January 2016 | Vol. 16 Iss. 01
Ready for Flavor? By Linnea Lundgren
page 5 Barbecue sauces from Big Daddy Hillâ€™s BBQ, a West Jordan-run business. Photo credit Salted Orange Marketing Solutions
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Page 2 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
Meet the City Journals Team
he team at City Journals is excited to keep residents in Salt Lake County informed about the great things that are happening in local communities with each of our 12 publications. Our hyperlocal focus is designed to highlight news, city government, education, sports and businesses where it matters most – close to home. We encourage residents to reach out to us and let us know the great things they see happening in their neighborhoods. At the start of this new year, we extend our greetings and well-wishes to all of our readers. Bryan Scott is the creative director of the City Journals. He is the decision maker that oversees all departments, including editorial, design, distribution, operations and sales. Bryan has made Salt Lake City home for the last two years. Rachel Hall joined the team in 2015 as the assistant editor. She has experience as an ESL teacher, GED instructor and librarian, as well as a local news reporter in Houston. She is a native Texan, but has enjoyed her time in Utah since relocating here in 2014. Brad Casper is the director of operations who also oversees distribution of all of the Journals. He was born and raised in Utah and graduated from BYU-I with a degree in business management and finance. He is married to Lauren and together they have one daughter. Ryan Casper is the director of advertising. He has a sales and marketing background. He enjoys networking and building strong business partnerships. He is a diehard BYU fan and avid golfer. He graduated from BYU-I with a degree in communications. Ryan is a family man, married eight years to his wife Rebecca, and together they have three sons. Melissa Worthen is an account executive and also directs community outreach. She is actively involved in her community, and
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From left to right: (Back row) Steve Hession, Ryan Casper, Brad Casper and Bryan Scott. (Middle row) Elissa Wall, Melissa Worthen, Rachel Hall and Trevor Roosa. (Seated) Stacy Nielsen and Melody Bunker.
enjoys supporting non-profit organizations and fundraises to benefit others. Her focus with marketing and advertising is making connections with companies for long term growth that benefits local business and community. People are her primary focus. She is married with two children, two dogs and a rabbit. Elissa Wall is an account executive who joined the sales team in 2015. She actively participates in community outreach programs throughout the state. She is eager to help her Journals’ customers find the right fit for advertising that will help their companies grow. Steve Hession is an account executive who has worked for the Journals since 2009. He
has many years in advertising sales and sales management Steve and his wife Julie live in Sugar House. Stacy Nielsen is the advertising coordinator. She has a background in sales and management and is a writer. Utah has been her home for seven years. Melody Bunker is a designer at the City Journals. She is originally from the Philippines, where she spent 13 years designing newspapers. She currently attends classes at ITT and is married to her husband Jordan. Trevor Roosa is a designer for the Journals. He attends The Art Institute of Salt Lake City and is studying graphic design. He is l originally from Wyoming.
f you come across hazardous household waste during your cleaning, remember it’s important to dispose of properly. The Trans-Jordan Landfill, 10873 S. Highway U-111, accepts a variety of hazardous waste, including: • Paint • Pesticides • Oil • Transmission Fluid • Antifreeze • Batteries • Household chemicals • Ink jet cartridges • Electronic devices Materials can be dropped off free of charge, Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. While you’re there, visit the re-use shed to see if there’s anything you might need. You’ll find paint, household chemicals, as well as lawn and garden chemicals that are still useable and free to the public. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Call Trans-Jordan Landfill at 801-5698994 for more information. Report illegal dumping of household hazardous waste by calling the Salt Lake Valley Health Department tip line at 385-468-3862. Remember we all live downstream. l
THE WEST JORDAN TEAM
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Page 4 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
Jordan Valley Medical Center Physician Removes Record-breaking Tonsils from Utah Patient 16 beers on tap
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WEST JORDAN — Dr. Ryan Gilbert, ENT, physician from Jordan Valley Medical Center, presents the Guinness Book of World Records title for largest tonsils to 28-year-old Patrick Kelleher of West Jordan. Gilbert surgically removed Kelleher’s tonsils on May 9, 2014 after recurrent episodes of tonsillitis and a trip to the emergency department. Kelleher’s condition was not improving, pushing Gilbert to remove both tonsils at Jordan Valley Medical Center. “My condition made it difficult for me to swallow and breathe, and I knew there was something wrong,” Kelleher said. “After the surgical procedure, I had no idea my tonsils were considered the largest removed at Jordan Valley Medical Center. It wasn’t until Dr. Gilbert approached me with the idea to apply for the Guinness Book of World Records that I fully understood how unique my situation is.” Kelleher’s left tonsil measured 6.0 cm (2.4 in) long, 3.5 cm (1.4 in) wide, and 3.0 cm (1.2 in) thick, and the right tonsil measured 5.0 cm (2.0 in) long, 3.6 cm (1.4 in) wide, and 2.6 cm (1.0 in) thick. His left tonsil weighed 28 grams and the right weighed 25 grams. “Patrick was referred to me after his trip to the ER. The inflammation inside his throat reached critical levels, which affected his breathing and ability to properly swallow,” Gilbert said. “The inflammation probably wasn’t going down on its own, so I knew surgery was a good treatment option for Patrick. Once the tonsils were removed and our team measured and weighed them, I knew they had to be record breaking. With Patrick’s permission, I sent in his Guinness Book of World Records application form and received an official letter awarding him the title. It was an exciting and happy moment for Patrick and our team. We were able to turn a scary situation into a positive outcome.” Gilbert is a board-certified otolaryngologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. He has been affiliated with Jordan Valley Medical Center for six years.
Dr. Ryan Gilbert surgically removed Patrick Kelleher’s record-breaking tonsils on May 9, 2014.
About Jordan Valley Medical Center
Jordan Valley Medical Center is a 183-bed, state-of-the-art hospital located in West Jordan. Jordan Valley Medical Center is equipped with the most advanced medical technology and offers comprehensive health care services, including emergency care, cardiac care, orthopedic care, advanced surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging, maternity care, sports medicine, and help for a broad range of medical conditions. With an experienced medical staff of more than 600 and a dedicated health care team, Jordan Valley Medical Center is committed to providing high-quality care in a friendly hospital environment. Jordan Valley Medical Center is directly or indirectly owned by an entity that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff. For more information, visit jordanvalleymc.com or call 1-866-431WELL (9355). Follow Jordan Valley Medical Center on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jordanvalleymedicalcenter. l
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ombie hockey players have been seen roaming the halls of Copper Hills High School. The wins for the Grizzlies have come at a price: less time in their comfortable beds. The Grizzlies’ average game start time is 9 p.m. but they have managed to stave off the alarm clocks and capture six wins to begin the season – including wins in their last three games in a row (East, Olympus and Hunter). “Our team is looking real good this year. I think we could win state. We have a good chance. Some of our games start late, but that is a constant scheduling problem,” senior defenseman Kayden Houser said. Against Hunter Nov. 9, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Tyler Kesten and Brett Armstrong. Freshman Mason Walsh started in goal and saved six of 11 shots he faced. In the third period Walsh was lifted for senior Brock Roberts, sparking a Grizzly rally to help pull out the victory. The Grizzlies allowed Hunter to tie the game and after exchanging goals in the second period. They then scored the game’s final three goals to win 8-5. Cody Long had a hat trick (three goals). Roberts has saved 89 percent of the shots he has faced this season. He has only allowed 12 goals. “Walsh is only a freshman and is such a little guy, but for his size he is amazing. As he gets older he could be one of the best in the state,” Houser said. Kesten is the team’s leading goal scorer. He has netted eight so far this season. Houser, William Frandsen and Dahlton Sims sure up the Grizzly defense. They are allowing only three goals per game. “It is different to play high school hockey compared to travel teams. We have more support; usually the cheerleaders and some crazy
Freshman goalie Mason Walsh saved six shots in his debut against Hunter. Photo courtesy of Kolbie James
fans come out and get loud for us,” Houser said. They were scheduled to play Herriman Monday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Accord Ice Arena in West Valley. Dec. 14 they played Sky View at the Eccles Ice Arena at the University of Utah. The Grizzlies are currently in third place behind Brighton and Bingham. The high school hockey season continues through February. Uintah is the defending state champion. l
January 2015 | Page 5
Ready for Flavor? West Jordan Man Brings Real BBQ Sauce to Town By Linnea Lundgren
ack when Lee Hill was a child, the spice jars and ketchup bottles in his North Carolina kitchen were always empty. “I probably upset my parents on more than one occasion,” he recalled. He emptied their cupboards and used his imagination to create new-and-improved barbecue sauces. “I learned a lot about dialing in flavors.” Decades later, and now living in West Jordan, Hill continues to experiment with flavors, but now he bottles his best and sells the product to fans, including barbecue connoisseurs in his home state. He and his wife, Monique, operate Big Daddy Hill’s BBQ Sauces. Their business offers eight sauces and five spice rubs, which are sold at local farmers markets in addition to Amazon and Peterson’s Market in Riverton. “I want to offer something that puts all the flavors I love under one brand,” Hill said. His palate for good flavor may have begun at home, but it expanded after he joined the Air Force and traveled the world. Wherever he went, he sought out local barbecue joints. Time spent in Texas and Arizona gave him an appreciation and knowledge of peppers. Keenly aware of the ways a good barbecue sauce can transform a meal, Hill became dissatisfied with grocery shelf varieties, or as he puts it, “pancake syrup in a bottle.” “I knew I could do better,” he said, and kept trying to convince his wife. Finally, she asked, “Well, why don’t you?” So Hill, who holds a master’s in health care administration and works for the Utah State Tax Commission, took 76 Mason
jars of his original barbecue sauce to the farmers market last year, but only six sold. He was disappointed, but not defeated. They repackaged their sauces with professional labeling, nicer bottles and reformulated with no preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup and no GMOs. They now order 6,000 bottles for distribution and hope to one day expand into a larger commercial kitchen. Popular sellers include his Sweet and Tangy sauce, Apple BBQ rub and a Java Cow Rub made with a special Millcreek Coffee Roaster blend. Some sauces are even kid-approved. They’ve spied their 8-year-old son Luke devouring spoonfuls of their Honey Chipotle sauce at the kitchen table. He declares it to be “better than ketchup.” While Utah may not have a year-round barbecue season, Hill said the sauces and rubs adapt well to indoor cooking. Their family uses Ghost Pepper sauce to liven up and sweeten homemade chili; they glaze Bourbon Blues over chicken and lather pulled pork in Sweet and Tangy – their original Carolina mop sauce. They sprinkle rubs on meats, nachos, breakfast potatoes and salads. The couple launched the business with $100 from savings and no other financial assistance. They’re proud of their self-sufficiency as well as an expanding product line, which for 2016 includes a raspberry chipotle rub and a hot sauce using the No. 1 hottest pepper – the Carolina Reaper. The business has provided them with means to pay for their 7-year-old daughter’s cerebral palsy therapy and hopefully a transferable business both children can pursue.
