I have a million things on my mind, but only the storage space for a limited number.  Solution?  I’ll get one thing off my mind and onto yours!  It’s okay if you only let it slosh around for a few minutes.  Then you can pass it on or delete it.

We live in an exceptionally beautiful valley with some of God’s finest people around us. Years ago when I worked with a lot of fine young men and women at the Ideal Dairy, I would often hear one or another saying, “I can’t wait to graduate and get out of here.”  I would reply, “just wait a few years and then we can talk about it.”

Now there isn’t a week goes by that I don’t have someone asking how things are back home and more often, “do I know something they or their spouse could do for work if they moved back home.”  I always reply that if they are willing to work, show up on time and be responsible, there’s always work available.

As Mayor, I’m always thinking of economic development.  If I ever try to delete this thought, it pops right back into my mind immediately.  We all should acknowledge that growth is a good thing; not wild, double-the-population-in-ten-years-growth, but steady growth that fuels our current economic engine and helps us expand established businesses by providing employees and customers. This type of growth is a blessing to all of us, and we should be willing to share our love for this area and its vast, amazing, natural resources.

We all travel to different places and encounter different people and businesses.  If you come in contact with a business that would be a good fit in our area, make a note of it.  Take a picture or get contact information.  I’d love to invite and encourage them to consider coming to our valley. What size business are we looking for?  The right size, of course!  Please consider helping our economic engine to continue running smoothly.  I’ll make it worth your while!  You might even be deputized as an official Economic Development Engineer!

Mayor David Ogden

Dear Friends:

Here we go again!  Youngsters are back to school and I’m laying awake at night thinking about safety. We live between the Snow College Richfield Campus, Richfield High School and Red Hills Middle School. In the morning from about 7:30 and 8:10, we avoid driving as much as humanly possible.  Afternoons when school gets out are nearly as wild.

Did you know that in the United States, one pedestrian dies every 1.6 hours, and another is hurt every 7.5 minutes?  Those are scary statistics!  These pedestrians, including children, mistakenly assume that cars will see them and stop for them.  That’s a dangerous (and sometimes deadly) assumption.

Drivers are worried about dropping off, picking up, getting to work on time, and a thousand other things that could be on their mind.  Today’s kids in Richfield are concerned with all the same things that you were when you were that age.  Unfortunately these young students, whether walking, running, or riding a bike are often not focused on safety. The shortest distance to school sometimes involves cutting across city streets on a diagonal.  Occasionally, kids glance up at cars.  Drivers, if they see the children, mercifully stop or slow down.  It’s like a wild dance.  It reminds me of watching Stan Jones dance when he and I were younger.  Stan was all over the dance floor.  It was entertaining, but dangerous!

Please watch out for the dangers out there, whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian. Teach your kids and grandkids that they are responsible for their own safety.  Don’t assume somebody behind a steering wheel is being responsible.  It doesn’t matter if you have the right of way if you lose your life!

We want this to be a safe year and a learning one.  It’s such a wonderful time of life for these youngsters and it would be tragic indeed to have any one of them hurt or suffering. Drivers, be alert.  A Stan Jones dancer could suddenly pop up in front of you.

Mayor David Ogden 

Dear Friends:

I recently attended the Utah Rural Summit in Cedar City.  There were several good discussions and Governor Herbert gave a very good speech on his 25K Rural Jobs Initiative.  He challenged us all to come up with ideas and solutions.  I will write more about this important issue in the near future.

Doug Griffiths was a keynote speaker at the event.  He is an author and motivator, and he really got me stirred up.  His book, 13 Ways To Kill Your Community, gives the perfect recipe for failure in communities, and I’m afraid it describes a few things that have taken place in our valley. 

I started by reading and highlighting chapter 13, Don’t Cooperate.  The emotions I felt as I read this chapter are hard to explain, but I’ll try.  When we are threatened or our point of view is questioned, our pride kicks in and we sometimes say and do some pretty wild (stupid) things. Instead of working with likeminded people on a common problem or doing something that creates synergy, we surrender to our selfish nature and we start looking for scapegoats.

Our county is not unique to this sort of thing.  It is quite natural to protect your own turf.  It’s also common to think that those from the other end of the county are being selfish and short-sighted.  The reality is that it’s quite natural to do both.  I usually avoid quoting from a book, but the last paragraph of the chapter is so good, I’m going to give it to you word-for-word:

“Fundamentally, killing your community comes down to refusing to cooperate with anyone.  Don’t cooperate with other people, other service clubs, other groups or other communities.  Focus on what divides you more than what unites you.  Concentrate on making those little arbitrary lines in the sand the real issue.  That will allow you to remain fiercely independent, and eventually you will be able to die…alone.”

Mayor David Ogden

Dear Friends:

I love this time of year!  With our summer rains, you can actually see the grass (and weeds) growing if you can sit still and observe for a few minutes. My flowers need watering twice a day and now that I have chickens, any travel away from home cannot exceed twelve hours --- so much for retirement and being a world traveler.

I do have a great imagination, however, and I have been several places lately that have been inexpensive and enjoyable.  I enjoy the benefit of no jet lag, and I always know where the restrooms are!

This weekend, our new Sevier County Community Theater is presenting the timeless musical, Mary Poppins?  I can promise you great music, acting and directing, and they really deserve a great crowd.  My son, Jon, has a part.  We’ll attend every performance, just like we did when he was younger.  I acted in some community theater a few years ago and I still remember some of my lines – with a little prompting.

We’re finally getting some long-needed repairs on 400 West Street.  Some lane leveling and a chip-seal will really help.  The teenagers won’t be able to catch air on the dip by the Seminary Building, and we will have to obey the speed limit to keep those rock chips out of the windshields for the next few days.  The street will be safer, because folks won’t be dodging the holes and bumps.

