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

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