These are some of my notes from the 2009 Eagle Mountain Budget Retreat held today 1/24/09.
The are only a few authorities granted to City Council Members. One of the most important is that of setting and approving City Budgets. From these budgetary items, policy is set to one degree or another. Voting on ordinances, resolutions, approving boards and committe members are other authorities that we have, however, these are items that we vote on that somone else has proposed and defined the wording. Budgets are the priorities for the city that are set by the council.
This past year was very smooth compared to other municipalities. We have had out bumps and bruises. We have had our challenges. However, I would take our budgetary and fininancial situation over any other city, county, state, or country that I am aware of.
While I did agree with other council members on budgetary priorities, the following were my issues and budgetary item proposals:
The economy has slowed and our city needs to respond appropriately. IN the past as we were growing rapidly I made a point of requesting additional staff to respond to residents needs in time of grown. I would like to think that city staff was increased at my insistence, but that may or may not be the case. However, now that the economy has slowed and a building permits have decreased to about 275 for the past year, we need to make sure that our staff is ‘right sized’ to handle the reduce work load as well as reduced revenue.
UTA Bus Transportation
: Now that UTA has received the federal transporation gratn, and the city residents have voted for the tax increase to support, and the council has authorized the tax I am expecting that UTA Express Bus service will begin very soon. I was told that UTA has worked out an agreement with the LDS church to use one of the chapels on Pony Express Parkway to serve as a Park and Ride lot. I think that is a win-win.
: We have come a long way in improving our image. However, we have a ways to go. We need to continue to behave as mature adults and put the interest of the city above our own. The current council is working wonderfully and I hope that will continue.
Porter’s Crossing: Porter’s Crossing, just east of Pony Express Elementary School will be up and running before the end of the current school year. This is an important project that will address both transportation and safety concerns within our city.
: Eagle Mountain has many parks that have defined our community. Many of them are the crown jewels of our city. We need to continue to maintain them in way that preserves their beauty and ensures that residents can use them.
: We need to continue to work closely with the Alpine School District and the local charter schools to ensure that we provide safe educational opportunities for our residents. We need to implement a safe crossing guard for the Rockwell Charter High School that cannot wait for the next budget year.
: As a direct result of the current economic situation, the plans for the Rec Center need to be put on hold until a more appropriate time.
Waste Water Treatment Plant
: We need to expeditiously follow through on our Waste Water Treatment Plant and provide the benefits back to our community.
: We should pursue recycling as it makes financial sense to our residents.
: There is a lot of ‘economic stimulus’ money out there that needs to find a home. We need to work to make sure that we get our fair share.
Utah Lake Commission
: We need to allocate budget money to join the Utah Lake Commission. This will give us a vote and a voice on this valuable resource in our close proximity. We need to do everything that we can to impact this commission from a transportation standpoint.
: The city needs to continue to improve communicating with residents. I continue to push for an SMS/Instant messaging system that residents can ‘opt in’ to receive emergency and other relevant city information.
Background check budget
: I had previously proposed an ordinance requiring background checks of candidates for Eagle Mountain elected offices. After speaking with city attorney Gerry Kinghorn, I have realized that an ordinance may not be the best way to address this issue. However, I would like allocate budget money to the City Recorder’s office to allow for back ground checks for candidates that choose to have that done. I also expect that based on the events of previous years, that any candidate that chooses not to have a background check and summary details made public will be toast.
These are the priorities that the Mayor, Council, and Staff arrived at the conclusion of the budget meeting
1. Transporatation (Internal/External)
3. Econimic development
4. Sweetwater Trail extesion, trail maintenece
5. School Safety/Crossing
7. Facility Planning
8. Parks and Rec development
Programs, facilities, organization, cemetary
9. Projects Completion (Sewer treatmetn, wells, parks, roads)
10. Mgt Issues
Financial Planning, Fire District, recycling