I believe the Pioneers who first viewed this valley 152 years ago would be amazed at how much it has physically changed, but the spirit of its people is mostly unchanged.
Salt Lake Valley is one community and it can be made stronger by reaching out and building relationships among local governmental entities to build a better tomorrow.
The county is comprised of a myriad of local governments: cities, towns, school districts, water districts, sewer districts, and mosquito abatement districts—all with taxing authority to provide direct services to local homeowners and residents.
As the second largest government entity, behind only state government, the county experiences most of what happens statewide.
Over the past few years, we’ve had to make tough choices to keep our services functioning efficiently and effectively:
One Harvard professor reminds us that, “Leadership is disappointing people at a rate they can accept.”
I will end my seventh year as Salt Lake County mayor this November. I made a commitment to the citizens of Salt Lake County that if elected twice, I would be satisfied with two terms and not run for a third.
This means I have one year left as mayor of Salt Lake County, and there is no time to waste. We must stay focused to complete the aggressive agenda I set two years ago.
Between now and the end of 2012, I have set a number of priorities for Salt Lake County Government:
- Become a nationwide leader in quality government and customer service
- Become among the top five safest communities in the United States
- Be prepared to respond to all natural and man-made hazards
- Continue to be a leader in regional planning for new and existing infrastructure, ensuring healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities
- Remain a top tier location supporting economic development, arts and culture
- Become the “greenest” county in the United States, and
- Lead in serving vulnerable populations to assist them to live and succeed in their communities
These tasks are not easy, but attainable. We track our progress on a monthly, if not weekly basis. Salt Lake County provides excellent public services that assist our citizens in enjoying the excellent quality of life we’ve come to expect in this valley.
With some small exceptions, Salt Lake County has not raised countywide taxes for more than a decade.
In the face of a lingering recession, we have held the line on taxes while still preparing for the future by repairing our infrastructure, expanding and rebuilding county facilities and maintaining existing service levels.
Every dollar we spend affects people in real ways. And no matter what the economy, publicly funded government agencies have a responsibility to:
- Protect and unite our communities
- Educate and safeguard our children
- Protect our environment
- strengthen our economy
- plan for our growth
We’ve got 12 more months to do the job to the best of our abilities. I know you’ll like what you see.