Hill’s parents, who tolerated his childhood experiments and were critical of his barbecue vision as a viable income source, visited this past summer. At the Wheeler Farm Farmers Market his parents watched in disbelief as customers purchased all of the Big Daddy Hill’s products. His father looked at him with surprise and said, “You did this?” To that Hill responded, “No, we did this – myself, my wife and my kids.” l
West Jordan residents Lee and Monique Hill selling their barbecue sauces at the farmers market. Photo credit Salted Orange Marketing Solutions
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Page 6 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
‘Beauty and the Beast’ Engages Play Goers By Mylinda LeGrande
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Belle dances with the Beast as she falls in love with him. Photo courtesy of John Mrykalo
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“Be Our Guest” Musical number. Photo courtesy of John Mrykalo
isney’s play adaption of “Beauty and the Beast” came to the stage at Joel P. Jenson late in October, a West Jordan Youth Theater production. It ran the last two weeks of the month, surprising and delighting audience members. “Beauty and the Beast,” based off the French fairytale “La Belle et la Bete,”tells the story of a prince who is turned to a horrible beast (Bronson Todd) by an enchanting witch whom lives in a dark castle hidden deep in the forest. An angry witch, disguised as a beautiful woman, casts a spell on the prince. He will remain a beast unless he is able to have someone truly fall in love with his new, ugly appearance. Meanwhile, Belle, (Cora Stone), a spirited village girl, turns down the village hero, Gaston as her suitor (Wade Flannagin), preferring instead to read one of her favorite books. When her father, Maurice (Ethan Van Valkenburg), the town oddball and inventor, is kidnapped by the beast, Belle offers to take his place in the castle. As a captive, Belle meets the castle occupants, once human, but now under the witch’s spell, who have become various animated household items. The maitre’d turned to Lumiere, played by Tanner Summens, is now a candelabra. Summen’s inventive costume featured torches in place of his hands. The housekeeper, Mrs. Potts (Elisha Keen), is now a teapot, and her son, Chip (Alice Byrom), a teacup. Cogsworth (Cormac Romaine), once a concierge, is now a clock. Madame De La Grande (Mikayla Bowman), is a charismatic wardrobe. If these characters can convince the Beast to make Belle fall in love with him, in return, they would be returned to human form. Actors Stone, Flannagin and Todd exhibited their near-Broadway quality voices throughout with their singing and true-to-life, foreign accents. Flannagin’s personification of Gaston was both hilarious and engaging. He stole the show with his cartoon-like facial expressions as he frequently flashed his toothy grin throughout the play. Act one included an amiable musical number, ‘Be Our Guest.’ It turned out to be the highlight scene of the play, which included most cast members. It was plethora of fun involving dancing spoons, forks and singing village girls, resulting in a colorful and spirited rendition of dramatic fun. This show’s play cast performance was exceptional considering that the characters, The Beast and La Lou, needed to be recast within days of going to stage. WJYT included very young cast members up through age 19, comprised of mostly West Jordan citizens. Celeste Stone, one of the two directors for the production said anyone is welcome to audition for West Jordan Youth Theater productions. “The recast characters have been a positive addition to the show. They learned their parts very fast,” Stone said. For this particular WJYT production, the stage area was limited, but with the ingenious and versatile sets, it made for creative and pleasing scenery for the audience to enjoy. The substantial and imaginative stage
sets included a small medieval village, a castle exterior and interior, a village pub and more. Besides the scenery, props added nice touches to the setting throughout the play, including using the magic rose hidden under a glass dome, which was highlighted in many scenes. As per the story, when it lost its last pedals, the effects of the spell on the castle’s residents would be permanent. Because of stage specifications, it did mean for extra long scene change times that were necessary to maneuver large set pieces in and out of the small back stage area. Director Stone indicated that the group needs their own facility to perform in. “We have storage available at the old library which is also used for rehearsal area. It is not a good area for performing large shows. However, for smaller shows it is feasible to perform there. Many schools cannot let us use their facilities because they have their own theater productions, so it interferes [with that]. It’s nice that they let us in here [Joel P. Jensen], because many schools don’t. For this production, we didn’t know where we would be and what dates we would have until almost halfway through rehearsing. What would be nice would be if we didn’t have to worry about it. Our main goal is to have high quality shows. A lot of our funding comes from [ticket sales]. Last year’s revenue was $17,500. In addition, the city gave the group $3,000, much of which came from ZAP. In order to continue to put on this type of quality show, we need a bigger budget. We need to make more money so we can continue,” she said. “Beauty” ran smoothly without too many technical problems, except the occasional cutting out of sound equipment. There did appear to be a lighting problem, though, in which the castle scenes were poorly lit, which provided a less visible view of what was going on the stage. “The community and youth theater are very strong. Here is the challenge: West Jordan does not have its own community arts center. We have the Viridian, as the county facility, but we don’t have a priority on it. This [auditorium] is awful. They have a kiva [to use] instead of a stage, with no curtaining. The back stage work is hard because there is only 5-6 feet to work in. Because of this, the set changes take longer to do. They have to be very creative with set pieces. They cannot be very deep. It is just un-ideal. When you get a licensed production like ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ you pay high royalties and have expensive costumes. I do think they may break even with ZAP tax donation but it is not a lot,” Kim Coleman, member of the house of representatives and parent of ensemble cast member, Dallin, said. Despite its challenges, “Beauty and the Beast” displayed a good deal of talent from acting to production. It was a performing arts highlight in West Jordan this fall for many residents in the surrounding community. l
