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: 

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 mayor@highlandcity.org). 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: