Mayor's Corner 10/18/2018

Dear Friends:

All summer long, we’ve wondered if we were going to turn into dust and blow away.  At the same time, other parts of the country have battled hurricanes, tropical storms and flood waters.  The gentle rains we had last week were the perfect prescription for relief.  We absolutely need a long, snowy winter, but those rains were a huge blessing.  We prayed for rain, and I certainly hope we’ve all expressed our individual and collective appreciation to the providential supplier of such blessings.

I had a knee replaced earlier this week.  The good news is that my chore list at home will be put aside for a few days.  It goes without saying that a full crew of workers would need to be hired to replace me!  Seriously, I’ve been very little help for months and my contribution to home duties has been only in my mind.  I’d like to say this was all by design, but it was really just a pain!  This too shall pass, and hopefully I’ll be able to earn my keep again.

I recently spoke to librarians from around the state who were in Richfield for a conference. After telling a couple lame jokes, I expressed my appreciation for our wonderful librarian, Michelle Olsen.  She is a wonderful person who is always thinking of others and trying to improve every person and situation.

Every day, in fact, I think of how fortunate I am to work with such great people here at the office and in our city.  Our employees and volunteers are amazing folks who do their best to make things work to the benefit of all of us.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 10/11/2018

Dear Friends:

Election season is fast approaching.  We’re not electing city officials this year, but you’ll have the opportunity to vote for county, state and federal officials over the next few weeks.  This year in Utah, the election of officials seems to be taking a back seat to ballot issues like Our Schools Now, medical marijuana, expanded Medicaid, and redistricting.  Study these issues and make informed choices.

One very important local issue will appear on Richfield residents’ ballots.  It’s the renewal of the city’s ZAP tax.  Eight years ago, Richfield residents voted to establish this small addition to the sales tax, which goes directly to fund parks and recreation facilities and programs.  This tax is 0.1%.  For those of you who are mathematically challenged like me, that amounts to 1 cent on a purchase of $10 or 50 cents on a $500 purchase.

That seems like a pretty miniscule amount, but it makes a huge difference in the city’s ability to maintain and equip our parks and recreation programs.  Last year those “few cents” on everyday purchases totaled $230,000.  An interesting and important fact to consider is that visitors to our community, whether they’re from elsewhere in the county or from the other side of the world, contribute to this tax.  We think that’s more than fair, since they also enjoy the use of our facilities and programs.

Without the ZAP tax, we would have to reduce or eliminate some of our services in this area, or increase taxes somewhere else to make up the difference.  You might be asking yourself, “why do we have to vote on this again?”  When the state legislature created the ZAP tax, they required that voters need to reapprove the tax every 8 years in order to keep it on the books.

Please don’t let this issue get lost among all the other ballot initiatives.  You’ll be receiving your ballots in the mail next week, and I ask you please consider this an important issue for Richfield’s future.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 09/06/2018

Dear Friends:

I had all kinds of things to write about this week; the very successful Trail Days celebration, a new effort to clean up neighborhoods and to make our city more beautiful; a plan to rid the community’s light and power poles of florescent yard sale posters, and many more ideas floating around in my mind.

Then, we had a tragedy that puts everything into perspective.  The national epidemic of teen suicide hit home in our own community.  I feel it’s my duty to try to help in some way.

I spent an hour with our police chief, Trent Lloyd, this morning.  I have never seen him so sad and feeling so powerless.  Please know that our great officers and those of the Highway Patrol who responded to this incident will be suffering for some time.  Professional help is real help and we have had that.  Time will heal wounds to some extent, but this tragedy will sting without a sure balm for healing.

Faith, blessings and understanding can help us negotiate the twists and turns we face in our journey.  We encounter things that we won’t fully understand in this life.  But hope and faith are closely related, and I truly believe blessings can be asked for and expected.  The hope necessary to keep on going has been promised and has already been manifested to many.

