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 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

Mayor's Corner 08/16/2018

Dear Friends:

Throughout time, a lot has been written about being on the right trail or path. We’re often warned of all the problems with choosing “a dangerous path.” At the same time the world is shouting that we should be independent and choose our own way.

Parents, teachers, coaches and leaders of every stripe are doing all within their power to help us choose the right path. Then along comes someone who simply says, “try this, or wear that, or comb your hair this way”, and suddenly all the wisdom that has been showered down upon us goes right out the window!

As for me, I was always on the right path. I was never influenced by the mists of darkness, or even the mists of Aqua Velva and Musk. By now you know that I’m kidding; at least a little bit!

There are two things that saved me from the armpit of despair.   Sports was probably my first saving grace. Sports can divert you from a bad path, particularly when you are coached by very good people who want what’s best for you and for the team. If nothing else, they wear you out, and that a very good thing for a teenager.

Second, but certainly of no less importance, is prayer. I’m not referring to my prayers, but those of parents, mentors and church leaders who could see the light at the end of the path which leads a successful and productive adulthood. Once there, we can all start praying for the next generation of boys and girls to locate the right path. And the cycle of life continues.

Speaking of paths or trails, I’m so excited to welcome you all to Trail Days next week, August 24th and 25th. There are so many events taking place, and it promises to be great fun for visitors and locals alike. Please check out all the details in the special supplement in the week’s Reaper. You can also register for events and see updates and detailed schedules at www.traildaysutah.com. Please come and enjoy great entertainment, food and fun. We’ve even added some great Native American Dancers to the program, so don’t miss it!

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 08/23/2018

Dear Friends:

Our inaugural Trail Days is here! Our great new festival is this Friday and Saturday, with headquarters at the city park and events taking place throughout the valley and beyond.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of volunteers have planned and worked very hard to bring this dream to fruition.  We know it’s going to be great, and we expect it to grow and improve each year going forward.  One of my assignments has been making arrangements to get some very talented Native American Dancers to come and share their wonderful culture with us.  Please come to the park and enjoy all of the entertainment and above all, HAVE FUN!

For some reason, I almost said, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  I said that once in a Pam Williams play that I was in. My character was King Noah, and I had some wicked Priests that followed my lead.  When I threw in that ad lib line, I thought that Pam would think it really funny.  She didn’t. You see, this was her creation and her dream.  She had written and rewritten the play until she was satisfied with every word, and she felt confident she had higher approval as well.  Then some acting neophyte, pardon the pun, tried to change the flavor of the whole play by being silly.

My sweetheart-director in life often has plans for many things at home.  She is organized and outworks me every day by hours. Often I don’t see her vision and waste my time and hers by organizing or reorganizing certain things.  I’ve learned that I do not put pillows on the bed.  I do not rearrange the fridge or cupboards.

To her dismay, I tried folding a quilt once and finally rolled it up.  In this life it’s important to know your roll (or role); sorry, I couldn’t help it!  Sometimes we have to fight the urge to rewrite the play.  Life is a play and we are the actors.  How we do our part can bless or curse those who occupy the stage with us.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 08/09/18

Dear Friends:

It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year: County Fair Week!  There’s such a great variety of events happening, and I sure hope that all of you have or will participate in some way.  I plan on being at the fairgrounds as much as possible.  The county fair celebrates our culture and talent, and it gives us all the opportunity to come together for a week of food, entertainment and fun!

It’s hard to believe, but school starts next week!  We’ve been painting crosswalks and making other preparations.  Our good friends at UDOT have installed new school crossing lights at 500 North and Main Street.  This was a very expensive project.  The effort and expense should serve as one more reminder of just how precious these little children are.

Children will be crossing roads all over our community and throughout the region. They’ll be excited with the prospects of a new school year, meeting new teachers, seeing friends they may not have seen for a few months, and telling stories of their summer adventures.  There may be times when they forget to look up and see the safety dangers around them.

Remind you kids and grandkids to make safety the top priority.  Make sure it’s your top priority, too.  Please stay alert and be watching for little ones walking, skipping or running. They are our future and our treasure.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

  • 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...

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  • Mayor's Corner 01/10/2019

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Mayor's Corner 11/29/2018

    Dear Friends: Mark your calendar.  Scribble on the back of an envelope.  Tie a string around your finger.   Whatever you do, please don’t miss next week’s great holiday events. Monday evening, December 3rd, at 7 p.m., the annual Snow College Christmas Concert will be presented at the Sevier Valley Center.  Tickets are only $10 each, or a family pack of 4 for $30, and you can get them at svc.snow.edu or at the door.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Snow College has a four-year music degree...

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  • Mayor's Corner 11/21/2018

    Dear Friends: The “fast forward” button on the remote control is not a popular item in our home. My better half has never been a big TV sports fan, but if she can sew, knit, crochet or write in her journal while I’m calling the game along with the announcers, she’ll put up with it. When I record games, my DVR allows me to skip the latest batch of ads from personal injury lawyers and fad diets.  So I fast-forward and, on occasion, accidentally (or not) skip a whole quarter of a game. This causes...

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  • Mayor's Corner 10/25/2018

    Dear Friends: In this life, there are very few things that I know for certain. One of these certainties is that we enjoy the freedoms that we have because others have been willing to stand up for it, here and abroad. We had an opportunity to thank a group of local heroes last weekend. More than two dozen of our friends and neighbors who served our country in Viet Nam participated in the Utah Honor Flight visit to Washington, D.C. As they returned on Saturday evening, community members turned...

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