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 inSide St. George - Spring 2014
inSide St. George - Winter 2014
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inSide St. George - Spring 2014
inSide St. George — Spring 2014

 SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN ST. GEORGE
 RED HILLS DESERT GARDEN CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS
 35TH ST. GEORGE ART FESTIVAL
 CALENDAR OF EVENTS






  

I write this column while at the National League of Cities Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C. It's not the first time I've attended this conference, but it is the first time I've done so as mayor. As mayor and city council, we come here to learn, network and meet with our US senators and representatives in their D.C. offices. Each time we attend, I think the most apparent take-home message is how fortunate we are to live in St. George! I know we aren't problem-free, but I'll take our challenges any day over the ones many of the cities in our country face. What I hope to do is learn from other cities and avoid as many of the pitfalls as possible as we grow and evolve as a city.

I've occupied the position of mayor for several months now. It has been busy, and I'm pleased with what we've accomplished together in this short time. Some notable items are:

• The council appointed Bette Arial to the city council to fill the spot vacated when I was sworn in as mayor.

• We changed the regular city council meeting start time from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM to make the meeting more convenient for citizens to attend. City council work meetings, which are also open to the public, continue to start at 4:00 PM since they generally don't include public hearings or action items.

• "Comments from the Public" is now the first agenda item on the first Thursday of each month at the regular city council meeting at 5:00 PM. We will generally take 15 minutes for these public comments, and there are three rules:

1. We will be respectful in our communication.

2. Those who wish to comment must be residents of St. George.

3. The topic cannot be one that is currently an issue scheduled for consideration before the planning commission or city council -- unless the other party involved in the issue is the City of St. George and not another person or entity.

• Near the end of each city council work meeting (normally held on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 4:00 PM) is now a standing agenda item "Reports from City Council Members". This gives each council member an opportunity to report to the mayor, council, and public regarding issues that have come out of recent board or committee meetings they have attended.

• At our first city council meeting in January, the mayor and council formed a new committee called the Mayor's Veterans Advisory Committee. We have already seen helpful recommendations and actions come out of this important committee! Several weeks later the council appointed three new members to the planning commission -- replacing three long-serving, wonderful public servants.

The council also replaced several long-serving members of the Dixie Center and Housing Authority boards. Other new boards and changes in assignments to existing boards are forthcoming.

• Construction of the Mall Drive Bridge is underway, as is construction to expand 3000 East and Little Valley Drive. Other road projects are in the planning stages and several major ones will be under construction soon, such as UDOT's Bluff Street and Sunset Boulevard intersection project.

• The Seegmiller Historic Farm project was funded and new buildings and features will soon begin appearing on the site in Little Valley.

• The All-Abilities Park is in its design phase after beginning with a public input phase that proved to be very helpful. It will be located at the front of the current Tonaquint Park on Dixie Drive.

• The City Council and I spent a very full day on March 25th listening to city department heads report on their short and longer-term capital projects and funding needs. We also spent several hours discussing impact fees. We are currently talking about priorities, the 2014-2015 city budget and our city mission and vision. All of this will help us in the development of our five-year strategic plan. The City Council and I have much to do. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve with these wonderful elected officials as well as the incredible managers and all employees of the city! Please continue to stay in touch and involved as we move forward together.