There’s a tendency to speculate about the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” of life. Don’t!  Instead, use sincere interest and concern to be a positive force for good with our youth.  Their journeys are different than ours were.  This tragedy has certainly brought that to light. Only one thing is certain to me.  Many of our youth are hurting and we must help them any way we can.

Mayor David Ogden 

Mayor's Corner 09/13/2018

Dear Friends:

This is a most beautiful time of year. You may notice a lot of visitors in town over the next week or so. It’s the annual Rocky Mountain ATV/UTV Jamboree! Dozens of volunteers will help insure that all will have a great time. Each of us will interact with our visitors in some way.

My greatest hope is that it will be a safe week. To that end, Intermountain Life Flight will be landing at the fairgrounds on Monday morning. They will be working with hospital professionals during the week and will be in town as much as possible. Help us keep things safe by watching out for extra ATVs on the streets.

Sevier County has worked hard to provide food and fun for these great visitors. I understand that local residents are invited to participate in a couple of the evening events. That’s great, because it will give us a chance to meet and greet people from all over our country and beyond.

An unrelated event happening during this Jamboree week is a special program at Richfield High School. On Thursday night, September 20th, Captain Ron Lewis, US Navy Retired, will present a program on remembering those American heroes who’ve never come home from war; our Missing in Action (MIA) and Prisoners of War (POW).

I’ve heard Captain Lewis speak. He’s an amazing person who loves our country. Everyone is invited to hear him and find answers to the questions we all have about the 82,000 Americans who have not yet be repatriated to our soil. Advances in modern technology are helping and other efforts are working, but we must never forget these heroes and their families

Please come for an hour of patriotism and promise. The event begins at 7:00 p.m., and there’s no admission cost. It’s sponsored by American Legion Sevier Post 37. God Bless America. And may God bless our fighting men and women who protect our freedoms at home and abroad.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 08/30/2018

Dear Friends:

Do you realize how many visitors we have passing through our valley every day? My experience this summer with our new visitor center has been enlightening. We have people from all over the world stopping to see us. And it’s not just at the visitor center. They’re staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants, and shopping in our stores!

Last week, some folks from a little island in the Bering Strait in Alaska stopped by. Now that’s remote.  Meeting people from all over the world is interesting, to say the least. Sometimes we run into language barriers. It’s similar to times when my sweetheart asks me to do something when there is background noise.

Fortunately, most people who travel know a little English. The same can be said for me! This minimal amount of shared English, along with some rudimentary sign language, usually gets the message across. If they jump up and down, we point to the bathroom. If they say, “where… Bryce  Canyon?” we reply, “by … Bryce House”. Sorry, I couldn’t help it! We actually go to great lengths to provide proper information. Helping travelers is downright fun!

I’ve learned that some locals don’t know much about our state and nation. We have wonderful ideas for fun and interesting places to visit right here in our own part of this beautiful state. Please stop by and visit with some of our great volunteers. They are amazing and helpful, and their goal is to help any and all find the right way to their destination. And when folks want suggestions, they’re ready with some great ones!

On a final note, last week we had our inaugural Trail Days celebration. By any and all measures it was a success. I will have more to say about this later, but I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to sponsors, participants, organizers  and the many, many volunteers who pitched in to help in any way.     

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

  • Mayor's Corner 02/08/2019

    Dear Friends: Two weeks ago on Sunday evening, She Who Shall Not Be Named informed me that she had a great idea. I fully expected it would have something to do with cleaning the garage, exercising more and/or eating less; but I was mistaken. Instead, she suggested that we each write our histories and give them to our children for next Christmas. I thought this was a great idea until she wanted me to turn off Bonanza and start writing---right that minute! Like most other times when she is...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 01/31/2019

    Dear Friends: As he stared at my various projects, my high school shop teacher would always shake his head and say, “sand it up.”  Those are, as far as I can remember, the only words he ever said to me. I sanded some of my work to the point it disappeared completely! I have friends who know how to build things, and do it beautifully. One of those talented individuals is Kelly Stewart. Last year, he resurrected an old pioneer cupboard and made it beautiful and functional again. He then...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 01/24/2019

