Mayors Corner 7/9/20

Dear Friends:

The Independence Day holiday is associated with family for most of us, so I’ve thought a lot about that subject this week.  I think many of us pray for our children’s safety for two reasons.  First, we love them and want what’s best for them in all circumstances.  Second, we don’t want to raise their children, as cute, smart and talented as they are!

We had our go at raising kids.  It was interesting.  It was challenging.  It was even rewarding for the most part.  We coached and kept score.  We comforted them as they got stitched up.  We cried with them when their friends were cruel.  We stood in Santa lines and wedding lines and we enjoyed it---mostly.

For me and many of you, our child-raising days were all pre-cell phones and social media. Today, you can be criticized, belittled and demeaned by people you’ve never even met. You can see things instantly and graphically that can disturb and disrupt life and ideas in ways we would never have dreamed.

If we are pressed into service to care for grandchildren, I am only sure of one thing.  She Who

Shall Not Be Named (SWSNBN) would do it all and do it well.  I would quickly and quietly turn into one of the grandchildren, and I would naturally require more help than any of them.  We’ve actually practiced this approach for several years now when they all come to visit.  I more or less turn into a vegetable, and SWSNBN steps up and does it all.  I am impressed and thankful beyond words.

Our Independence Day celebration went well, and I find myself thinking of all who pitched in to make it as normal and successful as possible.  We live in a wonderful community.  We live in a wonderful world!  It’s a world of order.  I was reminded of this on the evening of the 4th when the full moon came up, just as was promised, and the fireworks display was right on time as well.

With recent events, I look up to first responders like never before. They always step up and they always show up.  Carl Schurz, a great American statesman, journalist and Civil War general once said, “Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them.”

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner 7/2/20

Dear Friends,

It seems there is an almost unending list of reasons to be distraught, discouraged and downtrodden.  But overarching and undergirding our myriad problems is the fact that we control our own destiny

We live in the greatest country in the history of mankind.  The vast majority of our fellow citizens, thank goodness, recognize this.  Each time I visit our Sevier Valley Veterans Memorial, I take a minute to pause and ponder journalist Elmer Davis’ sentiment that’s inscribed there: “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Independence Day is this weekend.  While we’ve postponed a number of events until next year, we’ve chosen to have our regular parade (minus throwing candy to and at each other).   

Please be responsible.  Please use wisdom and good judgment when setting off personal fireworks.  Please wear masks so we’re not spitting on one another, and please practice social distancing.  It’s not a political statement; it’s just a small way we can show concern for one another.

Those with compromised immune systems and those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home.  We’ll see you at next year’s event.  But you can still enjoy the festivities with a live broadcast of the parade on KTTA 8.1 or Centracom Channel 10.  I express our community’s heartfelt thanks to Michael Parsons for making this happen.

When you watch the Stars and Stripes lead the parade up Main Street, think of what it has meant to us and signaled to the world for so many years.  It is Old Glory, and we must be brave and do the work required to keep her flying.

We probably won’t all agree about what work is needed, and we might differ on exactly what part we each will play.  But I believe if we all start by trying to do what we think is right and fair and just; if we consciously respond to our better natures; we’ll overcome our current bumps in the road and be happy and proud of the results.  God Bless America.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner 6/18/20

Dear Friends:

Years ago, I was in a UDOT training to become a flagman for a local contractor.  A question was raised about emergency flagging at night and people not dimming their headlights.  I raised my hand and said, “When people don’t dim their lights, I hit them with my brights to remind them to be more considerate.”  The instructor replied, “Well then, now two of you are blind.”

I’ve often thought of this lesson when I have been “straightened out” by others who have their bright light of ideas for me.  They’re ready for me to fire back with my bright lights. Actually, they sometimes think I don’t have any light at all.

What happens when we’re blinded by these bright lights?  What happens when neither party can see down the road?  The result is likely disaster and chaos.  It has served me well to remember the lesson I learned so many years ago.

With the current shouting and unrest that’s taking place in America, perhaps we need to resist the temptation to “hit ‘em with our brights” to teach them a lesson.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not endorsing the BLM movement.  In my opinion, many of their goals are misguided and will hurt America. 

