Monday, May 10, 2021

Civility in Politics

I wrote the following regarding civility in politics nearly eleven years ago (July 19, 2010). It is probably more relevant today than it was then. The lessons I learned apply not only to elections but also to the day in day out battles over issues. Civility does not mean compromising on principles but does mean listening, being willing to see things from another’s point of view, looking for common ground, and often taking the high road when opponents don’t.

It has been about a month since the primary election, and I feel settled enough to have a good mental review of my experience. Even though the candidate I worked to support lost I would do it all again. Of course, there are things I would do differently. It would be sad if this were not the case because that would mean I learned nothing. Let me share with you some of the positives.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: 4-May-2021

Here's the most recent two-minute Tuesday video from our council meeting on 4/20. For those of us who are not “hip” 420 is a noun which is used to refer to marijuana or to the act of smoking marijuana (eg. "a 420-friendly hotel").

For Tuesday’s meeting there are several interesting agenda items including:

  • Tentative budget approvals for the city and Lone Peak Public Safety District. The final budget is generally on the agenda on the first meeting in June.
  • A preliminary plat for Sunrise Farms - 13.57 acres located on the north side of the “long horn” property which is across the street from the city cemetery.
  • A change in nuisance ordinances relative to noise. The change will make our code more consistent and more enforceable.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: 20-Apr-2020

2021 Resident Survey Participation Trend

For tonight’s meeting there are a number of interesting agenda items including:

  • 2021 Highland City Survey results
  • Review of open space and orphan property disposal parcels
  • RAP Tax discussion
  • Park maintenance building status update

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for 30-Mar-2021

2021-03-30 MRP Phase 1

Here’s a link to the video overview of our previous council meeting by Utah’s Highlander. For tonight’s meeting there are a number of interesting agenda items including:

  • Millhaven Development Agreement
  • Mountain Ridge Park
  • Equestrian Center Park cost estimates
  • 2021-22 Budget Initial Presentation

Monday, March 29, 2021

2020 Highland City Newsletter Mayor’s Messages


Below are my city newsletter messages from 2020. Let me know if there are items you’d like me to cover in 2021 or if you have any suggestions for other content in our monthly newsletter. You can find city newsletters on our website by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for 16-Mar-2021

Once again Utah’s Highlander put together an excellent summary of our previous meeting.The title of the video is “Pooh Minute Tuesday.” It is worth watching. If you missed last weeks “Meet with the Mayor” you can watch below. I review the results of the January Community Center feasibility survey and begin responding to comments in completed city surveys. The video lasts over an hour. The Utah’s Highlander video is definitely more enjoyable and only lasts a few minutes.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

2020 and Beyond – One Mann’s Perspective

Happiness is the greatest paradox in nature. It can grow in any soil, live under any conditions.”—William George Jordan, The Majesty of Calmness, 1900


Highland City Council Agenda Preview for 2-Mar-2021

Once again Utah’s Highlander put together an excellent summary of our previous meeting where the council made a couple of important decisions.

Below are three of the more interesting and/or important items on the agenda: 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Feb 16, 2021

2021-02-16 Flowers for Every Girl

Utah’s Highlander again put together an excellent video summary of our previous council meeting. The Groundhog Day theme was brilliant. Earlier this week former youth city council member Halla Walch joined me for my monthly Meet with the Mayor broadcast. We discussed what she learned while on youth council and reviewed view city issues including some brand new information I had received about the county using the Equestrian Center park, located just off of 6800 W, as an immunization center starting March 1st.

Here are key items on the agenda: 

  • Agenda item 3 - Highland resident and American Fork High School senior Ryan Bazzelle will receive a mayor’s award. He has delivered flowers to every girl in his school each Valentine’s Day since the 8th grade. Click here to read about how he got started.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Jan 19, 2021

Highland resident Scott Hart returns as Highlander of Utah Lake in his 2-Minute Tuesday that covers the Jan 5th council meeting. His council meeting reviews  are enlightening and entertaining. Subscribe to the Utah’s Highlander YouTube channel to be notified when they are released.