    Dear Friends: I’m always amazed at the seamless transformation of the seasons at my home.  Magically, somehow, the Christmas decorations have disappeared and now hearts have popped up everywhere.  It’s not that that I’m unwilling to help.  It’s just that I am no help.  I have no sense of style or fashion, not to mention that my patience for such things never developed in my youth. We love puzzles during the holidays.  I’m happy to say they’ve all been completed, and the pieces we searched for and...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 01/17/2019

    Dear Friends: We’re always looking for new businesses here in the city.  There would be no better news than to have a company looking at our valley favorably when considering starting or expanding a business.  We need to have different sites available for different needs, and we do. As many of you know, we have a business park south of town.  It’s on the East side of Highway 118, near the Sevier County Maintenance Yard.  The park contains 70-plus acres of land, with all the utilities installed and...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 01/10/2019

    Dear Friends: You may not know (or even care), but I’ve served on the Utah State Board of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) for the past three years.  During that time, I’ve formed opinions based on the dozen or so seminars and some thirty-plus meetings with the top professionals in our state in that field.  These professionals lead JJS and make decisions about programs and strategies that affect our youth in schools, courts, and our Shelter Receiving Center in Richfield. Adolescence is remembered more...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 01/03/2019

    Dear Friends I’m asked regularly if it’s hard to come up with thoughts for an article each week. Thoughts race through my head like a whirlwind. The difficult part is organizing them so that they make sense! I received a “new to me” old book of poetry for Christmas. I already read hours of Kipling, Henley, Frost, Whitman, Burns, Cummings, Yeats, Dickenson and others. I’m tempted to quote the well-expressed thoughts of these pros, but I’ll resist. I can easily reflect on the year just passed or...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 12/27/2018

    Dear Friends: By now most of the plastic toys your children and grandchildren received for Christmas are broken and beyond repair.  The new clothing we received did not make us look any thinner. Do you ever talk to your clothing?  She Who Shall Not Be Named has caught me talking to nearly all my clothing, and I wasn’t being very nice!  Everything used to glide on and I could jump in and out of things in a second.  Now, clothing is made to trip me up.  Stockings must be put on while seated (and...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 12/20/2018

    Dear Friends If I talk any more about Christmases past, it will seem that I’m living in the past, and that’s definitely not the case.  To prove to you my forward-thinking nature, I’ve already resolved to eat less in the New Year and shrink. The intended result is that I won’t need to hold my breath when I tie my shoelaces! Over the past few weeks, our City has been blessed with a wonderful Messiah performance, Christmas Tree Lane, great concerts, dozens of basketball games and other events and...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 12/13/2018

    Dear Friends: Last weekend I was reflecting on what the Christmas season might have been like for some of my progenitors.  John Williamson Coons was my father’s grandfather.  He was born on December 7, 1853 in Bethlehem, Iowa.  His father, Lebbeus Thaddeus Coons is buried in our Pioneer Cemetery west of Richfield High School. John was the Sevier County Sheriff from 1889 to 1901.  His wife, Eliza Ann Ogilvie, was the daughter of George and Eliza Ann Ogilvie who were among the first settlers in...

    Read more: Mayor's...

  • Mayor's Corner 12/06/2018

    Dear Friends: As I was driving on Thanksgiving weekend, I happened to look up and see that we had a beautiful, full moon. As we traveled along (at the posted speed limit), I noticed that the moon seemed to be moving with us. It appeared to keep pace with us! As a young boy this perception fascinated me so much that I even stopped teasing my sisters and watched and wondered. As we mature and understand distance and perspective, we lose the wonder of certain things. If we’re not careful we can...

    Read more: Mayor's...

Richfield City Corp

75 East Center

435.896.6439