Local Girl Scouts Earn Top Awards By Julie Slama
Girl Scout Sienna Weir earned her Silver Award by helping at the Goshute Preschool and Early Childhood Development Center. Photo courtesy of Julie Weir
everal West Jordan Girl Scouts recently earned the top awards at their level and were honored at the Girl Scouts of Utah awards recognition on Oct. 24. Girl Scouting’s highest award is the Gold Award and can be earned by a girl in ninth through 12th grade. Nineteen girls across the state earned their Gold Awards. The Silver Award is earned by middle school-aged girls, and 114 Scouts earned that distinction. The Bronze Award is designed for fourth- and fifth-grade students, and 374 girls earned that honor. Each award is based upon leadership, volunteer hours and a project that is sustainable and will improve the girls’ community. “Girls have hopes, ideas and dreams that when put into action can make an impact on society,” Girl Scouts of Utah chief executive officer Janet Frasier said. “Girl Scouting’s highest awards provide a platform for girls to make a difference.” Six West Jordan Girl Scouts earned their Silver Award, including Sienna Weir, who helped at the Goshute Preschool and Early Childhood Development Center by getting together with Building Youth Around the World to volunteer and donate school supplies. “My favorite part about doing my Silver Award was working with others to serve others in need,” Sienna said. “When I delivered all the items gathered, the look on their faces was priceless. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you serve others.” Other Silver recipients include Maeghan Lasley, who set up recycling bins in various places in the community after recognizing the abundance of discarded aluminum in parks, streets, businesses, schools and homes; Meghan Stegner, who, along with her troop, made items for girls with eating disorders; Jacey Sorensen and DeNelle Jacobsen, who volunteered at the Utah Humane Society to help people identify the right homeless pets to take home; and Cindy Brempong, who helped at animal shelters, made toys, assisted with donation drives and volunteered at stables. Twenty-one West Jordan Scouts earned their Bronze Awards. Their projects include helping at Utah Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, Cooper Ridge Senior Center, Primary Children’s Medical Center, Family Promise and Shriner’s Hospital, while others made a quilt for a girl who has leukemia, kits for an arts festival, helped children with disabilities and more. The Bronze recipients include Makayla Bradshaw, Alyssa Christensen, Katelyn Christensen, Sasha Cox, Alyssa Escobedo, Madelyn Green, Ellie Hoggan, Rachelle Jacobson, Katrina Labrum, Alyssa Meadowcroft, Elizabeth Mills, Bailee Moyes, McKelle Pugmire, Aryana Ratcliffe, Trista Rogers, Jessica Santistevan, Marie Spencer, Sierra Taylor, Angella Van Valkenburg, Shaelyn Welch and Farren Wood. l
January 2015 | Page 7
Page 8 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
West Jordan Approves Purchase of New Playground Equipment By Taylor Stevens / 2015 Review: Story originally ran in September 2015
The playground equipment at the Wild West Jordan playground in Veterans Memorial Park will be among the first to be improved with the money from the city’s bond.
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he city council voted unanimously at its Aug. 12 meeting to approve a purchase order for playground equipment and installation at 10 city parks with a dollar amount set not to exceed $507,000. The purchase is part of a larger project that was recently approved by the council, made possible by a $4 million bond, to improve the safety and quality of park equipment across the city. “We have some playgrounds that are about 20 years old,” said Kim Wells, West Jordan’s public information officer. “Life of playground equipment is 15 years.” Recently, the city has had to close some parks because of unsafe equipment, and this purchase order will help fund improvements at 24 parks in West Jordan. Of the $4 million, $1,177,500 will go to playground equipment, $440,000 will be used to replace park pavilions, $250,000 will be
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used for sprinkler upgrades and the remaining $90,000 will be used for improvements at Ron Wood Baseball Park, according to Mayor Kim Rolfe in the city’s July newsletter. The city budgets half a million dollars each year to go toward park repairs, but found that it would be cheaper to borrow money now and do the improvements all at once than to spread them out over multiple years, Wells said. “Back in 2010, the city put together a list of park projects that they needed to do to improve safety,” Wells said. “It’s quite a big list, and they’ve been trying to figure out the best way to implement these repairs to make it cost effective. They didn’t want to raise taxes, and this way of bonding accomplishes that. It also protects the kids when they’re playing; it makes things a lot more safe.” The equipment and installation order the city approved Aug. 12 will go toward improving the first 10 parks on the city’s list. l
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January 2015 | Page 9
Mayor Rolfe Files Lawsuit Against Council By Taylor Stevens / 2015 Review: Story originally ran in October 2015
Mayor Kim Rolfe filed a restraining order against the city council on Aug. 24—a lawsuit that, if it had been granted, would have stopped the council from discussing the mayor’s authority and pay at its bimonthly meetings.