The agenda for our second meeting of the year is pretty light. Unlike our first meeting which ended after midnight this one should finish before 10 PM. Here are the major items that will be covered: 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Highland City 2020 Survey Summary and Responses to Comments

2020 Survey How Long Do You Plan To Remain In HighlandLast year I offered a smoothie to the person who could find the comment that made me laugh out loud. This year it will go to the person that provides the longest list of positive adjectives found in comments (email me at These surveys do impact council decisions. Thanks to  those who participated last year. I encourage everyone to participate in the next one which we plan to distribute it in March.

There were 396 comments in the survey from 354 residents. The top three issues based on the number of residents who commented about them were::

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Jan 5, 2021

2021-01-05 New Year

This 2021 meme caught my eye. I hope the terms and conditions include: (1) city staff and council continue to work well together, (2) Highland residents continue to be involved and respectful of each other and (3) that we take advantage of what we learned in 2020 to improve our lives. Feel free to share your thoughts on what you would like to see the city focus on in 2021.

The agenda for the first city council meeting of the year is pretty packed. Key items on the agenda include:

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Should Utah County Continue to Emulate Salt Lake County with Respect to Support Staff?

County Commmissioner Compensation

Following the election this year I continued to research county governments because I had some outstanding questions. I found only two counties in Utah (Salt Lake and Utah) where County Commissioners or County Council members have their own personal assistants. Both counties use the same title for these employees – senior policy advisor.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Dec 1, 2020


Key items on the agenda include:

  • Two code cleanup and clarification items dealing with resolving issues with public trees and identifying locations where people can engage in expressive activities such as marches, parades, and protests.
  • The council will look at a code change to limit the ability of protesters to trap or harass people as they enter, exit, and use their private homes (this is not constitutionally protected conduct) without unduly limiting free speech activities.
  • Burt Brothers is seeking a conditional use permit to build a lube center to the east of their existing facility.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower

640px-Robert_Walter_Weir_-_Embarkation_of_the_Pilgrims_-_Google_Art_ProjectThe Embarkation of the Pilgrims (1857) by American painter Robert Walter Weir

400 years ago, this December, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock where they would build a settlement that would be a founding pillar of our great nation. They experienced many hardships; over half of those who landed initially died the first winter. On the other hand, there were miracles as well, such as Squanto, an Indian they encountered in 1621, who just happened to speak fluent English and served as an interpreter between the Pilgrims and Indians.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Nov 10, 2020

2020-11-10 Trail Map

Key items on the agenda are:

  • A presentation on Ranked Choice Voting that will include reviewing the pros and cons. This should be interesting. Several cities used this process in the last municipal elections (agenda item 2).
  • Discussion regarding an inconsistency in our alcoholic beverage sales ordinances (agenda item 7).
  • Repeal of Chapter 12.30 Removal of Neighbor Option Trails of the Highland City Municipal Code (agenda item 8).

Monday, October 19, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Oct 20, 2020

2020-10-20 Mitchell Hollow Baseball street view

The most interesting items on the agenda are:

  • Mitchell Hollow baseball field improvements
  • Amending to water reservation agreement

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Why I Support Utah County Proposition 9

County Revenue from Taxes & Fees Per Capita

If passed, Proposition 9 will change the form of government in Utah County from a three-member commission to five council members and a mayor. Each council member will represent one of five districts in the county while the mayor will be elected by the entire county.

Over the last year and a half, I have participated in many discussions on the pros and cons of switching from a three-member commission to an executive-council form of government. I have friends and associates on both sides of the issue whom I greatly respect. As I have researched the issue independently my support for Proposition 9 has grown.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Oct 6, 2020

Cares ActThe most interesting items on the agenda are:

  • The annual city library report.
  • Approval of funds for a front counter remodel using CARES act monies.
  • Approval of 2% potential merit increases for employees in the 2020-21 budget year.
  • Allocation of remaining CARES act funds.