||At the end of May I officially announced my candidacy for City Council District Four for the next term; 2016-2020. I want to thank all those who have supported me over the past four years as your City Council representative and hope to obtain your support again.
With the City elections converting to a vote by mail only method, it will be important to get registered to vote as that is how the Salt Lake County Clerk identifies those who get a ballot which will be mailed to their registered address.
There will not be a primary election this year because two potential candidates have dropped out of the race. General election ballots will be sent to the residents about 30 days prior to the Election Day on November 3rd. When you get your ballot you can vote long before the designated Election deadline. For information on how to register to vote please go to the Salt Lake County web site at:www.slco.org/clerk or call them at (385) 468-7400. Thank you for being involved!
Here is a link to the City Council website:http://sandy.utah.gov/government/city-council.html
I’ve also included a link to the Sandy City District maps:http://gis.sandy.utah.gov/CityCouncil/index.html
Thanks to all for supporting Sandy City! Please contact me with comments or concerns or if I can assist you in any way. I enjoy serving you.
||This week was another eventful meeting. First up was a report from the City Reorder on the pending Sandy City Council candidate filings that have signed up to run for the council seats this year. In the “at-large” race six citizens have registered which includes the two incumbents; Linda Saville and Steve Fairbanks. In the district seats, Dennis Tenney and an opponent are running in district two and a local gentleman and I have signed up for the council race in district four. The result is that Sandy should have an invigorating election cycle this year where issues will be debated, vetted and most likely previously made decisions will be discussed.
There were a few other major items that we heard in public hearings that the Council subsequently voted in favor of (unanimously) and they are:
1. Public comment was taken and a final approval of the financing method for the $46.5 million dollar bond for Hale Centre Theatre was granted. We also passed a Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a lease agreement between the City and Hale Centre Theatre. The theater lease payments paid by HCT will fund the bond payments and yes, when I signed the final documents in behalf of the City Council and its residents I was a bit nervous. Watch for news on the groundbreaking date!
2. We also heard from the Automall dealers with regards to some changes so they can remain competitive in the marketplace. We voted to have the appropriate paperwork brought back next week for final approval. This will allow our dealerships to provide a fresh new look which is projected to boost their car sales.
3. Lastly, we formally approved the tentative 2015/2016 budget subject to the August public hearing wherein the Council will take public comment as a result of small increase in the property tax rate.
It was a short night as we adjourned around 9PM.
||The first part of the meeting started with a tour of the old (white) Granite LDS Church located near the intersection of 3100 East and 9800 South. Our Guide and owner of the historical building was Dr. Fairbanks, who is a highly talented artist and sculptor. The building which is begging to be preserved is filled with period art pieces, paintings and bronze busts of various prominent Americans and Utahans. This is a historically significant building which has been part of the Granite community and must be preserved including its over 100 year history. Today, its primary function is a storage facility for the artifacts mentioned, an art studio for Dr. Fairbanks and a spook alley for the local folks around Halloween.
After returning to City Hall we heard an update on the Hale Center Theatre pending lease negotiations, health insurance challenges as a result of the national health care impacts and more budget issue clarification.
There were several public hearings; the first was to vote on a proposed amendment to create a prohibition on feeding deer in residential subdivisions. As reported by various Sandy residents, the problem is that a Sandy resident, who has good intentions, feeds the deer located near their home which is usually next to or near the mountains. This feeding, over time creates a growing urban welfare deer population. When the person feeding the deer moves from the neighborhood, the deer remain and now, nobody is feeding them. Not knowing what else to do, the deer do what comes naturally, eat everybody else’s landscaping, flowers; they rake their antlers in trees destroying them, etc. These enlarged urban deer herds then cause traffic problems, vehicle accidents and other public hazards. The best solution is just don’t feed the deer and allow them to forage naturally for food. The prohibition amendment was voted by the majority of the Council to be continued for the next twelve months. I voted against this action as I felt we should just adopt or deny the ordinance prohibiting the feeding of deer as there is not much left to discover on this issue over the next twelve months.
