean up you will be doing and we’ll see what we can do to help.

What ages can help?
All ages can participate with the Comcast event! It’s never too early to teach children about the value of service. We will provide activities for kids like building and painting bird houses to be used along the Jordan River, or you can help at some of our parks if the kids are older.

We want to help but are interested in doing more. What can we do throughout the year?
We are including our “Adopt-A-Street” and “Adopt-A-Park” programs that day. If your neighborhood wants to participate in these as your service project call Rhetta at 801-963-5400 to get your packet of materials and pick your area on our map. These projects need to be done 3-4 times a year and we provide clean-up bags and safety vests.

Is this clean-up replacing the dumpster program?
No. Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling will still bring dumpsters around to each neighborhood. This year our dumpster dates are in July and August, so this clean-up is a great way to kick start your efforts!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Girl Scout Cookie Money Theft

Many of you have probably heard about the man and woman who stole a cash box from a group of Taylorsville Girl Scouts last Saturday. The girls were selling Girl Scout cookies in front of the Taylorsville Walmart.

Tribune Story   Deseret News Story

Luckily our Taylorsville UPD officers were able to identify the vehicle, which has led to an arrest of the suspects. 

We are excited to host this Girl Scout Troop here at City Hall this Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. They will be in the lobby of the building selling Girl Scout cookies. 

It has been amazing to see the outpouring of support from the community for these Girl Scouts. We've had residents call us to find out when they could come buy cookies, an outpouring of support on our Facebook page, and throughout the community. We even had a man in Texas call and mail $100 for us to buy cookies from this troop. We plan to give some of those cookies to our great UPD officers who worked so hard to catch these criminals quickly. We will also have some on hand to use here at City Hall when we have visitors come for meetings. We are fast becoming known as, "The Girl Scout City," and we couldn't think of a better organization to unite with.

The girls told me through Facebook that they were "nervous, but excited" to try selling cookies again. They stopped by City Hall the other day to give Mayor Rechtenbach a Thank You note. All the girls signed it and they shook the Mayor's hand - one even gave him a hug. 

One thing I love about this story is how the community has come together. Even this particular Girl Scout Troop is trying to give back. I spoke with Jeanette Williams, the girl's leader. She has signed the troop up to help with the Taylorsville Clean-up/Comcast Cares Day on April 27. She said they are so appreciative to the city and they want to give back. What a great thing!


 Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach with Girl Scout Troop 2532





Congressman Jim Matheson came to buy Girl Scout cookies. 


Representative Jim Dunnigan came to support the Troop.

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 Art Show Winners

Congratulations to our Art Show winners!! The Taylorsville 2013 Art Show was held on March 1 and 2. It was a great event and we are so proud of the talented artists in our community. Here are those who placed:

