With Utah’s legislative session starting in just a couple weeks, there will be many important issues debated that impact Utahns in profound ways. One issue I plan to be personally involved with is the effort to create a statewide crisis intervention line. I blogged about the need for this resource last year, explaining why such a tool would help more Utahns get help they need to prevent the tragedy of suicide.
As we begin a new year, I see great opportunity for Salt Lake County to work as a regional government, collaborating with state and local partners to help address complex issues.
There are a few issues I feel are particularly important, and I’ll be focusing on them in the coming year: intergenerational poverty, criminal justice reform, suicide prevention, and improved transparency over the county budget.
I've heard instances in our community where minority children are being bullied since the election results were announced on Tuesday. Other children have said things like, "Now you're going to get deported," or "Go back to your country." I am sick about this! All of us parents need to have conversations with our kids and make sure it's clear that it's not okay to do. School administrators need to make it very clear that bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated and make sure there are consequences to those who do so. Please... this is not okay. Stand up and let your voice be heard that discriminating against race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, political leanings, etc. is NOT acceptable in our communities!! We are better than this!
These posters have been popping up in neighborhoods in Salt Lake County.
On Thursday dozens of law enforcement officers swarmed the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City as part of a coordinated effort to disrupt the drug trade among the area’s homeless. “Operation Diversion” was a collaboration between Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City.
People caught dealing or using drugs were arrested, but instead of simply taken to a jail cell, they were taken to a temporary receiving center. The goal? Connect them with drug treatment to interrupt the cycle of incarceration and drug use that plagues this population.
No mother wants to hear her child speak the words “I want to die.” But for parents of children battling depression, that is a fear. And for me, it became a reality when one of my sons was struggling and needed help.
This week, the Salt Lake County Council did not throw support behind the current terms of the tax incentive to bring Facebook’s new data center to West Jordan. We voted unanimously to direct our representative to the “TEC Council” to vote no.
(The TEC Council is the 8 member board comprised of various taxing entities which ultimately decides whether to accept the deal to lure Facebook here through tax incentives)
How a little bug can do a lot of good in our broader Jordan River management plan.
As a Salt Lake County Council member I get to learn about many different, pressing issues for the county. Sometimes that entails learning a bit about weevils. Normally considered a nuisance, last Friday I learned the value these bugs/insects are bringing to our management of the Jordan River.
Originally published in City Journals
The days are growing longer and warmer, and that means many county residents are looking for things to do outside this summer. We are blessed to live in the beautiful state of Utah, with countless scenic locations that draw locals and outsiders alike. But residents don’t have to go far to enjoy the bright summer days and pleasant evenings outside.
We want Salt Lake County to be a great place to live, work, raise a family, and recreate. Outdoor venues for a variety of activities contribute to good mental and physical health, and increase the sense of community our residents feel. We work better together as friends neighbors, and - yes elected officials - when we have a strong emotional investment in our community. I firmly believe adequate open spaces contribute to this community approach.
Whenever I face a budgetary decision in my role as a member of the County Council, I always ask myself some key questions. First, is this the proper role of government? In our zeal to solve problems and provide resources to our residents, it’s always helpful to constantly remind ourselves what the appropriate role of county government is. Second, is this an efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars? We want to make sure any government funded program, facility, or resource is operating with sound principles. And third, is this in accordance with the wishes of the taxpayers? Our job is to represent the people and their priorities as the public servants that we are.
The county’s open space amenities meet all three of these questions with a resounding yes. Open spaces are by definition a public good, our Parks and Rec department is a great example of efficiency, and voters have shown again and again the value they place on parks and open space.
We can always improve in our administration and management of county resources, and we welcome public input to help us do that. But I for one am pleased to live in a county that values the benefits to health and community that our beautiful outdoor spaces provide.
So this summer gather up the kids or grab your friends and come visit one of our many parks or open spaces. I hope to see you out there!
The Salt Lake County Council got a full briefing yesterday on the health of the county economy as well as the county budget. In a nutshell: our economy is strong and our budget is in good shape. This was part of our midyear budget review, which takes place in June of each year.