I’m a big fan of our part of the world, but an even bigger fan of the people and the spirit of volunteerism that is so prevalent in ours and other towns and cities in Southern Utah. We’re so fortunate to live here and I truly believe things are going to even be better in the future.

Mayor David Ogden

Dear Friends:

Ah, Summer Construction!  On the west side of our community, there’s a large freeway reconstruction project underway.  Like all construction, it will be wonderful when it is finished.

The demolition of the road is something we anticipated.  The contractor (a great local contractor by the way) is abiding by the noise regulations and hours agreed upon.

The unintended consequence that has occurred, however, is the redirected traffic hitting the rumble strips on the sides of the yet unfinished road.  Every time this occurs in the night, my wife hits me with her pillow!  I have lost hours of sleep because I’m not about to close the window. I asked her to sleep on a down-filled pillow, but now I’m waking up with feathers in my mouth.  This morning I awoke with a start as she was poised above me with both hands on her pillow.  She claims that she was having a dream, but...

I’m considering moving into the spare bedroom and installing a trip-wire of some sort.  She said that was what she was hoping for all along.  You would think we would be more direct after forty-five years of matrimonial bliss.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

  • Mayor's Corner 08/31/2017

    I have a million things on my mind, but only the storage space for a limited number.  Solution?  I’ll get one thing off my mind and onto yours!  It’s okay if you only let it slosh around for a few minutes.  Then you can pass it on or delete it. We live in an exceptionally beautiful valley with some of God’s finest people around us. Years ago when I worked with a lot of fine young men and women at the Ideal Dairy, I would often hear one or another saying, “I can’t wait to graduate and get out of...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 08/25/2017

    Dear Friends: Here we go again!  Youngsters are back to school and I’m laying awake at night thinking about safety. We live between the Snow College Richfield Campus, Richfield High School and Red Hills Middle School. In the morning from about 7:30 and 8:10, we avoid driving as much as humanly possible.  Afternoons when school gets out are nearly as wild. Did you know that in the United States, one pedestrian dies every 1.6 hours, and another is hurt every 7.5 minutes?  Those are scary...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 08/16/2017

    Dear Friends: I recently attended the Utah Rural Summit in Cedar City.  There were several good discussions and Governor Herbert gave a very good speech on his 25K Rural Jobs Initiative.  He challenged us all to come up with ideas and solutions.  I will write more about this important issue in the near future. Doug Griffiths was a keynote speaker at the event.  He is an author and motivator, and he really got me stirred up.  His book, 13 Ways To Kill Your Community, gives the perfect recipe for...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 07/27/2017

    Dear Friends: I love this time of year!  With our summer rains, you can actually see the grass (and weeds) growing if you can sit still and observe for a few minutes. My flowers need watering twice a day and now that I have chickens, any travel away from home cannot exceed twelve hours --- so much for retirement and being a world traveler. I do have a great imagination, however, and I have been several places lately that have been inexpensive and enjoyable.  I enjoy the benefit of no jet lag,...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 07/21/2017

    Dear Friends: Ah, Summer Construction!  On the west side of our community, there’s a large freeway reconstruction project underway.  Like all construction, it will be wonderful when it is finished. The demolition of the road is something we anticipated.  The contractor (a great local contractor by the way) is abiding by the noise regulations and hours agreed upon. The unintended consequence that has occurred, however, is the redirected traffic hitting the rumble strips on the sides of the yet...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 7/13/2017

    Dear Friends: Family.  What fun it was to have all of our children (save  Ryan) and grandchildren here for the Fourth of July Celebration.  Ryan is still in Peru serving with a large group of people trying to make life better for so many. We have been trapped in a seemingly never-ending heat wave. My daughters from Henderson, Nevada and Gilbert, Arizona insist that it’s only a heat wave is when it’s 115 degrees in the day and cools down to 105 at night.  We’re so fortunate to enjoy cool evenings here...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 6/30/2017

    Dear Friends: I actually opened the Reaper today and looked for my article!  It that a sign of something? Yes, it’s a sign of expectation.  I am so excited the Fourth of July is fast approaching.  To me, it means family will be here, and that’s wonderful.  Family loves you in spite of parting your hair on the wrong side and reciting poetry.  I love it and I love the Fourth here in Richfield.  It means so much to see old friends and catch up on where they live and how they’re holding up. Our city...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 06/21/2017

    Dear Friends: This will be my first musing without the great benefit of the Richfield Reaper.  As you may know, I’m running for reelection, and my weekly column in the newspaper is on hold during the election process. I’m anxious to see how many are interested enough to come to our website or Facebook specifically to check in on the Mayor, or who may be here for other reasons and decide to spend a minute reading my thoughts. I mentioned recently that I tested Richfield’s new chicken ordnance.  I was...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 06/15/2017

    Dear Friends: For nearly three and a half years, The Richfield Reaper has afforded me the privilege of visiting with you each week as Mayor of Richfield.  We’ve talked about everything from neighborhood cleanups to economic development to chickens!  We’ve even mentioned She Who Shall Not Be Named a time or two.  I appreciate the Reaper’s kindness, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my musings even half as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Last week I filed for reelection for another term as...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 06/08/2017

    Dear Friends: Richfield plays host to the Utah State Firefighters’ Association Convention this week. There will be a lot of Type A individuals running around town for three days.  Type A people are high achievers.  They’re competitive, outgoing and ambitious. This personality type is impatient if there is something that needs to be done and people are just standing around.  They jump in and make things happen. Most of you remember when we had a loud siren whenever there was a fire.  We went to a...

    Read more: Mayor's...

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