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

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 in our valley. Before you know it, we’ll be wondering where summer has gone!

As a rule man is a fool

When it’s hot he wants it cool

When it’s cool he wants it hot

Always wanting what is not.

Today, I called two old friends from forty-five years ago.  I just wanted to catch up on their lives.  This time, I happened to call when both could visit for a few minutes.  We worry these days that we’re interrupting something major.  It’s great to have a conversation when no one needs to check his/her watch.  

I’m writing this on City Council evening.  There’s often a little tension in the air on this night. That’s a good thing.  Government, by its very nature, is meant to be a little contentious.  If we agreed all the time, citizens would have a right to worry and wonder a little. We try to be polite and to speak with respect.  Most times that actually works!  Yelling doesn’t work at all.  Nobody likes to be yelled at, and it’s just not nice or productive.

Yelling, however, is permitted when you are herding animals.  Bringing an uncooperative animal’s genealogy into question is also okay.  Swearing is never okay, unless the animal runs over you without any provocation!  “Dagblasted” is okay anytime, but controlling your tongue is a major challenge when you are herding cats or chickens.  My advice: don’t even try!

It’s all part of the test and I’m shooting for at least average.

Mayor David Ogden

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 staff is running hither and yon putting up, making ready and generally working hard so all that gather here can enjoy themselves.  There is so much to be done that they all start early and finish late.

Let’s pause to think of the significances of this celebration.  What does it represent?  What kind of statement was sent to the world that day in 1776.  Those Founding Fathers were pledging their lives, and for many, it cost them their lives.  

We are the recipients of their sacrifice and their love of freedom. Our duty is to keep the reality of their commitment in our hearts and to share their dreams and daring with the next generation.  Were they inspired?  Absolutely, and this nation is special and will be blessed in spite of our follies and shortcomings.

So please enjoy the holiday and be safe with fireworks.  If even one youngster is injured, it’s one too many.  Grandparents, please try to remember what you felt like fifty-plus years ago and have patience.  Little grandchildren will grow up and remember the grandpa and grandma who loved the flag and what it represents.  They’ll carry on the responsibility of protecting our freedoms.

David Ogden  (Still Mayor and still loving it!) 

Mayors Corner

  • 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...

  • Mayor's Corner 06/01/2017

    Dear Friends: This week I want to talk about chickens.  I realize I’m being a little light-minded, but as the world reels with hate and danger, sometimes I just need a temporary escape.   I’ve discovered chickens (or writing about them in this case), is nearly as therapeutic as reading a good book.   I have chickens --- six little ladies.  Yes, they have names, but I’ll withhold them to protect the innocent.  They are afraid of everything.  They run here and there at the slightest provocation.  Once...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 5/25/2017

    Dear Friends: On Monday, we celebrate Memorial Day, one of the most important holidays on the calendar.  It’s a holiday with great meaning, but I’m afraid its significance is sometimes forgotten or overshadowed by the fact that it’s the first 3-day weekend of the summer. Memorial Day started as a day of remembrance for Civil War soldiers, and evolved into a day to honor and remember all American soldiers who have died in combat.  It also came to be the day we focus on all of our family members...

    Read more: Mayor's...

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