I do, however, believe wholeheartedly in dialogue and discussion of ideas and a willingness to listen.  The dimming of our lights is a matter of safety and respect.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner 6/11/20

Dear Friends:

Our country and our world are seeing a great deal of turmoil these days.  It’s my experience that all too often, misunderstanding breeds contempt.  That can hold equally true on the National Mall or in our own personal dining hall.

It saddens me that still today, in 2020, we haven’t overcome attitudes that have divided us for decades and even centuries.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to do and be better.  When I hear the phrase, Black Lives Matter, my reaction may be simplistic, but it’s heartfelt —“Of Course They Do.”

Lack of understanding affects us every day.  We’ve been tending our two year-old grandson for a few days.  He’s cute, he’s smart, and he jabbers on incessantly.  If grandma (aka She Who Shall Not Be Named – SWSNBN) were not with us, I pretty much wouldn’t have a clue what he wants.  He does point at things, whereupon I say, “you can’t have that.”   Then, when much crying takes place, I decide to figure out what he wants and give it to him.

Understanding others is the great challenge of any age. We only have to miss one word in a sentence, or perhaps misinterpret the emphasis on a certain phrase, and suddenly the entire message is misunderstood.  Wars have been fought over these errors.

Often, the very best Ogden Family entertainment involves grandpa, thinking he knows what the conversation is all about, suddenly blurting out a comment or answer that is entirely off the subject.  I have an excuse --- I can’t hear!  But snickers turn to belly laughs and I’m left with the choice of laughing at myself or taking offense and leaving the party.  I’ve warned them all that their turn is coming, but I’m also completely sure that I won’t be here to enjoy it.

I have been promised by SWSNBN that the more I say on emotionally-charged subjects, the deeper the hole I will dig, and the harder it will be to climb out of that hole. As always, she is absolutely right.

So I’ll leave you with this simple thought.  Trying to see another’s point of view requires crossing a distance and looking back.  Sometimes you’ll see only an unrecognizable landscape. But it’s the trying part that is a must.  It’s the only way we begin to see the path that lies behind and between fellow travelers.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner 6/25/20

Dear Friends:

Last week, Richfield Reaper Editor David Anderson spoke to our Rotary Club about the news business.  How do each of us get our news?  How does it influence us?

David said that we tend to gravitate to news sources that support or substantiate our own feelings and opinions about issues and ideas.  It’s important that we take the time to be truly informed.  It doesn’t hurt to look at things from a different perspective once in a while.  I’m so pleased that we have a local newspaper and a local radio station (KSVC) that check their sources and sincerely try to be fair and balanced in their reporting.

Each of us choose each day, each hour, and in fact, each and every moment how we spend our time.  If we don’t plan these moments, we defer to someone else to do it for us.

Are there things that you can’t control?  Certainly.  There are inevitable moments of interruption.  If you work for someone, you naturally allow your employer to plan out some of your precious time.  Even if you work for yourself, you quickly discover that the best laid plans are often set aside because the real world encroaches. 

Years ago an older friend encouraged me to do certain things while I still had the youth to do it.  I didn’t fully understand what he meant until recently.  Something I had always wanted to do became available.  I finally had the time to do it, but my enthusiasm had waned.  Part of it was my ability to get around, but part was also that my imagination and anticipation has suffered.

So how do we make sure we do the important things at the right times.  The answer is obvious and it doesn’t take the effort I expected.  It’s called priorities.  It’s simply a matter of putting essential things first and being consciously willing to put some good non-essential things on a “get-it-done-when-I-have-time list.”

The summer season can be so demanding on each of us.  I encourage you to make a list and prioritize the items that should or must be done right away.  I’m pretty sure you will see that social media is way down on the list (or maybe not on the list at all).  You may find you have more time than you think.

Make time for what’s important.  Sometimes you don’t get a second chance.

Mayor David Ogden

                                                          

Mayors Corner

  • Mayors Corner 7/9/20

    Dear Friends: The Independence Day holiday is associated with family for most of us, so I’ve thought a lot about that subject this week.  I think many of us pray for our children’s safety for two reasons.  First, we love them and want what’s best for them in all circumstances.  Second, we don’t want to raise their children, as cute, smart and talented as they are! We had our go at raising kids.  It was interesting.  It was challenging.  It was even rewarding for the most part.  We coached and kept...