ayor Kim Rolfe’s lawsuit, filed against the city council to prevent the council body from discussing and making changes to his authority and pay, was rejected in a Salt Lake City courtroom on Aug. 25. Rolfe had filed the restraining order against the council a day earlier on Aug. 24, stating in court documents that he and his family would be financially harmed if his status as mayor was moved from full-time to part-time and if his salary were reduced from $90,000 to $10,000 a year. He said it would be a detriment to the city as well if he were unable to put in the hours he is currently working as full-time mayor. “It sounds like he has asked the judge to stop the council from discussing this issue. That is the purpose of the council: to discuss issues like this,” Councilmember Ben Southworth said when the lawsuit was first issued.
Honorable Ryan Harris declined the restraining order, stating that the issue was political and should be handled within the realm of the city council, where the council body is within its rights to discuss and make changes to the mayor’s authority. The business item set to discuss the issue was tabled indefinitely at the city’s Aug. 25 meeting, but it was far from over. “I’m very frustrated with what I’ve seen in the last few days. Two people have tried to seek methods through the judicial system -- which would prohibit the council from even discussing matters that are of interest to the public,” Councilmember Chris McConnehey said at that same city council meeting. “It’s frustrating beyond belief to think that the atmosphere has degenerated to a point where we have to speak to each other through attorneys and we can’t speak civilly face to face.” The City of West Jordan operates under a council/manager form of government, in which the city manager acts as the head of the city and the mayor is effectively a figurehead. This form of government was removed from Utah code in 2008, according to reporting by the Salt Lake Tribune. Councilmember Chad Nichols said in the council’s Aug. 25 meeting that the reason the issue of form of government should be discussed “is to conform with Utah State code rather than be in contradiction to it. That is the purpose: to conform with Utah code,” he reiterated. Although the council can make changes to the mayor’s salary, Councilmember Jeff Haaga said it takes a resident vote to change West Jordan’s form of government. “Putting this back on our agenda again violates our constitution,” Haaga said at the council’s Aug. 25 meeting. “The only people that can change our form of government are the residents by a vote of the people. That’s how it’s been from the foundation of our country.”
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Residents came to the Aug. 25 meeting to oppose changes to the mayor’s authority and wages. “Why would we want a part-time mayor?” asked West Jordan resident Russell Evans during the public comments section of the Aug. 25 meeting. “I think West Jordan needs a full-time mayor. We have full-time problems, we have full-time residents, we have full-time issues, and we need to have it. I think that’s what the citizens want.” Other residents echoed these sentiments. “We elected a mayor. Leave him alone,” Luella Thompson, a West Jordan resident, said to the council. “He deserves his position. He deserves his money. Leave him alone.” The city is currently looking into employing a mediator so that the council can address its political infighting and get back to serving the residents, at McConnehey’s suggestion. l
The legal teams of West Jordan mayor Kim Rolfe and the city council met at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City Aug. 25, where the mayor’s lawsuit was rejected. Photos by Ryan Green
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Page 10 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
Bruce at Smith’s Puts Customers First
f you live in the northwest section of West Jordan, and especially if you are on Facebook, there is probably a good chance that you know of Bruce Butcher. As sure as Mr. Rodgers wanted to be your neighbor, so does Bruce. “He know who you are, he knows your name,” local resident Kim Crapo said. Bruce is angelic looking with his white blond hair, rosy checks and a neverending smile plastered on his face. He reminds some people of Santa Claus. It seems everyone he meets is attracted to his magnetizing personality and good will towards others. He is not your ordinary local store employee. He started in the grocery business when he was 15 years old. He has been in the business a long time. While he works as the customer service assistant manager at the new Smith’s Marketplace in West Jordan, located at 7800 South and 5600 West, he has taken it upon himself to be much more. He has a very active presence on Facebook, and at the writing of this article he had more than 4700 friends. He uses this social media platform to post silly events and contests to be held at the store, many of which prizes he urges to “Pay it forward, to someone in need.” He even offered a contest in which the winner would get their house cleaned by him and two other store employees. Is Bruce kind? Yes. He invites anyone to come to the store on their birthday for a huge ice cream sundae, and using his talents, will serenade you with his trumpet, with store employees gathered around to sing along. Birthdays for customers are celebrated at the store several times a day. Another example of his kindness was when someone on his Facebook mentioned they were having surgery and he offered to drop off groceries to her. When Facebook store con-
By Mylinda LeGrande
tests involve money, he confirmed that he uses his own money for them. “I’m not materialistic. I’m just assuming the corporate standard which is ‘Customer First,’” Bruce said. He also has a soft spot in his heart for sick and disadvantaged kids. He supports and sets up fundraisers, coat drives, and attends charitable events benefiting his Facebook friends and store customers. Bruce doesn’t think he is doing anything special, he says it only seems that way because of his exposure on social media, but many people disagree. West Jordan resident Krissy Hakanson mentioned that when their daughter had medical complications, Bruce heard about it and visited her at the hospital. There, he brought her a laptop for her to watch Netflix on for as long as she needed it. Then, when she returned home, he came and visited her again. He wouldn’t even take the laptop back. Later when she had recovered, he even offered to let her work for him and he’d personally pay her wages because she wanted to get a job. You may ask what Bruce’s motivation is or why he does the things he does. “I believe that compassion is making a comeback. I don’t do it for attention to the store or myself, I do it because I hope that someday in the future when I’m walking past your house, you will know me and say, ‘Hi.’ It’s about getting to know people, love and serving,” he said. People love Bruce. Neighbors talk on the streets and within their families about the things he does. Is it all a big PR stunt? It hasn’t hurt the store’s sales goals, either. In fact, the store, according to Bruce, is doing very well. Is Bruce helpful? Yes. Do you have a special request? All you have to do is ask him to find a unique item not found at the store, and if the warehouse doesn’t carry it, he’ll go to another
Bruce Butcher, customer service manager at Smith’s Marketplace.
