Monday, May 18, 2020

City Council Preview for May 19, 2020


Below is the agenda for our May 19th City Council Meeting along with my video preview. This meeting will be held at city hall. There will be limited space because of distancing requirements. We will also stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch).  If you want to provide comments in open comment (unscheduled public appearances) portion of the meeting or for any specific agenda item and are not physically present please call 346-248-7799 and use the meeting ID 839 5020 414. You can also send an email to prior to the meeting. Staff will read your comments during the meeting at the appropriate time.

Note, individuals, especially those in a high-risk category, are strongly encouraged to participate in the meeting virtually!

Monday, May 4, 2020

City Council Preview for May 5, 2020


Below is the agenda for our May 5th City Council Meeting along with my video preview. This will be a virtual/electronic meeting. We will stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch).  If you want to provide comments in open comment (unscheduled public appearances) portion of the meeting or for any specific agenda item please call in (253-215-8782) during the unscheduled public appearances portion of the meeting or send an email to prior to the meeting. Staff will read your comments during the meeting at the appropriate time.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

City Council Preview for April 21, 2020

Generic Council Preview

Below is the agenda for our April 21, 2020 City Council Meeting along with my video preview. This will be a virtual/electronic meeting. We will stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch).  If you want to provide comments in open comment (unscheduled public appearances) portion of the meeting or for any specific agenda item please send an email to prior to the meeting. Staff will read your comments during the meeting at the appropriate time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

2020: A Year of Hope – A Highland City Proclamation

Spring 2020

Everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to one degree or another. During what can seem like a dark time, Highland City wanted to bring hope to the community via a proclamation “2020: A Year of Hope” and an accompanying video.  I  hope you find it inspirational. We all hope for a brighter tomorrow and thanks to your efforts we will.

A special thanks to my wife Suzanne who was the inspiration behind the proclamation, Scott Hart who produced the accompanying video, and the city council for sharing their thoughts.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Mayor’s Message for April 2020: Silver Linings

Silver Lining - Fairview

Along with the rest of the world, we are going through a challenging time, but there are always silver linings. In this case we have a chance to develop creative solutions. Jeff Dyer, a Highland resident, co-authored The Innovator’s DNA with Clayton Christensen and Hal Gregersen. In the book they describe different exercises that can be used to develop creative solutions. One such exercise is to define a problem and then put constraints on the solution. According to Marissa Mayer, former Google executive, “creativity, in fact, thrives best when constrained.” Clearly constraints have been put on much of our life, giving us the opportunity to address many of life’s challenges in new ways. New solutions to problems will be found that will benefit all of us going forward.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

COVID-19 Comments for Today


As Mayor of Highland City I would like to briefly discuss our present circumstances.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Majesty of Calmness – William George Jordan

The following is the first chapter in William George Jordan’s first book, The Majesty of Calmness. It is very apropos for the circumstances the world find’s itself in today.

alimagemness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-centred, self-reliant, and self-controlled. Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence, and conscious power―ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Highland City 2019 Review

2019 in review

If you haven’t filled out the 2020 city survey which is due by the end of March please take a few minutes to do so. It is  where you can help assess how the city is doing and provide input on priorities going forward. When looking ahead it is often helpful to look at what progress has been made in the past. Here is a summary of 2019 from a city perspective.

Let’s start with Highland in the news. We were covered in all major local and state news media as well as out of state and national publications. In all we appeared in print and video over 45 times during the year. Below are links to most of the coverage.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Utopia Fiber and Highland

(435) 200-4051.  Pin: 5500Fiber Optics 1

On February 4th, 2020 Roger Timmerman, executive director of Utopia Fiber, reviewed with the city council Utopia Fiber’s program for installing and running “Municipal Open Access” fiber in Highland (video, copy of slides). The short version of their proposal is:

Friday, January 31, 2020

2019 Road Projects Review

Road WorkWe completed 2.2 miles of rehabilitation (orange on map below) and 5.8 miles of preservation projects (yellow)) during 2019 at a cost of ~$1M. Five rehabilitation and one preservation projects were delayed for one year (red). Some of the money from those projects was applied to twelve preservation projects previously scheduled for 2020 which we were able to complete early. The remaining money was held to help fund 2020 projects. Note, 22 other preservation projects originally scheduled for 2019 were completed in prior years.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wimbleton Trail Referendum: Comments on the Do Not Sign the Petition Flyer

On December 3rd 2019 the city council agreed to sell trails and adjacent open space property in the Wimbleton subdivision to neighboring land owners. The map below shows trails in the vicinity. The yellow ones are those that the council agreed to sell.

I read with some interest the flyer I received today from the “Neighbors and Friends of the Wimbleton Subdivision.” The subject of the flyer was a referendum that was filed to overturn the city council’s decision to sell the trails and adjacent open space in the Wimbleton subdivision. The flyer states “You will soon be asked to sign a referendum to reverse the wise decision to sell this property.” Was it a “wise” decision?  Let’s begin by reviewing their questions and answers.

Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 Highland Living Magazine Mayor’s Messages

Highland Living Masthead

The following are my messages in the Highland Living magazine for 2019. Occasionally the editors shortened my message or revised it slightly. What I’ve included below is the message that was originally submitted. Most Highland residents now receive the publication at no charge. We were able to get the parent company to add over 500 additional households to the original delivery list which did not include a significant number of households.

January 2019 Highland Living Magazine

The Power of Positive ThinkingIn the foreword of the 2008 edition of the Power of Positive Thinking, Pastor Robert Schuller shares a story from 1957 when he introduced its author, Norman Vincent Peale, a guest Speaker to his congregation.

It was time to introduce our guest. Before I knew what I was saying, I heard the following words come out of my mouth. “We have with us today the greatest positive thinker who has ever lived. His words have been heard and read by millions of people all over the world. He has changed more lives than can be counted. The greatest positive thinker who ever lived is here—with us—today!. In person! His name is … Jesus Christ! and here to tell us all about him is Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.”

2019 Highland City Newsletter Mayor’s Messages

Highland Newsletter Masthead

Below are my city newsletter messages from 2019. Let me know if there are items you’d like me to cover in 2020 and if you have any suggestions for other content in our monthly newsletter. You can find city newsletters on our website by clicking here.

January 2019 Newsletter

David Marcum, a Highland Resident, co-authored a book entitled Catalyst. In it they reference a paper written by two university professors who were trying to find out if decisions made for others produced more creative solutions than solutions made for self. The professors conduct 4 experiments. In one of them the following question was posed to 137 students.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Highland Trails–Eagle Project Improves Trails In N. Canterbury

One of the strengths of our community is unselfishness and service. For example, earlier this year one of our youth, Jonathan Daniels, organized a trail maintenance Eagle project on 1 mile of trail in the Canterbury North neighborhood (this represents about 6% of  the city trails in Highland).

N Canterbury Trail

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Highland City Trail Use–Freedom Elementary

Here is the latest data from the trail use survey and two trail counts that were run in the area. We’ve just started using a trail counter to measure trail use and so have limited data to compare. To get daily trail use estimates from the survey for households that said they used the trail:

  • 1 or more times a week we assumed they used the trails 2.5 times per week
  • 1 or more times a month we assumed they used the trails 2 times per month
  • 1 more more times a year we assumed they used the trails 4 times per year.

Highland City Trails - Freedom Elementary

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Highland City 2019 General Election Result Summary

Highland City Council 2019 General ResultsA big thank you to those who took the time and made the effort to run for city council. We all benefitted from your contributions. Congratulations to Brittney Bills, Kim Rodela, and Tim Ball who will be sworn in on Tuesday January 7th, 2020.

Below are charts summarizing the results for the city plus a chart showing the turnout for cities in Utah County. Our turnout (35%)was slightly above the average for the county (33.8%). Congratulations to the Highland 7th precinct for having the best turnout (44.3%). the 6th (40.5%) and 2nd (37.6%) precincts were  2nd and 3rd.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Crime in Highland, Utah, and the US 2009-2018

Police LightsBelow you will find charts and graphs that show what type of specific types crimes were committed in Highland and Alpine over a 10-year period of time (2009-2018) and how we ranked within the state and nation over that time period. All data came from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting system.

I used a report published in 2010 entitled “The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation” to attach a value to the specific types of crime reported by the FBI. This creates a total cost of crime to a community. At the end of this post are tables from the report that show the costs of  different type of crimes and what these costs were based on.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How Safe Are We In Highland?

BurglarAccording to the recently released FBI Crime Statistics for 2018 Highland and Alpine are the second safest cities in Utah. There are multiple ways to compare crime rates. I chose the four categories listed below to compare Highland with cities in the state and across the nation. We ranked second in all categories except for property crimes where we were first.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Traffic Count and Speed Analysis for Canal Blvd at 5625 West

2019-09-26 Canal Blvd and 5625 W

We collected traffic data and speed information on Canal Blvd from Sept 10th through Sept 26th 2019. The primary purpose of this data collection was to measure the impact on Canal Blvd due to the closure of 9600 N at Alpine Hwy. The short story is that the closure added between 400 and 500 trips per day to the current 1,000 trips a day. Note, Canal Blvd is a designed collector road that can readily accommodate`4,000 to 5,000 trips a day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Evaluating Highland City Council Candidates: Tips and Videos

2019 Election ResultsBallots will be arriving in your mailbox shortly. I thought I would make it easy to watch videos of the candidates to help in your decision making. Let me also share with you a couple of thoughts on selecting candidates.

One of the attributes I value most in council members is civility. In my view in order to be an effective member of council you need to be able to work with the other council members, staff, and residents to move the ball on a variety of issues. Everyone brings different perspectives to the table. The ability to share these in a civil manner is an essential part of developing good public policy. There is no member of council that I have served with that I have agreed with 100% of the time. On the other hand, every member of council whom I served with has contributed a unique idea or thought that helped create better policy.