Monday, September 13, 2021

Meet with the Mayors – September 2021

2021-09-13 MTWM
Below is a video recording of a discussion on current and future issues facing Highland City with the current mayor, Rod Mann, and next year’s mayor, council member Kurt Ostler.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 7 Sept 2021

Forrest Gump fans will appreciate the “2-Minute Tuesday” video summary of the  the Aug 17th council meeting. Don’t forget to watch the trailer at the end. As usual, it is entertaining.

Here are what I believe are the more interesting agenda items on the city council agenda:

  • Staff will share an update on pressurized irrigation water use.
  • Council member Kurt Ostler will give an update on Dry Creek Lake.
  • Boyer will provide an update on their development south of Lone Peak High School (Ridgeview). Those interested in the project will find it interesting. Costa Vida and Arby’s fans will be happy to know these two restaurants will be included in the commercial area.
  • Staff will discuss the process for bidding out Mountain Ridge Park.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 17 August 2021: Mitchell Hollow Trail, Run Club …

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the Aug 3rd council meeting. The City Council and Mayor let down their hair a did a little celebrating for Fling Week. This video is fun and includes some highlights from the Fling! Note, decorations were courtesy of Suzanne Mann and the Highland Fling Baby Celebration - which was held in the council room earlier in the day.

Here are what I believe are the interesting agenda items:

  • Final plat approval for Sunrise Farms. 10 homes on the north end of the Long Horn field. This is an administrative decision and is on the consent item list because it meets all requirements.
  • Mitch Hollow Trail extension funding. The final design was about $218,000 more than the original estimate. The discussion will center around how to fund the increase. There are several options.
  • A discussion on the Run Club which is an organized group of youth who run for about 30 minutes in the morning during the summer in Canterbury Circle Park. Can they continue to run there next year? There have been a couple of complaints by residents near the park. Do they need to go elsewhere?

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 3 August 2021

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the July 20th council meeting. The Lions, Tigers, and Bears theme is appropriate.

There are several interesting agenda items including:

  • Approval of an additional office building on Sunset Drive and Highland Blvd
  • Resolution to put a RAP tax on the ballot this fall.
  • Discussion of how ARPA funds may be used.
  • Discussion on garbage cans and doggie bags in city parks.

Monday, August 2, 2021

2021 Highland City Survey Overview and Responses to Comments

2021 Resident Survey Participation Comparison
This year we had the highest number of survey respondents since we started the surveys. Thank you to those who participated. Your responses really do impact decisions. Nearly half of those who submitted a survey provided written comments (631 out of 1270).

The top three issues based on the % of comments made were:

Monday, July 19, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 20 July 2021: Finalize Orphan Property Sale Resolution, Urban Deer Program Renewal

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the July 6th council meeting. Fireworks were definitely on display and I guess that goes with the season..

There are several interesting agenda items including:

  • PI Usage report
  • Open Space maintenance update
  • Urban Deer Program Renewal
  • Review and approve initial orphan property sales
  • Discussion of RAP tax which is 0.1% sales tax that can be used to fund Recreation, Arts, and Parks. In Highland’s case this money would be used to fund parks and trails.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: July 6, 2021

I love the ending of the 2-Minute Tuesday summary of our last council meeting. We nearly had another highly qualified candidate for mayor Smile

The most interesting items on the evenings agenda from my point of view are:

  • the work session discussion with DR Horton regarding the development of their property on the NE side of Micron (now Texas Instruments).
  • the discussion of options for the all-abilities playground to be constructed as part of Mountain Ridge Park.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Commemorating the Birth of our Nation and State

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, by John Trumbull

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; … And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” —Declaration of Independence by the thirteen united States of America, July 4, 1776

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: June 15, 2021 – 2021/22 Budget, Designation of Disposable Properties

Are you a Footloose fan? Then you’ll enjoy this 2-Minute Tuesday review of our June 1st, 2021 meeting. I didn’t know Kurt and Tim were such skilled dancers :)

This council meeting includes the following agenda items:

  • Recognition of Scott Sumner (outgoing LPHS principal), Rhonda Bromley (former LPHS principal), and Larry Mendenhall (former member of the Planning Commission and City Council).
  • Adoption of the 2021-22 Budget.
  • Designation of disposable properties.

This meeting will be held at city hall but we will also stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch).

You can find an abbreviated meeting agenda together with my thoughts below. The complete agenda (154 pages) which includes the staff reports associated with each item can be accessed by clicking here.


Highland City Council Agenda
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM council meeting
Note: Our work session on land disposal starts at 5:30 and runs till 7:00

Virtual Participation

The time and duration listed at the end of agenda items is my guess as to the start time of this item and how long it will run..


  1. UNSCHEDULED PUBLIC APPEARANCES 7:00 (15 minutes)
    Time has been set aside for the public to express their ideas, concerns, and comments. Comments are limited to 3 minutes.

  2. RECOGNITION ITEMS: 7:15 (8 minutes)

    1. Certificates of Appreciation Rod Mann
      Scott Sumner (outgoing LPHS principal), Rhonda Bromley (former LPHS principal), and Larry Mendenhall (former member of the Planning Commission and City Council).
  3. RECOGNITION ITEMS: 7:23 (7 minutes)

    1. Highland City Youth Council
      A Youth Council representative will present an update of events in which the Youth Council have been involved.
  4. CONSENT ITEMS  7:30 PM (10 minutes)
    Items on the consent agenda are of a routine nature or have been previously studied by the City Council. They are intended to be acted upon in one motion. Council members may pull items from consent if they would like them considered separately.