store, buy the items from the shelf, and make them available for the customer to buy at his store. He’ll even order if off Amazon and have it shipped to the store for the customer if it can’t be found locally. Do you want him to save you a few items from a special promotion? Of course, they will hold them for dozens of people, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. He’ll even personally make the item for you or find someone who can.
“We went shopping and the store was out of chocolate cinnamon bears, so Bruce always is going above and beyond, and made some for us,” Stephanie Leato said. Unfortunately, it seems that many people take advantage of his willingness to help and go above and beyond. On any given day, he can get 25-50 requests and sometime more. Customers ask for outlandish and unusual requests to find items that may take Bruce hours to find and get them to the store. Instead of calling the right department to order a cake or deli tray, they just ask him to take care of it. Instead of looking up the information themselves, they ask Bruce to “work his magic.” On his Facebook page, customers also ask if they can return items, get a past sales item for the same price, support a cause, information on how to cook an item or recipe or even requests to demonstrate pomegranate cutting. Bruce indicated that many times the corporation cuts man-hours in many departments at the store to increase profits. He also said that customers ask him to make sure it is done. He can’t do everything, though. Recently he called his own store to see if they could find an item on the shelf when he wasn’t even working, and waited for several minutes and kept being transferred around and placed on hold. “No wonder why the customer asks me to do it. I don’t blame them when they can’t get through to the store,” he said. The result is that he works up to 80 hours a week, much of which is on his own time to fill the requests of his customers. This takes away time he is able to spend with his own family. Bruce will not say no, however. Not only does he want to make people happy, but he wants to make sure he is secure in his job. He gets a lot of attention from those who know him, but he always turns this attention away from himself and points out a simple act of kindness someone else did, or includes a story of someone in need and how to help with his friends online. It is impossible to meet Bruce or be the recipient of his actions and not be touched in some way. There was even a Bruce Appreciation Day that was held earlier this year, during which customers brought him cake and gifts. Hakanson recently brought him back a Disney tie from the family’s vacation, as well as a gift card to thank him for the kindness he showed to her daughter and family. She indicated that she gave him firm instructions for him to use it for himself and/or family and not give it away to anyone else. Later she said he texted her a photo of him using the gift card with his daughter. Bruce’s attitude has rubbed off on employees at the store. For customers at that store, it is hard to find anyone at the store that isn’t helpful or friendly. He is a great neighbor, friend, employee and community resident. Knowing Bruce has inspired people to pay if forward and through his example, to act as better neighbors, being aware of special needs and helping others in the community. l
January 2015 | Page 11
The 7 costly mistakes that could cost you thousands when selling your West Jordan home. A new report has just been released which reveals 7 costly mistakes that most homeowners make when selling their home, and a 9-Step System that can help you sell your home fast and for the most amount of money. This industry reports shows clearly how the traditional ways of selling homes have become increasingly less and less effective in today’s market. In answer to this issue, industry insiders have prepared a free special report entitled “The 9-Step System to Get Your Home Sold
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Page 12 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
3 Ways to Buy a West Jordan Home for Less Money West Jordan Home—If you’re like most homebuyers, you have two primary considerations in mind when you start looking for a home. First, you want to find the home that perfectly meets your needs and desires, and secondly, you want to purchase this home for the lowest possible price. When you analyze those successful home buyers who have been able to purchase the home they want for thousands of dollars below a seller’s asking price, some common denominators emerge. While the negotiating skills of your agent are important, there are three additional key factors that must come into play long before you ever submit an offer. This topic has been the subject of extensive analysis by industry Experts, and a summary of their findings, and a specific step-by-step purchase plan for homebuy-
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This report is courtesy of Amy Clark with Century 21 Everest Realty Group. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. © 2015
Expanding Efforts to Build a Safe, Healthy Community in the Salt Lake Valley
his year, Salt Lake County government led the way on economic growth and jobs, low taxes, public safety and responsiveness to residents. As Utah continues to rebound from the Great Recession, we have an opportunity to take charge of our future and work together to show how we can make a bright future. We’ve launched the Global Cities Initiative, which helps business and civic leaders in the metro region grow their business through exports and international connections. Evidence shows that it was the metro areas who led this country out of the recession, and that when businesses receive support in learning how to reach new customers and global markets, their employees benefit, earning 17 percent more in salaries. We opened new treatment options for individuals who end up in jail due to crimes related to mental illness or substance abuse. With funding help from the Utah legislature, we opened a new community facility for adult women leaving incarceration. The 16bed residential home allows these women to transition away from jail, get treatment, reunite with children and families and start establishing a more stable and productive path for their lives.
