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 generously donated it to our Visitor Center. You should come and see it, and I’d be happy to arrange that. Remember, however, that we’re looking for more volunteers for the Center this summer and I’m in recruiting mode! It’s an incredibly rewarding experience, and I’d love to explain to you how you can help us.

Kelly is one of those rare folks who can look at something and see the possibilities. He has repurposed old windows and made them into beautiful cabinets for miscellaneous whatnots. We have whatnots galore in one of Kelly’s creations. He has just the right temperament and talent to build or fix almost anything.

Personally, I fall short on creativity unless I am on a stage in front of an audience. In that setting, I’ve managed to create misunderstanding, hate and discord, along with an occasional laugh.

Laughing with those who are laughing at me is a talent I developed as a boy. As an eleven year-old, I remember singing the song, Rubber Ball by Bobby Vee in front of my sixth grade class. It was my bright idea for “show and tell.” On the front row was a Navajo friend named Chet Bryant. He was so embarrassed for me that he crawled under his own desk as a favor to his friend.

If America’s Got Talent was around then they would have said to me, “If your phone doesn’t ring, you’ll know it’s us.”

Mayor David Ogden

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 swore were missing miraculously turned up right among the others.   So much for blaming the grandchildren for lost pieces.  We have decided to never again purchase a puzzle with hundreds of pieces that are the same shade of green.

I have been thinking about puzzles lately and I share this thought with you.  It is relatively easy to get the outside edge of a puzzle put together.  That’s how so many things in life are.  The framework of projects is often easily conceived and agreed upon by the puzzlers.  It’s the detail that takes time and effort and collaboration.  Unlike a puzzle, we can change the look of things as we go along.  If we doggedly say there’s only one way it will work; if we have no flexibility; then we can easily lose valuable participants whose contributions might yield a better result.

As we puzzle as to how our new Community Development and Aquatic Center should look and function, we must be willing to look at things from different points of view. I’m confident that it will come together and that one day, not so far away, we will all be saying that the parts fit.  We’ll find that it truly is a blessing that puzzlers and planners worked together with foresight and determination to put it together.

   

Nothing worthwhile is easy!

Mayor David Ogden

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 than any other time of our life, largely because it involves a lot of “firsts”.  I’m sure you and I could each name a hundred or more.  It’s a time of elasticity in the brain.  It’s the time our brain is built, rewired and remodeled.  We remember things.

When we become adults, most of that brain remodeling ceases.  I believe that adolescence is being stretched on both ends now.  We can’t just hold our breath while our children and grandchildren pass through it.  We can make a difference in the lives of our youth by simply and actively getting involved.

As always, I have made some resolutions for this year.  They don’t involve a lot of brain-stretching, but they do involve change.  I’ve committed to be more willing to listen and more willing to look at problems from different points of view.  Along those lines, She Who Shall Not Be Named has all ready declared that I need to readjust the way I look at my garage collection.

Mayor David Ogden

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 ready for development.  You can help!  Each of us has a different circle of acquaintances and contacts.  Please be on the lookout lookout for small manufacturers who want a beautiful, functional location that is ready for tenants.

There are other locations that fit into Opportunity Tax Zones on the west side of our community.. Sevier County Economic Development Director Malcolm Nash can explain the advantages of building or investing in an Opportunity Zone.

Everyone probably gets tired of hearing me say to shop locally.  It may sound like an old, tired phrase, but that doesn’t make it any less important.  Every resident should understand how the dollars spent with local merchants go all around our community several times.  It’s really the life-blood of a regional hub such as Richfield.

In my experience, our local businesses are very competitive for most goods and services.  Let’s make our own retailers the first and last place to shop.  If I honestly look at it, I have never once saved by traveling north or south to shop.  When you factor in the cost of travel, including eating, and the FACT that you buy more than you intended to buy, we would all be better off to shop here!  Besides, I haven’t seen too many stores from Salt Lake or St. George with their names on our baseball fields or supporting any number of local causes.  Let’s support those who make our community great!

Mayor David Ogden

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 plans for this new one we’ve started this week. Early on in my first years of being Mayor, I remember thinking that preparation and safety were paramount in my responsibility. Although they have their place and still occupy much of my thoughts for our citizens, they tend to ebb and flow as the weather.

I am anxious to help our youth see and understand their vital role in their families, our community, and in the world. I hope they can find satisfaction in being helpful and hopeful. I’m confident that most will be able to navigate the tides of life and the rivers of emotion.

However, the bridge-builders can’t seem to make bridges fast enough or inviting enough to get all of our youth safely across the gulfs and gaps that are ever-present. What can we do? It may sound simplistic, but I would say, “anything we can!”

Pray for them. Plead with them. Light the path when possible. Get help where available. And above all else, don’t fall into the trap of telling them we know exactly what their experiencing. We don’t!

