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

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 holding my breath).  Belts are more than just a fashion statement.  They need to have a certain amount of give in them.  It’s called the “bend and give.”

We are blessed beyond measure to live in this free land.  Challenges are ever-present and Freedom is still not free.  But we espouse that it is every man’s right to live in freedom’s light and we should accept the reasonability that comes with our liberty.

I was just reading about current living conditions in Venezuela.  It breaks my heart to know that millions, there and elsewhere, are mostly living minute to minute.  Trying to get even the most basic ingredients for a traditional holiday meal is completely out of reach for most.  The average Venezuelan lost 24 lbs last year.  Even though I’d like to lose some weight, this is a diet I don’t want to try.  Their inflation rate has now reached 40,000 percent.  Yes, forty thousand!

Suddenly, I’ve lost any interest in humor.  Don’t take our freedom and our blessings for granted.  May God bless the people of Venezuela with what they need for the light of freedom to shine in their hearts, their homes, and in their Halls of State.

Mayor David Ogden

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 Richfield in 1864. The Ogdens were relative late-comers, not arriving until 1872.

I can get carried away with history.  I also understand there are those who hate history, especially someone else’s, so I’ll move on.  Before I do, however, I must tell you that just minutes before writing this column, I was impressed to call my father’s cousin, Dan Coons, who is the family history authority and author of many documented histories of my progenitors. I learned that I had missed an email he sent me two days ago about his wife’s passing!  I was prompted to call Dan, and no one can convince me otherwise..

During this holiday season, please pay attention when you are prompted to visit or call an old friend or a new neighbor.  It may be that your visit won’t seem to make any difference or those you call on might even seem annoyed and interrupted by your call.  Trust me — do it anyway!

So many are alone and need company.  So many folks around us may be discouraged and disappointed.  They may not be feeling the excitement of the season.  Their “wondering awe” might seem more like “bah humbug.”  Even if you don’t appear to have cheered up your contact, it can do wonders for your own attitude and gratitude.

My office is always open, and even if it’s a sincere dog complaint, I’m glad for the visit.  Just remember to also share something that is going well with your life.  Regardless of the angst we may feel from life’s barking dogs, we need to separate them from the rest of our reality.  We’ll be happier for doing so.

Mayor David Ogden 

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 performances of all kinds.  This final weekend before Christmas, I’m excited to invite you to the 2nd annual Caroling in the Park event at the lighted tree in the City Park.

In recent years, the City Tree has been generously decorated by Richfield resident Doug Bentley.  The musical gathering at the park was an idea presented last year by Lucy Brown, a local 6th grader.  Lucy’s mom, Angela, recognized the potential and spearheaded the project immediately.  I’ve known and loved the Brown family for thirty years and I had faith in their faith that this would work.

This new tradition is the last Saturday before Christmas (which happens to be this Saturday).  Gather at the tree at 7:00 p.m.  Bring a flashlight.  Hot chocolate and song lyrics will be provided.  Carrying a tune is not required, but caring for friends and neighbors is!  Invite them to come along.  I urge you, no matter what the weather, to bundle up and prepare to sing songs of joy and goodwill as we gather at the tree.

I can envision, along with Lucy Brown, hundreds of citizens reveling in song as we firmly establish this great holiday tradition.  May we all have a joyful holiday season and remember this thought from CS Lewis, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Mayor David Ogden

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 stop paying attention altogether, and take for granted the things we should most love.

For some, I’m afraid the Christmas season is that way. It’s rather easy to lose perspective as we’re bombarded with the pandemonium that surrounds us in the 21st century version of this holiday. To truly appreciate and enjoy this special season, we need to step back, slow down, and recapture some child-like innocence. We need to wonder and imagine. We need to love and find joy. We need to once again notice the order of things.

May we respond to promptings to do and say and feel and share and imagine. May we feel the love that draws us back towards the Babe in the Manger. He, too, will always keep pace with us as we speed along through life.

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...

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