I occasionally feel like Mr. Bean looks when it comes to deciding whose box to check on the ballot. Let me share some thoughts on what I believe is important based on having served nearly four years on the Highland City council.
Friday, August 4, 2017
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
City Council 6-Jun-2017: Annexation, New Veterinary Office Permit, 2017-18 Budget Approval, and Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan
Sixteen residents attended the meeting; three were candidates, the rest had items of concern on the agenda or were there for scouting. We were done in less than an hour – most likely a record for an annual budget meeting. We were able to get through the budget “quickly” because of the discussions that we had in prior council meetings/work sessions, staff’s thoroughness in preparation and the mayor who moved things along.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
So why the heck I am running? Wasn’t four years as a member of the Highland City council enough? My council experience actually exceeded my expectations. Granted they were low, however I found I enjoyed learning, responding to questions and writing about city issues in my blog. I also found that if I didn’t get push back on positions I ended up being unsure of them. When challenged I listen and do more homework. I find that my convictions are strengthened by the process or I modify my position based on new information.
The council and staff has “moved the ball” forward during the last four years. I want to be involved in continuing to make improvements on how we operate as a city.
Why I am running for mayor of Highland City.
When I ran for council I initially had to push myself out the door to walk neighborhoods. But as time went on I found that I really enjoyed talking with Highland residents. This time I was excited to go “tracting” again and I am enjoying the opportunity to meet people like you.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via phone, text or email. Below is a copy of the content of a flyer I am handing out when I go out and knock on your doors.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
There were a limited number of residents present (7) at the meeting. Don’t know if that is good or bad :). The conversation with Rob Smith was interesting and informative. Thanks to ASD for being proactive and communicating with the city without any specific item in mind.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Once again the most “popular” item on the agenda was a final vote on a rezone request for property located just to the west of the new car wash on Timpanogos Hwy from residential to professional office. This time only 22 residents attended the meeting (as opposed to 67 last time).
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
21-Mar-2017: Rezone of Property at 11020 N 5500 W to Residential Professional, 2017 Resident Survey Results
The hot topic for the night was a rezone request for property located just to the west of the new car wash on Timpanogos Hwy from residential to professional office. This and a related issue brought about 67 residents to share their views with the council. I was the swing vote twice.
Staff presented the results of the 2017 Resident Survey. It was interesting. I’ve included a link to the charts and graphs that staff put together as well as the raw data with summaries and additional charts.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Another milestone was reached last month when a road study was completed on impact of constructing an East-West Connector. Below is a brief summary of the report, my analysis of the information provided, and suggestions on how you can impact the decision going forward. According to the study (click here to see the report).
Friday, April 7, 2017
R-1-30 and the Council a Brief Overview
Before I discuss the work session I want to review the history of the lot sizes in Highland, then R-1-30 zone and its implementation.
Highland Lot Size Info
Lots sizes of developments approved since 2014. As a point of information the estimated density of all Open Space subdivisions (this includes park land and other open space) is ~1.6 lots/acre.
|Zone||Avg. Lot Size||Median Lot Size||Avg. Density|
|R-1-20||0.48 acres |
20,835 sq. ft.
|0.46 acres |
20,167 sq. ft.
|R-1-30||0.60 acres |
25,941 sq. ft.
|0.58 acres |
25,132 sq. ft.
|0.78 acres |
34,491 sq. ft.
|0.75 acres |
32,756 sq. ft.
|0.47 acres |
25,276 sq. ft.
|0.58 acres |
20,386 sq. ft.
* This lot size data was derived by using the lot sizes of all property using pressurized irrigation where the parcel was larger than 0.10 acres and smaller than 6 acres. The data represents ~95% of all property in Highland.
Timeline of R-1-30 Actions:
Monday, March 27, 2017
“The Way of the Reformer” is one of my favorite essays by William George Jordan. In it he discusses the challenges faced by those who seek to make the world a better place. They are not always popular and on more than one occasion have given their lives for their cause. William Tyndale comes to mind. He translated the Bible into English in the early 1500’s. His work so displeased the King and other prominent leaders that he ended up fleeing to Antwerp to continue his work. He was eventually captured, tried for heresy, and put to death. Below is a short video which summarizes William’s inspiring life work.
Jordan’s essay below is dedicated to those who, like Tyndale, labor to make the world a better place in the face of opposition.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
City Council 21-Feb-2017: Cemetery Fee Work Session, Staff Pay Grades, Public Info Plan for Roads, Water Conservation Plan
15 residents (9 scouts) were in attendance for the council meeting; none were at the cemetery work session. We again were able to accomplish a fair amount of work during the meetings .
Cemetery Fee Work Session
The cemetery work session was the 2nd one we’ve held to understand what we need to charge for cemetery plots so that we end up with a fund that will generate sufficient interest income to cover the cost of cemetery operations once all the plots are sold. Note, Tim Irwin brought this up as an issue we should work on last year.
Zion’s Bank was contracted to do an analysis of what what our options are. Matt Millis of Zion’s Bank reviewed a model which they developed to help us determine an answer to this question. We also needed to provide some guidance on three questions so that the analysis could proceed:
Saturday, February 18, 2017
City Council 7-Feb-2017: Wimbelton Trails, Library Report, Park Use Fees, Mid-Year Budget Adjustments, Highland Blvd & 11800 N Intersection Redesign
Prior to the meeting we learned that the petition to dispose of the Wimbelton neighborhood option trails did not have sufficient signatures to meet the threshold required to have the council consider the request. A public hearing on the issue end up not being required and so the item was removed from the agenda.
My understanding is that those who wish to dispose of the trails argue that they are not well maintained by the city and although they are used, usage is not necessarily by those in the neighborhood and thus pose a potential safety hazard. A secondary issue is that many of those living in Open Space developments feel that the open space fee they pay is too high or not well used.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Four residents attended this meeting where we discussed economic development, pressurized irrigation and park usage fees. Those attending wanted to share their views on the proposed park usage fees. The “final” proposal on park fees will be discussed and voted on at the next council meeting (Tuesday Feb 7).
The following charts on lots sizes in Highland was derived from PI billing data, a summary of which is also shown below. Since there are a few parcels of property in Highland that are not served by PI it is not entirely accurate but it does provide a good picture. Here a few interesting stats:
Friday, January 27, 2017
On Thursday, January 26th Highland received the county’s report on the referendum signatures. After reviewing the report our city recorder issued the final certification report which states the following: Of the 2,778 signatures submitted 2,404 were certified. This is 109 fewer signatures than the 2,513 which were required and there for the referendum will not be placed on the 2017 ballot.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
If you support the construction of the Murdock Connector (an east-west road between Alpine Highway and North County Blvd) please indicate your support by signing an online petition (click here to sign). This petition will be shared with Utah State legislators as they will need pass a bill this year to allow the road to cross state owned property. Also, our new State Senator, Dan Hemmert, and State Representative, Mike Kennedy, both have short constituent surveys that include a question on this issue. Please let them know how you feel on this and other issues such as education, internet sales tax, medical marijuana …. Click on their respective pictures to complete their survey’s .
|State Senator Dan Hemmert||State Rep. Mike Kennedy|
Now on the the meeting. It was a productive meeting with a good exchange of information. Two residents attended the Roads Work Session and over sixty were present for the Council Meeting. Most of the Council Meeting attendees were there to support the 2017 Highland City Youth Council members who were sworn in. It is great to see so much interest in local government.
Friday, January 6, 2017
City Council 6-Dec-2016: Cemetery Work Session, Murdock Connector Resolution, Open Space Maintenance Agreement
Work Session: Cemetery perpetual Care fund
The Cemetery Fund currently has a balance of $10,000. Plot fees are presently being used to refund the city for the purchase of the cemetery land. The goal of a perpetual care fund would be to build up a balance that would generate enough interest to cover all or most of the cost of maintaining the cemetery. Matt Millis, Zion Bank, walked us through multiple scenarios for increasing the lot and burial fees in order to reach a fund balance that would be self-sustaining. We generally agreed to build a balance to that would cover some of the maintenance cost of the cemetery. The fees needed to be reviewed periodically. We felt that the city should pay some portion of the costs as the cemetery does fill a “park role” for some residents. The estimated percentage of “park” was not fixed (10% to 15% was discussed). Staff will work with Mr. Millis to further refine the model and finalize initial fee recommendations. These would need to be approved at a future council meeting. Click here to review the presentation we were given.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
City Council 15-Nov-2016: Oak Ridge Rezone Decision, Open Space Maintenance Agreement, 10400 Sewer Project
Council Meeting AGENDA / MINUTES
About 40 people were in attendance. Most were there to discuss the rezone issue. This has been a somewhat controversial issue and we’ve had a lot of resident input. I ran a poll starting in September to better understand how residents feel about lot sizes (results shown below). Additionally, residents were not happy about the final vote and are petitioning for the matter to be on the 2017 election ballot. While technically the referendum can only overturn the decision to rezone this specific property a large majority decision on either side would be an indicator of the publics view of future R-1-40 to R-1-30 rezone requests. Anyone wishing to help gather signatures or sign a petition can contact Natalie Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will discuss this further below.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
No Room For Them In The Inn
The world’s attitude towards the birth of every great truth is focused in a single phrase in the simple story of the first Christmas, the greatest birthday since time began. Mary laid the infant Christ in a manger—“because there was no room for them in the inn.”
For worldly success, fame, social prestige, laurel-crowned triumph, the inn is illuminated; welcoming music fills the air; and the inn doors are thrown wide open. But struggle towards sublime attainment, heroic effort to better the world, simple consecration of soul to a noble ideal means—the manger and a lonely pathway lit only by the torch of truth held high in the hand of purpose.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
About 8 people attended the council meeting at which we approved (1) the final plat for the Edge Home development on the south west side of town (R-1-30), the architectural plan for Quick Quack car wash, a site plan for a new building west of Wendy’s, and a sewer connection for a Golf Training Center which will be built in American Fork adjacent to Highland..