Salt Lake County brought more than 31 homeless service providers together around an exciting plan to minimize homelessness. For the first time, everyone is on the same page about we want to accomplish, beginning with recognizing and meeting the distinct needs of at-risk and homeless populations. As a coalition, we’re asking the Utah legislature to support our plan by providing money to build several new, smaller shelters that serve the needs of families with children, homeless individuals who are working and other specific groups. A one-size-fits-all approach to this problem hasn’t worked in the past and we need to channel all the care, compassion, effort and money in a new direction. With a sizeable grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we’ve launched a community partnership in Kearns to improve child well-being throughout the township. Our framework—Evidence2Success—was developed by the foundation to collect data on the needs and the strengths of local youth. Granite School District will receive additional support to boost their educational programs and it will all be guided by the parents and community leaders who know their schools and neighborhoods best.
Salt Lake County works every day to serve the entire community, through programs such as Meals on Wheels for senior citizens in need, education for coaches and parents on how to recognize and prevent head injuries, expanding senior centers, such as the one in Midvale, to support healthy lifestyles for “baby-boomers” and building three new regional parks, so that every family has a place to get outdoors and enjoy recreational activities together. In 2016, we’ll rededicate our efforts to reform the criminal justice system and by achieving that, improve public safety. My 2016 budget, adopted by a bipartisan County Council vote, provides funding to meet the immediate needs of the Sheriff, the jail, the District Attorney and the Behavioral Health Division in the short term, as well as money for innovative projects to prevent crime in the long term. I’m proud of the bipartisan collaboration that is uniting county leaders, state leaders, our Human Services Department and the Criminal Justice Advisory Council – with the single goal of spending criminal justice and social justice dollars more effectively. How will we measure success? We’ll know we’ve succeeded when 1) we’ve put
the criminals behind bars, 2) the homeless in housing, 3) substance abusers in treatment, and 4) children in school, through high school graduation. When we’ve done that, we’ll have made a measurable and lasting difference in peoples’ lives. l
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Page 14 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
City Council Hires New City Manager 2015 Review: Story originally ran in October 2015
By Taylor Stevens
fter over a year of political instability, and in the wake of the abrupt resignation of the city’s permanent city manager and the yearlong appointment of an interim city manager, West Jordan City announced on Sept. 1 that it had selected an applicant to fill the position permanently. Mark R. Palesh was named West Jordan’s new city manager on Sept. 1 after an hour-long interview process on Aug. 26. His appointment was officially confirmed at the council’s Sept. 9 meeting, where Palesh was sworn in before the council, staff and assembled residents. He began his tenure the next day. “I’m looking forward to this new opportunity,” Palesh said in a statement released by the city. “My experience in the military, public and private sectors will be an asset to this rapidly growing community. There are many great things happening in West Jordan, and I’m excited to take on this new challenge with Mayor Rolfe and the city council.” The council approved Palesh’s appointment with a rare 6-0 vote. “He has the full confidence of every single member of the city council,” Councilmember Chris McConnehey said. “That’s significant to find somebody that we can all agree on. He seems like a good fit; he seems like what we need at this time.” Palesh has served as a local government chief executive across the United States, from New York and Alaska to Utah. In Utah, he has
worked in Lindon, Centerville and Riverton. He has also had extensive work experience outside of city government. He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Air Force Reserve and National Guard Forces, and since 1995, he has worked as managing member/CEO of the Magellan Group, a land development consulting group in Salt Lake City. Palesh earned a bachelor’s degree from Parks College of Aeronautical Technology and a master of public administration degree from Brigham Young University. To help find a suitable match for the position, the council employed an “executive recruiting firm,” Waters & Company, to conduct a nationwide search for applicants, a service for which the city paid up to $24,500, according to reporting by the Salt Lake Tribune. Through this targeted research, more than 1,000 people were notified of the opportunity, and the city received 21 applications for the position. Palesh was among four finalists, who were “selected based on a body of information that included a resume, cover letter, questionnaire and video interview,” according to a city news release. After filing through the applications, the city eventually chose Palesh. “Mark brings a wealth of experience to our city that will help us move forward and build on the many things that make West Jordan a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said in a statement released by the city. “We are confident in our choice and excited
New city manager Mark Palesh is sworn into his position at the city’s Sep. 9 council meeting.
