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.
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  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

Questions-Sitting-sm

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).

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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Council Preview for June 16, 2020

Budget 2The 2020-21 Budget will be approved at the meeting because we have a statutory obligation approve it. We will be dipping into to reserves a little to make the budget whole. That said, we were able to mitigate the negative impact the COVID related economic slowdown is having by putting a hold on wage increases and putting limits on non-essential project. We anticipate reviewing the budget on a quarterly basis as we better understand the impact of COVID on the city.

Our first presentation will be an overview of the city survey results which I always find interesting. If you missed this on the live broadcast I believe it will be worth watching on our YouTube channel.

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!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Council Preview for June 2, 2020

Road WorkPrior to talking about Tuesday’s agenda I would like to share with you some good news. Drum roll please! On Friday May 29th we received a schedule for the construction of the East-West Connector. Work will run from first week of June (next week) to the end of November.  The schedule is aggressive and relies on weather conducive to road work in November. If all goes as planned the road will be substantively completed by the end of November. Otherwise will it be completed in late spring of 2021.

An abbreviated agenda for the June 2nd City Council 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, May 29, 2020

Letter to 2020 High School Graduates

American Fork HS Logo 2 Lone Peak High School Logo Skyridge-Falcons-logo 2

My best wishes to all 2020 High School graduates. Highland City students who graduated from American Fork, Lone Peak, and Skyridge High Schools this year received the following letter from the mayor. Much of it is relevant to all of us, especially me.

Monday, May 18, 2020

City Council Preview for May 19, 2020

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Below is the agenda for our May 19th City Council Meeting along with my video preview. This meeting will 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).  If you want to provide comments in open comment (unscheduled public appearances) portion of the meeting or for any specific agenda item and are not physically present please call 346-248-7799 and use the meeting ID 839 5020 414. You can also send an email to council@highlandcity.org prior to the meeting. Staff will read your comments during the meeting at the appropriate time.

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

Monday, May 4, 2020

City Council Preview for May 5, 2020

Generic-Council-Preview_thumb4

Below is the agenda for our May 5th City Council Meeting along with my video preview. This will be a virtual/electronic meeting. We will stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch).  If you want to provide comments in open comment (unscheduled public appearances) portion of the meeting or for any specific agenda item please call in (253-215-8782) during the unscheduled public appearances portion of the meeting or send an email to council@highlandcity.org prior to the meeting. Staff will read your comments during the meeting at the appropriate time.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

City Council Preview for April 21, 2020

Generic Council Preview

Below is the agenda for our April 21, 2020 City Council Meeting along with my video preview. This will be a virtual/electronic meeting. We will stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch).  If you want to provide comments in open comment (unscheduled public appearances) portion of the meeting or for any specific agenda item please send an email to council@highlandcity.org prior to the meeting. Staff will read your comments during the meeting at the appropriate time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

2020: A Year of Hope – A Highland City Proclamation

Spring 2020

Everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to one degree or another. During what can seem like a dark time, Highland City wanted to bring hope to the community via a proclamation “2020: A Year of Hope” and an accompanying video.  I  hope you find it inspirational. We all hope for a brighter tomorrow and thanks to your efforts we will.

A special thanks to my wife Suzanne who was the inspiration behind the proclamation, Scott Hart who produced the accompanying video, and the city council for sharing their thoughts.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Mayor’s Message for April 2020: Silver Linings

Silver Lining - Fairview

Along with the rest of the world, we are going through a challenging time, but there are always silver linings. In this case we have a chance to develop creative solutions. Jeff Dyer, a Highland resident, co-authored The Innovator’s DNA with Clayton Christensen and Hal Gregersen. In the book they describe different exercises that can be used to develop creative solutions. One such exercise is to define a problem and then put constraints on the solution. According to Marissa Mayer, former Google executive, “creativity, in fact, thrives best when constrained.” Clearly constraints have been put on much of our life, giving us the opportunity to address many of life’s challenges in new ways. New solutions to problems will be found that will benefit all of us going forward.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

COVID-19 Comments for Today

Dawn

As Mayor of Highland City I would like to briefly discuss our present circumstances.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Majesty of Calmness – William George Jordan

The following is the first chapter in William George Jordan’s first book, The Majesty of Calmness. It is very apropos for the circumstances the world find’s itself in today.


alimagemness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-centred, self-reliant, and self-controlled. Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence, and conscious power―ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Highland City 2019 Review

2019 in review

If you haven’t filled out the 2020 city survey which is due by the end of March please take a few minutes to do so. It is  where you can help assess how the city is doing and provide input on priorities going forward. When looking ahead it is often helpful to look at what progress has been made in the past. Here is a summary of 2019 from a city perspective.

Let’s start with Highland in the news. We were covered in all major local and state news media as well as out of state and national publications. In all we appeared in print and video over 45 times during the year. Below are links to most of the coverage.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Utopia Fiber and Highland

(435) 200-4051.  Pin: 5500Fiber Optics 1

On February 4th, 2020 Roger Timmerman, executive director of Utopia Fiber, reviewed with the city council Utopia Fiber’s program for installing and running “Municipal Open Access” fiber in Highland (video, copy of slides). The short version of their proposal is:

Friday, January 31, 2020

2019 Road Projects Review

Road WorkWe completed 2.2 miles of rehabilitation (orange on map below) and 5.8 miles of preservation projects (yellow)) during 2019 at a cost of ~$1M. Five rehabilitation and one preservation projects were delayed for one year (red). Some of the money from those projects was applied to twelve preservation projects previously scheduled for 2020 which we were able to complete early. The remaining money was held to help fund 2020 projects. Note, 22 other preservation projects originally scheduled for 2019 were completed in prior years.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wimbleton Trail Referendum: Comments on the Do Not Sign the Petition Flyer

On December 3rd 2019 the city council agreed to sell trails and adjacent open space property in the Wimbleton subdivision to neighboring land owners. The map below shows trails in the vicinity. The yellow ones are those that the council agreed to sell.

I read with some interest the flyer I received today from the “Neighbors and Friends of the Wimbleton Subdivision.” The subject of the flyer was a referendum that was filed to overturn the city council’s decision to sell the trails and adjacent open space in the Wimbleton subdivision. The flyer states “You will soon be asked to sign a referendum to reverse the wise decision to sell this property.” Was it a “wise” decision?  Let’s begin by reviewing their questions and answers.