1st place
Bob Brownell
acrylic
adult
1st place
kori mitchell
ceramics
adult
1st place
annie cole
charcoal
adult
1st place
joshua loveland
clay sculpture
adult
1st place
camille toledo
crochet
adult
1st place
kori mitchell
digital computer art
adult
1st place
john gronveau
metal art
adult
1st place
ryan glad
metal sculpt
adult
1st place
katelyn merkely
needle work
adult
1st place
jodie larsen
oil
adult
1st place
amy layton
paper
adult
1st place
julie dickerson
photography
adult
1st place
april callaway
quilting
adult
1st place
april callaway
quilting
adult
1st place
elizabeth campbell
unique medium
adult
1st place
yong hui no
watercolor
adult
1st place
amy layton
weaving
adult
1st place
chirstopher mortensen
wood carving
adult
1st place
mike nikolaison
wood carving
adult
1st place
kori mitchell
wood work
adult
1st place
joshua loveland
colored pencil
adult
1st place
lori thayn
counted cross stitch
adult
1st place
jeff blosch
digital computer art
professional
1st place
kyle wolf
photography
professional
1st place
teri wood
watercolor
professional
1st place
alicia finlayson
watercolor
professionall
1st place
becky harris
counted cross stitch
senior
1st place
lorna heisendego
crochet
senior
1st place
june anderson
oil
senior
1st place
lloyd blackburn
photgraphy
senior
1st place
jerry reed
plastic canvas
senior
1st place
susan callaway
quilting
senior
1st place
garl fink
stain glass
senior
1st place
eva wilson
unique
senior
1st place
donald batie
wood & leather
senior
1st place
james wind
wood burning
senior
1st place
dom pennier
wood carving
senior
1st place
joyce newsome
wood carving
senior
1st place
john devork
wood carving
senior
1st place
d. barnett
wood carving
senior
1st place
june anderson
wood painting
senior
1st place
jana elder
paper art
senior
1st place
Jana Elder
painted journal
senior
1st place
jerry reed
latch hook
senior
1st place
c winters
jewlery
young adult
1st place
Marie Fernanda Aguirre
oil
young adult
1st place
natasha pruhs
oil
young adult
1st place
emily nikolaisen
other
young adult
1st place
spencer stenberg
photography
young adult
1st place
samantha derrick
unique medium
young adult
1st place
mikaela hayward
watercolor
young adult
1st place
c winters
colored pencil
young adult
1st place
abbey finlayson
acrylic
youth
1st place
ann bjork
acrylic
youth
1st place
brayden karst
clay
youth
1st place
nathan wickam
colored pencil
youth
1st place
elizabeth hatch
graphite pencil
youth
1st place
lily congren
jewlery
youth
1st place
madelyn karst
needle work
youth
1st place
isaac mitchell
photography
youth
1st place
m winters
photography
youth
1st place
keisha pruhs
unique medium
youth
1st place
keisha pruhs
unique medium
youth
1st place
lydia finlayson
watercolor
youth
1st place
natalie finlayson
watercolor
youth
1st place
cooper hackwell
woodburning
youth
1st place
madelyn karst
graphite pencil
youth
1st place
camry welch
photography
youth
2nd place
Marie Fernanda Aguirre
oil
young adult
2nd place
matt radcliffe
photography
adult
2nd place
paige mitchell
photgraphy
youth
2nd place
lloyd blackburn
photography
senior
2nd place
jeremy peters
unique medium
young adult
2nd place
abi black
unique medium
young adult
2nd place
Marie Fernanda Aguirre
pastels
young adult
2nd place
barbara leonhardt
watercolor
senior
2nd place
natasha pruhs
watercolor
young adult
2nd place
keisha pruhs
watercolor
youth
2nd place
alyssa chambers
oil
adult
2nd place
keisha pruhs
acrylic
youth
2nd place
ashley price
acrylic
young adult
2nd place
Bob Brownell
acrylic
adult
2nd place
s morgan
acrylic
senior
2nd place
bonnie deweese
wood burning
senior
2nd place
elise wickam
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
lydia finlayson
acrylic
youth
2nd place
adam wickam
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
adam wickam
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
thomas wickam
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
natalie finlayson
watercolor
youth
2nd place
abbey finlayson
watercolor
youth
2nd place
bridgett ramundo
photography
youth
2nd place
lydia peters
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
benjamin wickham
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
devin pruhs
watercolor
youth
2nd place
natasha wickam
colored pencil
youth
2nd place
chloe raymundo
unique medium
youth
2nd place
susan callaway
quilting
senior
2nd place
susan callaway
quilting
senior
2nd place
James Flitton
wood carving
adult
2nd place
samuel bjork
metal work
young adult
2nd place
donald batie
wood carving
senior
2nd place
l. arellano
rock art
senior
2nd place
matt radcliffe
other
adult
2nd place
abbey hackwell
ceramics
young adult
2nd place
ceramics
2nd place
cherie jensen
ceramics
adult
2nd place
curtis bullock
metal
adult
2nd place
gayle nikolaison
mixed
senior
2nd place
fred montoya
wood carving
senior
2nd place
c winters
unique medium
young adult
2nd place
jeff barlow
colored pencil
adult
2nd place
susan johnson
oil
professionall
2nd place
garl fink
stain glass
senior
2nd place
yong hui no
watercolor
adult
3rd place
heidee pehrson
photography
adult
3rd place
amber peterson
colored pencil
adult
3rd place
christopher mortensen
graphite pencil
adult
3rd place
lynda brown
watercolor
senior
3rd place
aaron hart
watercolor
young adult
3rd place
gwen smith
oil
senior
3rd place
natasha pruhs
oil
young adult
3rd place
christ wells
acrylic
adult
3rd place
kay secrist jones
oil
professionall
3rd place
s morgan
acrylic
senior
3rd place
rebecca smith
acrylic
young adult
3rd place
ann bjork
acrylic
youth
3rd place
l arellano
wood carving
senior
3rd place
courtney glad
watercolor
youth
3rd place
natalie finlayson
acrylic
youth
3rd place
caylia facon
graphite pencil
youth
3rd place
tiffany do
colored pencil
youth
3rd place
nathan stolp
unique medium
young adult
3rd place
lydia finlayson
watercolor
youth
3rd place
jeraleigh barlow
graphite pencil
youth
3rd place
adam wickam
colored pencil
youth
3rd place
emma wickam
colored pencil
youth
3rd place
ma winters
colored pencil
youth
3rd place
devin pruhs
watercolor
youth
3rd place
lydia peters
graphite pencil
youth
3rd place
lydia peters
colored pencil
youth
3rd place
katelyn merkely
quilting
adult
3rd place
bonnie deweese
crochet
senior
3rd place
shirley draper
crochet
senior
3rd place
john devork
woodwork
senior
3rd place
kimberley jeppson
watercolor
adult
3rd place
curtis bullock
metal
adult