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Dear Friends:

I prayed for snow this winter, and it worked!  It’s interesting that we pray for things like snow, but…  There always seems to be a “but”.  We want the right amount.  We want it to melt slowly, unless we want to get up on the Tushar Mountains, in which case we need it melted with “dry roads please”.  The dry road request only applies if we are mature adults.  If we are younger we ask for mud and ruts.  After all, a totally muddy vehicle is a badge of honor, and surely someone will make the road passable for Grandpa and Grandma later in the spring.

We all see things differently and that is the beauty of it all.  I met a wonderful couple the other night at an ATV information night.  They moved here from California a few years ago and love our Sevier Valley.  It’s theirs now, too, and they are donating time and dollars to keep trails open and passable for all.

These new friends are amazing.  They’re such positive thinkers.  They’re good, common-sense folks.  I’d clone them over and over if I could.  But that probably wouldn’t be good, either.  I’m glad we’re not all alike.  That’s what makes the world go around.  We’re all so different, yet common.  Abraham Lincoln said, “God must have loved the common man because he made so many of them.”

This year, I’m determined get on the trails and enjoy nature.  I love to guide ATV trail rides, and my trips always come with a history lesson (sorry, I can’t help myself).  Those not wanting to look and learn can stay behind and enjoy a vista or stare at a tree.  I guess I never got over the grade school desire to “show and tell”.

Find a member of one of the local ATV Clubs and give them a hug for keeping the economy going and the trails fun and safe for all.  

Mayor David Ogden

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Dear Friends:

I am still learning.

Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning is young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”

As we mature (that sounds so much better than “get old”) we tend to become more rigid in our thinking.  This rigidity is sometimes excused as maturity or wisdom.  I’ve never been accused of too much of that, but I do have a conscience that works full-time while I’m awake and part-time as I try to sleep.  Decisions determine destiny --- and sleep time.

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Dear Friends:

I thought about tweeting my thoughts today.  If it works for the President, why not the Mayor?  But I’m not mad at anybody, and if I’m putting my foot in my mouth, I’d rather use 300 words than just 140 characters!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the role of government in a nation, a state and a local municipality.  While I love my country and my state, I’m most interested in what can and should be done in my own city.  Local government can be the most intrusive government.  It can be heavy-handed.  But enforcing rules and regulations should never become the primary purpose and focus of local government.

Local control is important if it’s used to further two purposes; providing services and building a sense of community.  If it is used for something other than these purposes, it can be seen as abuse of authority.

I ran into former residents Chris and Jeremy Busk recently while attending a BYU basketball game with my son, Jon.  I coached them all as boys, and I was delighted to see and visit with them. After catching up with their lives and asking about their folks (who are my “History Heroes” and represent every good thing from my growing-up years), I listened to both of them talk about how much they loved growing up in Richfield.

We had a good, old-fashioned love fest for our town and area.  It was easy to see these two men had developed a sense of community. They had benefited from ballparks built with donated money and hundreds of hours of donated labor. They had caring teachers who were mentors.  They had friends who inspired.  They had parents and leaders who cared.

Jon and I left Provo that cold night anxious to return to the valley and city we love.  Our spirits were lifted, knowing so many others would like to be going home with us.

 

Mayor David Ogden

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Dear Friends:

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic as we move into February of 2017.  On the other hand, there are also plenty of reasons to be pessimistic.

I generally like to think of the glass as half full.  I believe the purpose of lemons is to make lemonade.  Pessimism enters in when I think of two granddaughters currently learning to drive! But I’ve decided if I’m not optimistic, I’ll spend all my time crying!  To top it off, both of them live in big cities where drivers think it’s okay to drive inches apart at 75 mph.

I thought about having both of them come to Sevier Valley where we could drive down a country lane and Grandpa could give them all kinds of instruction.  Then I remembered that both could potentially have a say in where I live out my golden years.  I opted to not think about it too much and to remain positive.

The statistics are in our favor, and these two darlings are bright and talented.  Whenever the subject comes up at our house, we’ve decided the best course is to change the subject!  All the worrying in the world doesn’t change a thing, and quite honestly, I just don’t have time for it.  

I’m a realist, after all.  Both good things and bad things will happen as a result of my granddaughters joining the ranks of licensed drivers.  My optimistic side is reminded that to some extent, it will keep their parents off the roads!  Now that’s the truth.

Mayor David Ogden 

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Dear Friends:

Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

Have you ever wanted someone to watch a great movie that inspired you in some way?  What about watching a video of children or grandchildren?  When She Who Shall Not Be Named gets a picture of our grandchildren on her phone, she can’t wait to show me.  Even on the freeway at 75 mph, she will hold it out there for me to sneak a peek.  This is very tempting, and I have been distracted at times.

Unfortunately, actions have consequences.  Some friends of ours, Dave and Leslee Henson, retired and moved from the Wasatch Front to St. George a few years ago.  They were very active and walked or ran every day.  On one fateful day in June, 2013 somebody chose to text and drive.  The result was devastating.  Search YouTube for Leslee Henson and watch three short videos. You can observe a lot by just watching.

I recently had a meeting with leaders in our community, hosted by President Carlston at Snow College Richfield.  Elected officials, state and local law enforcement, media and others are teaming up with UDOT to promote a program called Zero Fatalities.  You can learn about it at www.zerofatalities.com.  You will find a tremendous amount of well-prepared ideas and encouragement to adopt a common goal.  “Zero” is truly the only acceptable goal, but it will take all of us to get there.

You’ll hear more about this in future columns.  If we can somehow help prevent one fatal accident, any amount of effort will be worth it.  Thank you to the Richfield Reaper for spreading the word.  We need more community partners to step up and help with this very worthy cause.  Zero could very well become our favorite number.

Mayor David Ogden 

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