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Mayor’s Minute - June 15, 2022
A message from John Pohlman
Change can be very difficult for people, especially when they haven’t been able to listen to all the discussions about a topic. As a city, we have tried to communicate about road and utility projects, UDOT’s highway 89 project, park/playground changes and many other updates over the years. As your Mayor, I hold cottage meetings with neighborhoods to discuss concerns and address specific issues. For the past few years, the city has communicated with residents through the City website, the quarterly Ridgerunner newsletter, Facebook posts, and flyers. We also use the Community Core Council (CCC) and Youth City Council (YCC) to push out information to residents. I would like to ask if there are any other methods we can use to communicate more effectively with you?
At this time, I would like to explain a couple of changes the City has spent countless hours discussing and recently decided to move forward with.
1) The City has been printing, stuffing, and mailing utility bills to residents on a monthly basis. This service has become too much of an expense when we could easily send an email with the same information. As of August 1st, the city will no longer mail monthly utility bills to residents for free. If you choose to receive a physical copy of this invoice instead of an email, there will be an added $2.00 fee included on your monthly bill. This fee will be automatically included on your statement to cover the costs for printing and mailing out statements.
2) On July 1st, you may or may not notice the City is going to transition our contracted Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) provider to Farmington City. We have received these services from Kaysville Fire Department since the early 1970s, and they have done a great job providing us with a quality service. At this time, I and the City Council feel it is in our best interest to join or create a fire district that would allow Fruit Heights to have a voice in the future on how the services are provided and how the costs are allocated.
Starting in July, you may see an ambulance located in the city every day, and a fire truck will be stationed within city limits during the peak fire season (July 1st-Aug 1st). We feel these changes will allow us to receive a quick response to our emergencies as well as provide us an opportunity to create or join a fire district within the next couple of years.
If anyone has any concerns with these changes, I welcome the opportunity to have a conversation with you. Please send me an email or call, and I would be happy to listen to your concerns.
Support, Value, & Appreciation
Fruit Heights Mayor's Message April 2022
I am very concerned about our teachers! Undoubtedly, the teachers and administrators in our public schools have carried a heavy burden over the last several years, a heavier burden than they were already carrying. On more than one occasion, it has been brought to my attention that we have developed a general lack of respect and overall appreciation for the teachers in our public schools. There is a lot of burn-out felt within the schools, teachers and administrators are required to do more, and many of the students and parents have lost a sense of civility, each wanting to blame someone else for their challenges. The blame is often pointed toward the teachers. This is unacceptable in our community! We must recognize how much we, as a society, need quality educators.
“A country that fails to value its teachers, fails to value its future.” (David Puttnam)
I took some time to research how I can personally help the situation and a friend referred me to an Instagram post from Brooke Romney, a Davis County resident. She outlined a few things that we (as parents and community members) can do to show appreciation to our teachers and administrators. Below are a few suggestions, and I would ask everyone who reads this message to do one of them within the next couple weeks, even if you don’t have a student in the education system.
- Write a thank you note to a teacher or the principal of a nearby school
- Ask the teachers if there are any concerns you can talk with your child about
- If there are problems with your child at school, be willing to listen, support and solve the problem
- When you see something good happen at a school, share the situation with others
- If you have a difficult child, do all you can to support the teachers and help to improve the learning environment in the classroom
- Volunteer at the school as a PTO member, Community Council member, or as a classroom aid
- Even if you don’t have a child in school, help to supply the classrooms with needed materials (Clorox wipes, glue sticks, Kleenex, pencils, or snacks)
- Write an email to the principal outlining everything going well at the school
In summary, there is a pressing need to cultivate civility in our schools and to maintain a respectful climate, one where our teachers feel supported and know we value them. We all must participate. Our future depends on it!
Pinecones & Sagebrush?
Fruit Heights Mayors Message Oct 2021
With elections now underway, many residents have asked questions about, or have made jokes about the unique election process in Fruit Heights City. Afterall, who chooses party names such as PINECONE and SAGEBRUSH!? This “Mayor’s Message” is intended to address some of those questions so all will understand how our unique election process works. I must admit, when I first heard of the “Pinecone” and “Sagebrush” parties, I was skeptical. After becoming more informed, I have learned the benefits of a caucus vs a primary election and I have come to appreciate the heritage that this city continues to value for our election process.
Many years ago, the Town Council decided that municipal elections should be non-partisan, so national politics did not interfere with our local elections. They also decided to hold a convention to ensure we always had a choice for each vacant position on the ballot.
According to Forest Barker, Brig Harvey suggested that since he was a sheepherder and had so much open land that one of the parties should be the Sagebrush Party. Mr. Barker, who lived among the pines, suggested that one of the parties should be the Pinecone Party. They didn’t want to use names like liberty, people’s party, or citizen’s choice party to avoid confusion with national political platforms.
Every two years, caucus meetings are held at Fruit Heights City Hall to decide who will be running for office. Party chairs are charged to ensure that each party has candidates who will run for each open seat, so we don’t have an unopposed candidate. On the November ballot you will notice the parties are listed next to the candidate’s name. As a voter, you can choose one Mayoral candidate and two City Council candidates, no matter of their party affiliation, Pinecone or Sagebrush.
This unique process saves our city significant costs because we don’t have to pay to prepare, print, and mail out all the primary ballots. It also has proven to be a benefit because we are able to fill a ballot with quality candidates and provide choices to our residents, unlike several cities in Davis County who have candidates running unopposed.
Please take a few minutes to complete your ballot and turn it in before November 2nd. To help with ballot collection, there is a Red Ballot Drop Box that is safe and secure for residents to drop off their ballot any time, day or night. It is located on the south side of the parking lot at the city office building.
If you have any questions regarding voting, you can contact the Fruit Heights City Office at 801-546-0861
June 24, 2021
Dear Fruit Heights City Residents,
The 4th of July weekend is upon us, and I want to send out a quick word of caution to everyone who chooses to celebrate with fireworks. Please, please, please do so with extreme caution. The City Council passed a firework restriction ordinance to ban fireworks in areas of the city with lots of vegetation. The City is going to do as much as we can, utilizing the Sherriff, to enforce these restrictions. I would also encourage everyone to be mindful and show respect to your neighbors. Those who have small kids and pets in the house do not enjoy the noise from the fireworks. Please obey the City’s restrictions and show respect to your neighbors.
Also, we are in the middle of the driest summer in history, and because of such, the City, County and State have all banned open fires on the hillside. Please call 911 immediately if you see anyone with an open fire.
Let’s have fun celebrating the fourth of July holiday, but please do so using extreme caution and showing respect to your neighbors.
September 16, 2020
Dear Fruit Heights City Residents,
As you are all aware, we had yet another calamity come our way in 2020. The hurricane winds that blew through our region last week left some scars. Every neighborhood and household have been affected by this misfortune in one way or another.
As a city, we handled our response to this storm differently than we handled the windstorm of 2011. In 2011, Fruit Heights City dedicated a drop-off site for residents to conveniently take fallen trees. This seemed like a good decision at first. After weeks, our Public Works team was still working diligently to clear this area. The National Guard was called to help haul everything away because of the size of the project; this cost was substantial. Rather than repeating what ended up being an arduous task with a considerable price tag, we decided not to dedicate a dump site within the city. We felt if trees were already loaded in trucks and trailers, residents could drive a few more miles to the landfill. We negotiated with the landfill for the City to cover the green waste fees so that residents could drop their waste off free of charge. These conclusions were not intended to make you feel abandoned or disappointed. Rather, I hope you feel supported and buoyed up knowing we are conscientious of how your tax dollars are spent. For your information, the landfill reported there were 2,811 vehicles drop off loads on Saturday with little to no wait times or delays. As a comparison, on December 3, 2011, they had 2,481 loads dropped off “and it was complete mayhem.” It is encouraging to know we can learn from the past as we prepare for the future. I would like to thank the team at Wasatch Integrated Waste for their efforts.
Regarding outreach, neighboring cities (Centerville and Farmington) had more damage in terms of clearing roads and helping to manage public safety with fallen power lines. We sent staff and equipment in response to their request for help. Neighboring cities rendered service to us after the last windstorm, and we were grateful for their assistance. After our roads were cleared, it was time for us to return the favor.
On behalf of myself and the City Council, we publicly thank the city’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (Area Coordinators, Block captains, etc.) for their organization and communication efforts. No other city in Davis County has a functioning CCC like we have in Fruit Heights. These individuals volunteer their time and maintain certifications so that we, as a community, can be organized and prepared for disaster.
Most importantly, I thank you! All in all, I am yet again left awe struck at the goodness of the people in our city. I have witnessed hours of service and countless acts of kindness to neighbors and friends. For me, the cleanup has been exhausting and time consuming, yet rewarding. At first, I was overwhelmed at the daunting task, but after I started working alongside community members, I felt uplifted and sustained in our efforts. I am inspired at what we can accomplish together.
April 6, 2020
Dear Fruit Heights Residents,
In these turbulent times, I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community. I am amazed by what we do for each other and I am certain we will get through this time of commotion together. I just finished a call with the County Health Department. As of now, our City’s percentage of infected persons per capita is very low. Even with low numbers, it is in everyone’s best interest to continue to follow the Governor’s directive to Stay Safe, Stay Home.
These next couple of weeks will be pivotal and we need to be vigilant. Continue to practice social distancing. Wash your hands regularly. Do not touch your face. And enjoy spending time home with your family.
We will get through these challenging times together.
March 13, 2020
Dear Residents of Fruit Heights,
I hope this email finds each of you well. I want to assure you that The City of Fruit Heights is actively taking measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community. City decision making is centered on the protection of the health and welfare of our residents. I want to assure you that we are following the guidance and recommendations set forth by the State of Utah, the Health Department, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the virus. I am personally in frequent contact with County Health Officials.
To that end, the City has canceled all public gathering events in the City for the next two weeks, effective immediately. This action includes all City Hall room rentals and other public events. The City Council and Planning Commission will continue to meet as planned with some modifications to their meeting schedules expected over the next two weeks. Details and changes will be posted on the City website as available at www.FruitHeightsCity.com. As of now, The Health Department has encouraged our city to keep public parks and other open spaces (including the Mountain Bike Park, trails and the Golf Course) open. Health officials still want people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, keeping in mind that social distancing is a best practice, meaning avoid close contact with large groups of people, and stay home if you feel you are at high risk.
We are also working on solutions to continue to provide City services while protecting our employees. Currently, we plan to keep City Hall open for regular business, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If circumstances warrant changes, modified operating hours and further instructions will be posted on the City’s website and social media platforms.
As residents, please do your part in countering the spread of COVID-19 by taking care of yourself and your family. Everyone is encouraged to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water (or clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub), and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
If you feel that you have developed an infection and have symptoms of cough, fever, muscle aches, or shortness of breath, the recommendation is for you to call your local clinic first. You can reach the Utah Department of Health Hotline for Coronavirus at 1-800-456-7707.
This is not a time to panic, but a time to prepare and prevent. Stay up to date with the latest information from the CDC at coronavirus.utah.gov. The City will promote new information on the City website and across our City’s social media platforms as it becomes available.
Please take care and reach out to me if you need any assistance.
For Additioanl Information Click Here.
I want to personally thank everyone who attended the Cottage Meeting last night at the City offices. The meeting was informative and very well attended. The City requested this meeting of UDOT and Oak Hills Construction representatives to allow residents to be informed of the plan and ask questions about the 400 North intersection before roads are diverted in a couple weeks. There were a lot of excellent questions asked by residents, and we were able to get immediate answers to the inquiries. Below are a few of the points that were discussed.
- The 400 North project is divided up into 4 phases
- Phase “0” is focused on relocating utilities and building frontage roads
- If you experience utility outages, please call the utility company directly
- Phase “0” has already begun and will last until mid-summer (June-July)
- Phase “1” will begin to divert traffic from the 400 North interchange up to 650 North
- They will install temporary traffic lights at the new 650 North intersection to accommodate all the existing traffic
- They will begin removing dirt from under 400 North to accommodate the future road
- This phase will last until the end of the year or early next year
- Phases 2-4 will take another year to complete (estimated completion is the end 2022)
- Sound walls will be installed at the end of phase 4
- Construction is currently scheduled for 24 hours a day
- They won’t pound pylons at night at the 400 N intersection
- They will be removing dirt and driving big trucks around the construction site at night
- No traffic restrictions will be put in place from 7:00AM-10:00PM
- They will maintain all existing traffic flows
- They will create additional park and ride lots at Crestwood and Oak Hills
- If residents’ have concerns with anything, please call their hotline (888) 752-8789
- Join their Facebook page to get the latest updates https://www.facebook.com/groups/US89DavisCounty/
I personally found the information discussed at the meeting helpful and enlightening. I was grateful for the opportunity ask direct questions and my level of uncertainty regarding the construction process has decreased. However, I am still empathetic to the fact that the US-89 construction project is going to cause frustration with cars being diverted and people trying to use Mountain Road to bypass construction. I want you to know that city representatives and staff will do our best to control what we can control. It will be our goal help mitigate non-residential traffic on Mountain Road and find ways to maintain and enforce the posted speeds on our residential streets.
If anyone has questions or concerns with the project, please reach out to me or call the US-89 hotline directly.
Thank you for your understanding.
P.S. We have requested a similar meeting to be held before they begin construction on the Nicholls Road section. Please stay tuned.
Last week the Fruit Heights City Council conducted the annual Strategic Planning meeting to outline priorities and create a plan for the next year (and beyond). We began creating a strategic plan two years ago by identifying five Strategic Initiatives to guide our City Council meetings and priorities to reach our objective as a City:
“To provide and sustain a unifying environment where individuals and families work together to create an exceptional quality of life.”
This year we reviewed the initiatives and created assignments and goals to make sure we accomplish our objectives as your representatives.
The Five Strategic Initiatives are:
1) Improve Communication with residents
2) Fiscally Responsible
3) Building/maintain Infrastructure
4) Building a sense of Community
5) Creating a Plan for our future
Below are the assignments/priorities and areas of oversight for our City Council members.
Communications – Julia Busche
- Liaison with the Citizen Corps Council (Emergency Preparedness)
- Review city-wide response plans and submit changes to council
- Create a plan on how to communicate non-emergent information with residents
Community – Jeanne Groberg
- Liaison with Youth City Council
- Liaison with all civic activities with Kaysville (Fourth of July devotional, Veterans Day)
- Review City’s voting ordinance and propose changes to council
Planning – Diane Anderson
- Liaison for Planning Commission
- Liaison for Founders Day (Community)
- Liaison with the city ordinance and General Plan review/rewrite
Community - Gary Anderson
- Liaison for parks and trails
- Create a process for residents to perform service projects in the City
- Oversee a list of projects and update it on a regular basis
Fiscal Responsibility – Eileen Moss
- Create a plan on how to increase available funds without raising taxes
- Liaison with Mayor and City Manager to create a 5-year financial plan/budget
- Review financial information and decide if we need to hold a truth in taxation hearing this year
Mayor – John Pohlman
- Oversee City Council functions
- Liaison for Wasatch Integrated Waste Board
- Liaison with Council of Governments
- Plan and oversee ongoing cottage meetings
City Manager (Infrastructure)– Brandon Green
- Oversee and manage City staff
- Oversee and manage citizen concerns
- Oversee grants
Our goal this year is to find ways to effectively communicate with our residents. I will put together monthly messages and post them online to inform everyone about projects and issues going on around the city. If anyone has concerns or questions regarding anything we are doing, please get in contact with me.