    Read more: Mayors Corner...

  • Mayors Corner 7/2/20

    Dear Friends, It seems there is an almost unending list of reasons to be distraught, discouraged and downtrodden.  But overarching and undergirding our myriad problems is the fact that we control our own destiny We live in the greatest country in the history of mankind.  The vast majority of our fellow citizens, thank goodness, recognize this.  Each time I visit our Sevier Valley Veterans Memorial, I take a minute to pause and ponder journalist Elmer Davis’ sentiment that’s inscribed there: “This...

    Read more: Mayors Corner...

  • Mayors Corner 6/11/20

    Dear Friends: Our country and our world are seeing a great deal of turmoil these days.  It’s my experience that all too often, misunderstanding breeds contempt.  That can hold equally true on the National Mall or in our own personal dining hall. It saddens me that still today, in 2020, we haven’t overcome attitudes that have divided us for decades and even centuries.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to do and be better.  When I hear the phrase, Black Lives Matter, my reaction may be...

    Read more: Mayors Corner...

  • Mayors Corner 6/18/20

    Dear Friends: Years ago, I was in a UDOT training to become a flagman for a local contractor.  A question was raised about emergency flagging at night and people not dimming their headlights.  I raised my hand and said, “When people don’t dim their lights, I hit them with my brights to remind them to be more considerate.”  The instructor replied, “Well then, now two of you are blind.” I’ve often thought of this lesson when I have been “straightened out” by others who have their bright light of...

    Read more: Mayors Corner...

  • Mayors Corner 6/25/20

    Dear Friends: Last week, Richfield ReaperEditor David Anderson spoke to our Rotary Club about the news business.  How do each of us get our news?  How does it influence us? David said that we tend to gravitate to news sources that support or substantiate our own feelings and opinions about issues and ideas.  It’s important that we take the time to be truly informed.  It doesn’t hurt to look at things from a different perspective once in a while.  I’m so pleased that we have a local newspaper and a...

    Read more: Mayors Corner...

  • Mayor's Corner 09/12/2019

    Dear Friends: I’ve been working hard to make the Community Development Center a reality.  I always enjoy reading The Richfield Reaper, and I particularly appreciated Melissa Winters’ comments in last week’s edition regarding the benefits of the proposed center.  I agree wholeheartedly. I always look forward to David Anderson’s Cruise Control.  David has had a unique view of life that is always engaging and entertaining.  Let me echo the sentiments expressed in the editorial about civility.  It...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 09/05/2019

    Dear Friends: I think I might have some kind of Attention Deficit Disorder!  I have several things in my office that distract me.  They keep me from things that are screaming for attention.  Procrastination may be a side effect of my ailment. One thing that always grabs my attention is old maps.  I’ve created one to teach various groups about trails through Utah.  It shows where Native Americans, traders, trappers, explorers and pioneers traveled to make their mark on our beautiful state and...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 08/29/2019

    Dear Friends: As reported in last week’s edition of The Reaper, the Sevier County Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with a bond election this November to authorize their funding and participation in a new Community Development Center.  I applaud their decision.  It took courage to take this bold step. As the agency holding the election, they have to be somewhat neutral (“Just the facts, Ma’am) in the way they approach this election.  I, happily, do not have that same obligation! Why do I...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 08/22/2019

    Dear Friends: Life’s hectic.  We are all constantly bombarded with so many issues.  The issue that is at the forefront of my mind these days is the proposed Community Development/Aquatics and Recreation Center. I’m happy to report that we’re making great progress. A project of this magnitude requires lots of planning and input.  It’s challenging, but I know the finished product will be worth it! We realized early on that a partnership between the City, the County and Snow College would be...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 08/15/2019

    Dear Friends: Life’s hectic. We are all constantly bombarded with so many issues. There are, however, some things that continually need to be brought back to the forefront, and I’d like to discuss one such issue. We have made great progress with the proposed Community Development/Aquatics and Recreation Center. A project of this magnitude requires lots of planning and input. It’s challenging, but I know the finished product will be worth it! We realized early on that a partnership between the...

    Read more: Mayor's...

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