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.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Sept 15, 2020

This could be a longer meeting depending on resident input. The most interesting items on the agenda are:

  1. Preliminary plat approval for a 64.5 acre 69-lot subdivision to be known as The Hollows located at 10250 N 6531 W. There are two aspects to the development which have generated public interest. The first is preservation of wetlands in Mitchell Hollow and the second is a northbound connection to 10250 N.
  2. Whether or not to allow temporary signs (e.g. political signs) on public property.
  3. Authorization of additional CARES act spending by the city and a report of what we have spent to date.

An abbreviated meeting agenda together with my thoughts is shown below. This meeting will be held at city hall but there will be limited space because of distancing requirements. We will also stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch). 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Another Conversation on Building A More Inclusive Community

Learn-Feel-Act_thumb1On August 12th of this year we recorded our second conversation on racial inclusivity. This time our discussion included Alexis & Brandon Bradley, Briawna & Ronell Hugh, and Chelsi & Ivan Hurtt, as well as Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson of Lehi and myself (Rod Mann). It was another great conversation and one that is worth watching.

Here is an email we received from Brigitte Madrian, a Highland resident and the dean BYU’s Marriott School of Business, who watched our conversation:

Friday, August 14, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda Preview for Aug 18, 2020

This should be a relative short meeting. We will be covering a few items I believe are particularly important:

  1. Envision Utah will review a report based on an extensive survey they conducted for all Utah County that deal with the type of growth and locations residents preferred. If you are interested in what type of growth we can expect over the next 20 to 30 years in the county and where it will be located this will be a good presentation to watch.
  2. The council will discuss a resolution to indicate support for the funding and legal obligations associated with a $2M grant to help cover the cost of adding water meters to existing pressurized irrigation connections.
  3. An addition to our municipal code related to parking vehicles for sale on public streets. We've a had a number of complaints related to this and police will now have the authority to address it.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Highland City Council Agenda for August 4, 2020

This should be a good meeting. For me the most interesting agenda items are:

  1. Introduction to the council and residents of our new financial director Tyler Bahr. He comes to us from San Antonio, TX where he was an assistant finance director. He is enthusiastic and has a track record of improving processes.
  2. A Planned Area Development for 5.8 acres in Town Center (Apple Creek). This proposal includes two office buildings with a total of 23,000 sq. ft. and 42 homes: 16 villas (single family homes), 16 twin homes, and 10 brownstones (town homes). You can find more details on Apple Creek in the meeting agenda (Item #4 Staff Report). In the meeting preview video below I share some of my thoughts on the project.
  3. Creation of an Inclusivity Committee. This was an outgrowth of a couple of meetings that were held in June, including my Meet with the Mayor session. You can watch the June Meet with the Mayor and learn more about the genesis of the committee by reading this post.

An abbreviated agenda for the meeting is shown below along with my video preview. This meeting will be held at city hall but there will be limited space because of distancing requirements. We will also stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch). 

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

Monday, July 27, 2020

Your Change, Sir: Opening Our Eyes and Becoming Better

your-change-sirAbout 25 years ago I started a new job. Over time I became good friends with one of my co-workers, Eric Hughes. He is incredibly innovative, outgoing, kind, positive and has a great sense of humor. We were having lunch one day and talking about racial bias. I didn’t believe it was very prevalent. However, Eric, who is black, said it still existed and he regularly experienced it. As an example, he shared how some store clerks would put change on the counter rather than put it in his hand. I was taken aback and it caused me to look myself a little differently and see if I needed to do better.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

2019-2020 Highland Property Taxes & Fees Compared to Other N. Utah County Cities


In our recent city survey a number of residents commented about our high property tax and utility fees. Why are they so high? Well, in reality they are not. Our property tax rate is the 2nd lowest in N. Utah County and the 3rd lowest in the county. Our utility fees, including the road and public safety fees, are slightly less than average compared to other N Utah County Cities (I didn’t take the time to research fees for other cities in the county).

Below are charts and graphs that compare our property tax rate and fees with other N. Utah County Cities. Here are the assumptions used for comparison:

Monday, July 6, 2020

Highland City Council Preview for July 7, 2020

In this preview of the 7-Jul-2020 Highland City council meeting agenda, in my view, the most interesting items are:

  1. The Natura Solve presentation on an organic solution that can be added to our pressurized irrigation system that has the potential to reduce water requirements by 20% to 50% and fertilizer needs by 30% to 50% and
  2. The 3 open space maintenance agreements (items 4-6).
  3. The presentation by our library director where she will discuss fund raising goals.

An abbreviated agenda for the meeting is shown below along with my video preview. This meeting will again 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). 

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

Friday, June 19, 2020

Why I Support Spencer Cox for Governor

2020-06-19 Abby and Spencer bw

First let me say that I believe that we would be well served by any of the primary candidates for governor. I have listened to each in small group settings and have been impressed by them; both as individuals as well as the policies and ideas they espouse. Each candidate has supporters who I respect and whose judgement I value.