    1. CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT: Approve a contract with Morgan Pavement for $56,666.70 to proceed with the application asphalt crack seal products . Administrative
      Yellow lines indicate roads that are getting a surface treatment that will be crack sealed.
      2021-06-15 Crack Seal
    2. ACTION: consider a request by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) for the dedication of remnant parcels of right of way for North County Boulevard. Administrative

  5. PUBLIC HEARING & RESOLUTION: ADOPTING FINAL AMENDMENTS TO THE HIGHLAND CITY 2020-2021 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET Legislative 7:40 (15 minutes)
    At the end of the year we need to approve final budgets adjustments so that the city does not exceed the 35% reserve cap in the general fund. Often there a planned expenses (such as road projects) that slip into the next fiscal year (begins July 1) so that we need move funds from the General Fund into a Road Capital Fund or other capital fund. This year we also received CARES ACT funding from the federal government that we needed to account for appropriately.
  6. PUBLIC HEARING & RESOLUTION: INTERFUND TRANSFER FROM THE PRESSURIZED IRRIGATION FUND TO THE GENERAL FUND 7:55 ( 10 minutes) Legislative
    Each year the city’s general fund pays the pressurized irrigation enterprise fund f(PI Fund) return the money to the general fund. The net affect of this action is that residents are paying for the city to water parks via the PI fee in their monthly bill. or water used for city parks. The amount per household is about $2.00 per month. Absent this transaction we would have to increase general fund revenue via a property tax increase which would be offset by a decrease in the PI fee. I know this is clear as mud.

  7. PUBLIC HEARING & RESOLUTION: ADOPTING FY2022 FEE SCHEDULE Legislative 8:05 (15 minutes)
    The  city is required to adopt an annual fee schedule that identifies all fees it charges. Note, these may be adjusted during the course of the fiscal year. 

  8. RESOLUTION: ADOPTING THE CERTIFIED TAX RATE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021-2022 Legislative 8:20 (10 minutes)
    Each year the county calculates the property tax rate for Highland required to generate the same revenue we received last year, exclusive of new growth. This rate is then applied to the new growth (new homes, new commercial buildings, or improvements to either). If a Highland City requested additional revenue then the tax rate is adjusted to generate the requested amount..The council did not request additional property tax funds this year (in fact the last year additional property tax revenue was requested was 2008). Click here for a more comprehensive explanation of Utah’s Certified Property Tax system.

  9. PUBLIC HEARING & RESOLUTION: ADOPTION OF FINAL HIGHLAND CITY BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021-2022 Legislative 8:30 PM (20 minutes)
    The council has discussed the proposed budget in work sessions, council meetings, and in individual meetings with staff members. There may be small changes discussed but I don’t see in major changes coming. I have noticed over the years that posts I identify has having budget information are my least popular posts.

  10. RESOLUTION: ADOPTION OF THE ORPHAN PROPERTY DISPOSAL POLICY Legislative 8:50 PM (15 minutes)
    The council discussed this in our prior meeting but continued it so that it could further review before approving it in today’s meeting. The policy sets forth the process and lists some of the criteria that may be used in considering what properties (if any) should be identified as available for disposal. This should not take too long as during the 90 minutes work session that precedes the council meeting the council will have reviewed the criteria used to identity property that can be sold.
  11. RESOLUTION: ADOPTION OF THE DESIGNATION OF DISPOSABLE PROPERTIES Legislative 9:05 PM (45 minutes)
    During our work session the council will have also considered the requests which we received from 51 home owners during the 30 days following the council’s initial property disposal decision. A number of issues arose when evaluating these applications that made the decision challenging. As a consequence I suspect that the council will only approve a limited number of them. My personal view is that we should go slow if there is any uncertainty as property once sold is difficult to get back.

  12. MAYOR/COUNCIL AND STAFF COMMUNICATION ITEMS 9:50 (10 minutes)

    1. Future Meetings
      • June 22, Planning Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • July 6, City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • July 14, Lone Peak Public Safety District Board Meeting, 7:30 am, City Hall
      • July 20, City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • July 27, Planning Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hal
  13. CLOSED SESSION 10:00 (60 min)

ADJOURNMENT 11:00 pm

Links:

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: 1-Jun-2021

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the May 18th council meeting. It features scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Guardians of the Galaxy. This one got a good chuckle out of me.

This council meeting includes the following agenda items:

  • A pressurized irrigation water update from staff.
  • A legislative update from our state representative Brady Brammer.
  • Approval of the final road maintenance contracts for this year.
  • Formalization of the rules and processes relative to disposing of orphan property. Note, the specific parcels to be disposed of this year will be discussed and approved at a future council meeting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: 18-May-2021

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the May 4th council meeting. Fans of the movie Caddyshack will especially appreciate this edition.

There are several interesting agenda items including:

  • A proposed increase to the culinary water fee.
  • Proposed changes to the city fence code.
  • A resolution to start the process for putting a RAP tax on the ballot this fall.
  • Approval of this year’s road rehabilitation contract

Highland East-West Connector History

This post was originally developed to support a May 26, 2016 with Representative Kennedy and Senator Dayton, where the East-West Connector road was be discussed. As the road was opened on May 15th I’ve updated the document to reflect the important milestones since 2016 that led to the completion of the project. 

For over 40 years an East-West Corridor road has been a part of Highland’s Master Plan. The 1980 Master Street Plan below shows two alternate routes (highlighted in yellow).

1980-06-13 Street Master Plan

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

Highland-Newsletter-Masthead_thumb3

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

20201223_150709

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: