Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Highland/Alpine Safest Cities in Utah

2018-11-07 Highland Sat Map

Earlier this year a number of articles were published indicating that Highland is the safest city in Utah. Lone Peak Police serves both Highland and Alpine so in truth Highland and Alpine are the two safest cities in Utah. The source data for these articles was the 2016 FBI National Crime Report. I wanted to see how Highland fared on a national level and so I downloaded the FBI data and looked at it from several points of view: Violent Crime, Property Crime, Combined Crime, and Cost of Crime.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: 2018 City Survey

Overview2018-08-20 Heraclitus

I’ve spent several months reviewing the most recent city survey and responding to most comments. Note, residents shared their thoughts in over 1,500 comments; I reviewed all of them. Below are my thoughts on some of the most common survey comments:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Tax Base, Tax Rates, …

2018-07-24 Tax-revenueAs I have worked through the 2018 city survey I’ve seen a number of comments related to our prop tax and tax base compared to other cities. I’ve done some research in that regard and want to share it with you. There some limitations when comparing cities as they all have their individual idiosyncrasies  For example, we have a $18.50 road fee which we track outside of the General Fund, Cedar Hills has a $6 EMS fee, Pleasant Grove has a $8.45 road fee … . I did not reach out to the individual cities to get their current household count but used US Census Data for all cities which is several years out of date. Also, the revenue and expense data is taken from each city’s 2018-19 budget, which are subject to change as the year progresses. So while the information is interesting it is certainly not perfect. What is does show is that Highland does have a per household sales tax base that compares favorably with our neighbors (except for AF which is significantly higher than everyone else), our property tax rate is the second lowest and our general fund spending per household is in the middle (just below average).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

LD 27 Republican 2018 Primary Candidates Responses to Questions

2018-06-06 Meet the Candidate 2

A “Meet the Candidate” evening was held on Wednesday June 6th. Each candidate was given about 45 minutes to response to questions and interact with attendees. Below are videos excerpts from each candidates segment during the event which show their responses to common questions. Thanks to Scott Hart for filming the event and then taking the time to create these side-by-side responses to questions! He created a debate without the disadvantage or advantage of candidates hearing what their opponent said and then responding to it. Personally, I really like this format. Note, the video of the entire event is provided at the end of the post.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Thoughts from a Highland Resident on Priorities

2018-05-28 Ghana Happy 1

I regularly receive emails from residents who ask questions or want to voice their views on an issue. I recently read one from a resident whose counsel I would like to share.

Dear Mayor

… It is appropriate that we all treat each other with civility and that we refrain from name-calling (which both sides of a disagreement are unfortunately prone to do) regardless of how irritated we might get with each other's viewpoints and comments.

Families make plans based on their expectations that those who govern their environment will make decisions in the best interest of their family's health, including protecting them from air pollution, poor water quality, crime, public indecency, … .

Monday, May 7, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Patterson Property/Longhorn Field aka The Groves at Highland

2018-04 Groves Birds Eye View

This Tuesday night the city council and planning commission will be holding a joint work session to review the development plan for the Patterson property which is being named The Groves at Highland. The purpose of the session is to gather information. This is an open meeting which will be held in the city council room. Work session agendas do not include a period of time for public comment. Once the project has been presented and the council and planning commission has finished asking questions I will invite residents to ask questions if there are any they felt haven’t been asked which would provide additional insights.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Public Safety Cost Allocation and Lone Peak Fire Service Call History Information

2018-04-16 Fire

As we look at how best to fund the needs of the Lone Peak Public Safety District I have been doing some homework in two different areas. The first is allocating costs between Alpine, Cedar Hills, and Highland. We presently have a somewhat complicated formula that includes a fixed percent allocation of the budget (10%) to each city and then splitting the remaining costs based on population and ERU’s (Equivalent Residential Unit: non-residential buildings are given 1 ERU per 10,000 sq. ft., homes and accessory apartment are given 1 ERU).

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Average lot sizes, Open Space compared to Non-Open Space

2018-03-29 Parcel Map

I have been working on enhancing and refining the lot size data information I received from our pressurized irrigation billing system for the past several months. I’ve learned some things which run counter to “common knowledge.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Caucus Information and Selecting Delegates

utah-caucus

Selecting Delegates

Caucuses are held every two years. At  these meetings you will be electing precinct officers (chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer) as well as county and state delegates. County delegates are expected to attend county party conventions where they help select party nominees for county offices, state representatives and state senators (unless the district boundary crosses county lines). In Highland we will be selecting candidates for State House District 27 and 56, County Commission seats A & B, County Sheriff, County Clerk, and County Attorney. State delegates are expected to attend state party conventions where they vote on party nominees for state offices. This year that includes candidates for the US House of Representatives and one of our US Senate seats.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

William George Jordan: The Power of Personal Influence

The Power of Personal Influence

William George Jordan, The Majesty of Calmness, 1900

Family Sunshine

Zannie [my wife] spends lots of time with grandkids creating magical moments

THE only responsibility that a man cannot evade in this life is the one he thinks of least,―his personal influence. Man's conscious influence, when he is on dress-parade, when he is posing to impress those around him,―is woefully small. But his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, the trifles he never considers,―is tremendous. Every moment of life he is changing to a degree the life of the whole world. Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other. So silent and unconsciously is this influence working, that man may forget that it exists.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: East-West Connector, Development South of Lone Peak HS, Highland Fling

PrintThe Highland Fling will be held July 28th through August 4th this year. Our theme is “We Rise by Lifting Others.” We expect this to be another great fling. However, in order for this to be the case your help is needed. We  need volunteers to help with:

1. the Parade
2. Vendors
3. Stage entertainment
4. Baby Contest
5. Garbage Management (this has been used in the past an Eagle Project)
6. Graphic Design
7. Photography/Videography
8. Other events

Please contact Julie Tapusoa at Julie@highlandcity.org or 801-772-4507 to help make this year’s fling one of our best. You can make a difference!

HJR 7: East-West Connector passed the house (70 to 0 with 5 abstentions) and will be voted on in the Senate shortly. Below is a summary of the resolution:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: Roads, Dev Center Legislation, Sewer Rehab Video

Road WorkAt the last council meeting we approved $1.5M worth road projects for the 2018 calendar year. Click here to see a detailed list of the projects and associated costs. Among the projects is rehabilitating 6000 W from 105550 N to 11800 N at a cost of $615K. Two of the originally planned projects were pushed out. One was delayed because a development was approved adjacent to the road which will put a lot of heavy equipment on the road. The other was pushed into next year because of budget limitations.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Council Meeting Etiquette

Etiquette

At the council meeting on January 9th, 2018 I proposed a set of rules for us to follow during our meetings. The council was very supportive of my thoughts. The underlying objectives of these rules are to:

  1. Have our residents feel welcome and free to participate in the meeting regardless of which side of an issue they are on. Often those with a minority opinion are reticent to speak out for a variety of issues. We want everyone to be able to share their thoughts.
  2. Encourage civil debate between the council

Here are the rules I covered:

  • Those attending council meetings who wish to make comments on items that are aligned with an agenda item are encouraged make them following the staff presentation for that item. If they need to leave prior to the agenda item they are welcome to make their comments during the initial comment period.

    We will put cards on the podium for commenters to put their contact info on if follow-up is required or requested. We will also provide comment cards at the door for residents to fill out if they do not wish to stand at the podium.

  • Council members may ask clarifying questions of those making comments but should not interrogate or otherwise be argumentative with the person making a comment.

  • Those making comments should address their remarks to the chair (the mayor or if the mayor is absent the mayor pro temp). The chair may ask a council or staff member to comment or follow-up.

  • Discussion between council members should be respectful. It is appropriate to disagree with an idea, even strenuously. Vigorous debate is encouraged. It is inappropriate to make direct personal remarks. It is the duty of the chair to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak their peace.

  • Clapping, booing, standing to show support for someone making comments on an issue under discussion is inappropriate for a couple of reasons. (1) Clapping and standing to show support for a position might intimidate a non-supporter from sharing their perspective with the council -- we want to encourage the expression of all views and (2) council decisions are supposed to be based on information as opposed to public clamor.  Note. clapping or standing to show support for individuals who are being recognized for their contribution to the community is very appropriate and encouraged.

  • I will briefly go over these “rules” at the beginning of each meeting.

  • Those violating these rules of etiquette will be called out of order.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions or disagree with anything mentioned please let me know.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

City Council Agenda for 9-Jan-2018: East-West Connector Resolution; Boundary Change Resolution; Survey

0617_Mann_039 cropped 3I am making a change to how I report on city activity in my blog. Going forward I will share my thoughts with you on key items that will be on the council agenda for the next meeting rather than providing an after action report as I did when I was a council member. As mayor I generally do not have a vote on issue but I do help formulate the agenda. As such I will try to provide inside into upcoming issues and share some of the discussions which precede council meeting. Upcoming agendas are posted on the city web page. Click here to see a list of the upcoming and previous agendas.

As residents you can best influence decisions by connecting with council members in advance of meetings (see Tips on Influencing Local Government).

Monday, January 1, 2018

My Goals and Priorities as Mayor for 2018

2018 Goals

As the year begins I wanted to share with you the goals and priorities for the coming year. We will have a work session early in the year where the council will get to go through their goals and work to put them in a priority order. Below is a list I provided to council members a couple of weeks ago. Feel free to share your thoughts. Did I miss something you think is important? Am I heading somewhere you think is ill advised? … .