The next public hearing was a conditional use permit provision reversion request from UTA on their Park-n-Ride lot on 11400 South and the TRAX line. UTA felt that they should not have to report to the Sandy Planning Commission on how they are doing with managing their park and ride lot. The City Council felt otherwise and denied the request to modify their conditional use as it maintains a check and balance system making UTA accountable for the lot as it affects the adjacent residential neighborhood.
The last Public Hearing was a presentation on modifying the 2014/15 budget and a public hearing for next year’s budgets. After the 110 million dollar budget was presented, three citizens got up and made various comments about their exceptions with the budget. The pending budget public hearing was continued until the June 9, 2015 meeting. The budget highlights can be found on the City web site including a summary contained in a power point presentation that simplifies the budget.
We also voted on various resolutions, one of which restricts fireworks in high fire danger areas of the city such as Dimple Dell, Bell Canyon, foothills and the like (my wife will now probably vote against me for that vote – she loves fireworks).
Finally, one of the benefits (although a minor benefit) of living in Sandy is the Movies in the Park programs. Sandy sets up a huge outdoor screen and shows free movies to the area residents. It’s a great night out with Family, friends and your children. Bring blankets, chairs and something to eat. The shows start at dusk and are contingent upon good weather. The first show of the season is on June 12, 2015 at Buttercup Park featuring the animated film; Big Hero. For more information you can go to:www.sandy.utah.gov/movies
||During the meeting, the Council voted to unanimously approve of the resolution supporting the issuance of a bond which will ultimately construct the new Hale Centre Theatre. After the new building is constructed Hale Centre Theatre will, in a similar fashion to that of their previous building, will lease the new theater building from Sandy for a period of 25 years. The HCT lease payment will match that of the Sandy City bond payment. The day after our Council meeting, we had a small ceremony where Mayor Dolan and I signed the resolution. Even though there are many more steps still to take, it appears Hale Centre Theatre is coming to Sandy!
We also heard presentations on the pending City Council and Public Utilities proposals. There is so much information to discuss on the pending budget issues that we have had to hear a department presentation every week over the past several weeks in order to go over basic services as provided by the various departments. The objective is that when we finally get down to approving the City budget, we feel that the process has been more fully vetted and we understand why the departments need (not want) the resources and funding they are requesting.
The next item was the long awaited public hearing on the Title Three Amendment to the Municipal Code (Animal Services Control) whereby it was proposed that Sandy City adopt a no-kill policy. A no-kill standard mandates that we not euthanize more than 10% of the animals impounded. This still allows Sandy animal control to euthanize those animals that are terminally ill or injured as well as those animals that are considered not rehabilitative.
The ordinance change would also require that the Sandy City animal services provide a TNR program for feral cats. TNR stands for Trap-Neuter and Return. Salt Lake County has been implementing this TNR program for several years and it is working. They trap feral cats, sterilize or neuter them and then return them to where they were trapped where they live out their lives without creating more cats. This is a pretty simplistic description of a very complicated issue, but I think most folks got the idea.
We opened the no-kill item up for public comment at the hearing (the entire Council Chambers were filled to capacity including the overflow section with residents, most of whom were from Sandy) after going over our public hearing ground rules. We received over 30 specific comments and of the 30 or so speakers, 28 were in favor of the new no-kill changes to the Code and 2 were against. In the end, the Council voted unanimously to approve Sandy as a no-kill City. The audience provided the Council with their approval by erupting in applause and even a standing ovation.
The next day, I met with Councilwoman Kris Nichol (the driving force on this issue) and her dog; Bayjo for a signing ceremony. For the first time in the history of Sandy City, a dog “pawed” its signature of approval as I signed the no-kill amendment officially establishing Sandy as a no-kill city! I have attached a copy of the pawing ceremony picture.
The last part of the week (Thursday evening), we held a BBQ at the Hidden Valley park pavilion on Wasatch Boulevard with several dozen supporters to officially announce my candidacy for City Council District Four for the next term; 2016-2020. The event was not nearly as cool as the previous items I wrote about above, but thought it might be noteworthy. I want to thank all those in attendance and to those who have supported me over the past four years as your City Council representative and hope to obtain your support again.
Thanks to all for supporting Sandy City!