I am now in my eighth and final year as mayor of Salt Lake County.
It has been a wonderful experience and I think my administration will leave Salt Lake County in general, and Salt Lake County government specifically, in better condition than when we arrived in January 2005.
We have done much, but there is still more to do and we have just 10 months to do it.
What started as an eight-year marathon with an inaugural speech in January 2005 is today a 320-day sprint. The finish line will be a smooth hand off to the next mayor. But before we reach that finish line, the following are some of our goals.
I believe Salt Lake County should be a nationwide leader in customer service, Salt Lake County should be one of the safest communities in the country and, with the cooperation of our 16 cities, a collaborative partner in regional planning.
We are determined to repair our public infrastructure in the unincorporated communities. We are planning a major push to rehabilitate roads, curb, gutter and sidewalk—to make our communities safer and more attractive.
We are improving our preparedness for manmade and natural disasters. I’ll report more on a statewide training exercise, The Great Utah Shake Out, in next month’s report.
We are enhancing our services to vulnerable populations and working every day to improve the quality of life for our citizens. That’s why I plan to ask the county council to put a park bond on the ballot this year. We must build and upgrade parks and to complete important trails in the foothills and along the Jordan River. The facilities will offer families safe, open recreation spaces for generations to come.
Our future must include clean, healthy air to breathe and water to drink; and clean, safe land to live on. The smoggy air we see and breathe during inversions should become a thing of the past.
This year we will also be very active in transportation planning, drafting a Best Practices document to interconnect with the cities—including sidewalks, bike routes, streets, roads and highways.
From Junior Jazz basketball to Meals-On-Wheels for homebound seniors, Salt Lake County provides excellent public services.
From clearing debris from creek channels to the creation of our emergency services office, we work every day to protect people and property.
And, from providing immunizations for thousands of youngsters who can’t afford them…to finding homes for abandoned domestic pets, Salt Lake County is here to serve.
Like I said, we’ve done a lot, but there’s much more to do.