Grandparents, our role is to love and support both parents and children. We grew up in a simpler time. It may be fun to say we walked uphill both ways to get to school, but we didn’t. Perhaps our most important duty is letting today’s children know that we absolutely love and need them.   Make it a good year.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

  • Mayor's Corner 8/8/2019

    Dear Friends: I love Summertime.  It’s the season for ballgames, picnics, vacations, nature walks, and road construction!  Well, maybe I don’t love that last one quite so much, but we’re knee-deep in several important projects in Richfield, and we will continue to see a great deal of street improvements over the next 2 or 3 months. Local contractors are currently working on three different projects.  The largest is a road maintenance project that will impact virtually everyone in town.  Using the...

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  • Mayor's Corner 8/1/2019

    Dear Friends: I believe I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy reading books by David McCullough.  Currently, I’m plowing (pardon the pun) through his book, The Pioneers.  My sister, Janet, suggested I read the book.  Lately, we’ve been talking about one of our ancestors who fell off the Mayflower.  Fortunately for me (and himself), he was rescued.  Otherwise, I guess I would fade away right now as I am writing about it. But I digress.  The McCullough book talks about the pioneer settlers of the...

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  • Mayor's Corner 7/25/2019

    Dear Friends: Last week, my sweetheart tended grandchildren at their home in Nevada.  While she was away, my job was to keep the garden and flowers watered.  I’m happy to report that she returned to find most of the greenery alive, and as a result, so am I! I know that Pioneer Day just passed, but I must say something about pioneers.  They knew they wouldn’t be around long enough to enjoy the shade of the trees they planted.  There’s a great lesson in that.  We plant and build and educate because...

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  • Mayor's Corner 7/18/2019

    Dear Friends: Today I’m writing about White Trash; not the plain kind, but the extra-special kind we are blessed with.  Anybody who has lived away from our valley knows how very lucky we are when it comes to our garbage collection.  It really is one of the best values in town or anywhere else! I have taken advantage of the White’s willingness to haul about anything I put out on the street. Today, I ordered another trash can --- $2.50 a month!  What a bargain.  I should have done it a long time...

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  • Mayor's Corner 7/11/2019

    Dear Friends: Given the choice of changing one’s mind or proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy with the proof. It’s human nature. We all like to think we have the right opinions and answers. I grew up a Dodger fan. My parents took me to two Dodger games when I was 13 years old. I’ve often wondered what would have happened had they lost those games? What if Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale hadn’t pitched those two shutouts? I may have become a Yankees fan. One of my...

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  • Mayor's Corner 4/11/2019

    Dear Friends: Our Sevier Valley Visitor Center officially reopened last week for another season! Along with the opening, the Center received a great upgrade. Thanks to Morgan and Michael Shaver of Dogberry Collections right here in Richfield, and the donated time and talent of Kurt and Andre Christensen we now have some beautiful wood accents in the Center. It really makes a great impression on our visitors. In addition, we have another beautiful display piece that is a perfect representation of hard...

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  • Mayor's Corner 04/04/2019

    Dear Friends: Recently, I’ve taken the opportunity to reread a two books by David McCulloch; 1776 and John Adams. I’ve also been reading a great book by Stephen Ambrose. These authors are so profound that I’m sorely tempted to just quote from their books, but I won’t. I want what I say to you to come from me. My humble thoughts aren’t nearly as clear and bright as those who inspire me, but nevertheless, I will share them with you. This week I am blessed to teach several classes of 7th...

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  • Mayor's Corner 3/28/2019

    Dear Friends: Recently, I’ve taken the opportunity to reread a two books by David McCulloch; 1776 and John Adams. I’ve also been reading a great book by Stephen Ambrose. These authors are so profound that I’m sorely tempted to just quote from their books, but I won’t. I want what I say to you to come from me. My humble thoughts aren’t nearly as clear and bright as those who inspire me, but nevertheless, I will share them with you. This week I am blessed to teach several classes of 7th...

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  • Mayor's Corner 3/21/2019

    Dear Friends: As I write this week’s message, I’m sitting it the Visitor Center admiring an amazing new exhibit. Jay Ogden has just created a beautiful diorama for the Center, featuring a beaver. It’s absolutely perfect! The combination of talent and hard work can often create something most of us consider to be a miracle. Please visit the Center anytime after the first of April or, as you might expect, I’m delighted to open up any time by appointment. We also have volunteers working on the...

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  • Mayor's Corner 3/14/2019

    Dear Friends: Recently, I heard my friend, Chet Torgersen, talk about how much he enjoys the song What a Wonderful Worldby Louis Armstrong.  It’s an old song that has always made me smile.  The song wasn’t actually written by the great “Satchmo”, but his rendition is bodacious (I’m trying to expand my vocabulary with seldom-used, descriptive adjectives)! I’d like to share the song’s lyrics because they speak volumes.  They make me think to myself, “What a Wonderful World.”  I see trees of green; red...

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