Mayor's Corner 3/7/2019

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 graders. In preparation, I’m well aware that knowing those you teach and having empathy for them is very important. I’ve tried to remember what I was like in 7th grade. I have concluded that I have to get that thought out of my mind so I won’t act out in class!

My center of gravity in the seventh grade was near my arm pits. My interests ranged from sports to doing stupid stuff with friends to teasing my little sisters. School was okay, but I was not a great student by any measure, and sitting still for anything approaching an hour was nigh unto impossible.

My sympathy, without question, now lies with teachers. My better half taught school for twenty- seven years, primarily in middle school. God bless all teachers. May they make a difference in impressionable minds.

Gradually as junior high progressed and I could run as fast (or nearly as fast) as Beverly Bell, all was well. I actually did enjoy learning, and I remember several teachers who appreciated that fact and responded to most of my lame questions. Gradually --- very gradually --- my center of gravity lowered and learning once again was as fun as it was in elementary school.

By eighth grade I was mostly normal, whatever that means. Life was great. I have been blessed with an optimistic attitude and I love life. I’ve even developed a great exercise program that seems to be working. It consists of getting out of bed every day, showering, and getting ready for the day!

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 2/28/2019

Dear Friends:

I feel it’s only fair I tell you that last week, my wife and I went our separate ways.

Actually, I went North for meetings and she headed South with her mother, sisters and sisters-in-law to a Donny and Marie show and other fun things. The “odds are” that they had a wonderful time, but I may never know for sure. You’ve heard the saying, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

It’s not often that the Black Ridge has worse driving conditions than the Point Of The Mountain, but this time it was. Snow in St. George and Las Vegas is unusual, but last week proved it does happen once in a great while.

I went to the state capitol and participated in Rural Day On The Hill. I’m proud to know Senator Ralph Okerlund and Representative Carl Albrecht. They are constantly working to help Rural Utah. They both have great judgment and significant influence with other lawmakers. Their collaborative work with fellow elected officials has brought about some very good things for our area. Make sure you thank them when you see them.

Our county commissioners also work very hard for us every day. There are so many tasks and challenges in governing. I applaud anyone who ventures into that arena. We are represented very well by dedicated commissioners.

As I write this, I’m reminded that eating a jalapeño hot dog and drinking a soda late in the day leads to a restless night for me. My challenge now is to get home and put the last piece of a puzzle together that we’ve been working on. It has pictures of candy and sweets from my youth. I can almost taste the memories!

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 2/14/2019

Dear Friends:

Did you know that we’re approaching the 150th anniversary or sesquicentennial celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May of 1869.  Wow, that sentence was a mouthful!  I’d love to have city-wide party.  All I need to do is get train tracks laid down again from Thistle Junction to Richfield, so we can hear that whistle blow!

How many of you can remember that train whistle?  I could hear it from my house on 2nd West and 4th North in Richfield.  I’d probably have to be right next door now in order to hear it.  She Who Shall Not Be Named would tell you that the most common words heard at my home are “what”, “huh”, “pardon me”, and “please say that again”.

On May 10th we need to do something to remind us of the impact that the railroad had on our community and our area.  I would love to see old photos you may have.  At our Visitor Center, we have a picture of the train arriving in Richfield for the first time.  I’d love to show it to you, just as I show classes of fourth graders, middle schoolers and scout groups.  If you’ll share any additional photos with us, it would really add to the story.  Perhaps we could even make copies.

You all know I love the past, but I’m not stuck in it.  Looking back truly helps us see the future more clearly.  I’ve been reading Steven Ambrose’s book about the transcontinental effort, Nothing Like It in the World.  It was a fantastic accomplishment and it changed so much for so many.  Very few projects in U.S. history have had the impact of the transcontinental railroad.  Read about it and dream about it with me.

Mayor David Ogden.      

Mayor's Corner 2/21/2019

Dear Friends:

Last week a long-time friend, Larry Lamprecht, stopped by to see me.  I was impressed just how much his heart is full of concern for his fellow men.

We live at a time when people really need to step up and help others.  Many who read this might be thinking that they have been helping and that they always raise their hand up, especially when youth need our help.  Communities, church groups and youth organizations have done a great job, but there are still too many who slip into dark places where hope and value give way to despair and despondency.

Much has been written on this subject.  A favorite quote of mine comes from a talk by Spencer Kimball, where he said, “God watches over us; but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”

Lest you think I’ve slipped into a church talk, I want to say that some of my favorite people in this world are uncomfortable in a church setting.  But those same folks are constantly looking for ways to help their fellowmen.  I hope we can all be sensitive to promptings, whereby we recognize an individual who needs encouragement and we do something; whether it be a fishing trip, a talent shared or just a listening ear.

Some make the time to encourage a group of youth.  That’s great.  But “one at a time” is really where the big difference can be made.  It’s important to build trust with parents as we work with youth.  Miracles will happen as we share talents, build confidence and help a struggling individual establish a firm footing.  Before you know is, those you help will be reaching out themselves and lifting others.

I my view, this is a short and anecdotal request to dozens in our community who are ready, willing and able to help right now.  I applaud and plead at the same time that your enthusiasm, genuine concern and willingness to make a difference will grow and bear much fruit.  I am raising my hand right now and committing myself to be part of the solution.

Mayor David Ogden  

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 highly motivated and strongly suggests something, I eventually give in to the greater power and conform.

I love history, but I’m not so sure about my own. As I have studied genealogy and family history, I’ve pictured perfect, flawless folks without even so much as the occasional runny nose. Sometimes, that’s how histories are written.

I know enough about life to know that these people were probably not miraculously lifted up to heaven. They were normal people with plenty of faults. I also know that when you write a history of yourself, there’s no requirement to have it be a “tell-all” or a confession. With all of that in mind, I capitulated and accepted the challenge.

I plan on telling mostly the truth. I will make myself out to be an intelligent, studious child that was serious about all the right things. I actually remember this being the case twice in my life. Both times, I had just been caught doing something that won’t fit very well in my life narrative.

I’ll have to admit this has been really enjoyable so far. I wholeheartedly encourage all of you to get started writing or recording your history. It’s brought back memories of wonderful parents, kind teachers and inspiring coaches who helped me navigate through my youth and keep me out of jail.

There’s a tendency to either self-aggrandize or self-deprecate. The truth is generally somewhere in the middle. There’s lots of help out there to get you started with your own history, so please, no more excuses! It will be a treasure for many, whether you believe it or not.

Mayor David Ogden

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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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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