to work together.” Palesh’s appointment comes a little over a year after the abrupt resignation of the prior city manager, Rick Davis, last August— amidst lawsuit allegations brought forward by a city employee and a controversial severance package worth nearly $200,000—and just three weeks after the council approved an equally contentious pay raise for interim city manager Bryce Haderlie. Palesh’s contract includes a yearly annual salary of $160,000. He will also receive disability and life insurance, medical insurance up to $2,400 annually, 160 hours of executive leave (in addition to vacation leave in line with city policies) and an automobile allowance of $5,590. The agreement also included a six-month severance package. Palesh currently resides in Midvale with his family and is consequently fully aware of the current climate at city hall. “When you look at his proximity to West Jordan City, he’s been there,” McConnehey said. “He’s seen the news. He knows exactly what
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January 2015 | Page 15
ave you ever wanted something very much, but knew you couldn’t have it because of the price? Sometimes we don’t even have enough cash to spare. Other times, we have the money, but can’t justify spending so much on a single item. All of us have experienced that feeling at one time or another. Apple products come immediately to mind, when presented with this scenario. They are definite-
ly worth the money they cost, but sometimes we just don’t have it. Mac Warehouse is a new store that is an answer to our budget-conscious, Apple-loving minds. Mac Warehouse is an Apple products re-furbisher and re-certifier. They bring in high quality, pre-owned Apple products into their facility in Sandy from all over the world. A highly-experienced team of Apple-certified
technicians then puts each product through a meticulous recertification process to make sure they perform and function as intended. Once the products have passed this careful recertification, and are updated with the latest operating software from Apple, they go through a cosmetic restoration process to restore it to a condition that is as like-new as possible. Mac Warehouse calls the finished products Certified Preloved ®. “There are not many companies that do what we do, and I don’t believe anyone does it as well,” says Brett Kitson, CEO and president of Mac Warehouse. “We are constantly refining our processes to give our customers the Apple product experience that they deserve at a price they can afford.” For years, Mac Warehouse has only sold this product to Apple resellers and other retailers all over the nation. Now, with a new retail store in Sandy, they are offering these products directly to consumers, at a huge savings—as much as 50% off normal Apple retail prices. Small businesses, schools, and other organizations can benefit greatly, being able to update their office equipment or computer labs a couple of computers at a time, or even all at once, without breaking the bank. Other related products, from Apple accessories to Beats Audio products, are also available at amazing prices. This allows everyone, no matter their needs, to spread their budget further, getting more Apple for their money. “Apple is one of the most innovative, high quality, and popular computer and consumer electronics products companies in history,” explains Brett. “Our goal at Mac Warehouse is for everyone to be able to afford the Apple technology they want.” There are many reasons Mac Warehouse was recently ranked as the 55th Fastest Growing Company in the U.S., and the 4th Fastest Growing Company in Utah by Inc. Magazine. Obviously, a superior product is one reason. Another is their customer service. All products at Mac Warehouse come with a 90-day warranty, with extended warranties available. The store also has an Apple certified technician on duty at most times, offering upgrade and repair
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West Jordan Police and Fire Honored with “Amazing Save” Award
M AY o r ’ s M e s s A G e
Policy Changes Improve Snow Removal
When I took office in January 2014, one of my goals was to improve snow removal. The City Council agreed, and we outlined a plan that called for maximizing existing equipment, cross-training staff from other divisions and allocating additional money for overtime and salt. Because of the light snowfall we had last winter, it wasn’t until this year that we were able to fully put the plan in action. Based on the feedback I have received, the changes we have made are making a difference. For example, we have outfitted equipment that sits unused in the winter with plow blades, so don’t be surprised if you see a water truck plowing a road. Employees from our water, sewer, parks and facilities divisions are also helping with snow removal. And our newly created concrete crew focuses on concrete work in the warmer months and snow removal Steve Anderson, CEO of Jordan Valley Medical Center; West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond; Renae and Randy Shaw; during the winter. The additional resources are making a difference. This is Paramedic Joy Stearns; Capt. Kris Maxfield; Firefighter Matt Meranda; Paramedic Dave Bauer; and Paramedic Bryan Bobo being done with no added fee or tax increase. We have added three new vehicles that are being equipped with plow On Dec. 21, Jordan Valley Medical Center patient, she was immediately transported blades. This brings the total to 25 plows in the Public Works Department. presented Police Officer Tara Hansen, Parato Jordan Valley Medical Center where she Our Parks Department brings another 13 vehicles and hits the subdivimedic/Firefighter David Bauer, Paramedic/ received continued care including Cardiac sions after clearing city facilities. We have also added GPS trackers to some Firefighter Aurelia Joy Stearns, Captain Kris Catheterization. of our plows so we can more accurately track where they have been. Maxfield, Engineer Bryan Brinkerhoff and FireWithout the immediate lifesaving care by During recent storms, our crews were out in full force working around fighter/EMT Matt Meranda with the “Amazing Officer Hansen and the Advanced Cardiac Life the clock to clear the city’s 890 lane miles (which is like driving from Salt Save” award for their lifesaving efforts. Support provided by West Jordan Fire DeLake to San Diego). This is the second year in a row that employees were On Sept. 16, West Jordan Fire responded partment, the patient would not have made out on Christmas Day away from their families plowing our roads. I’d like on a patient in full arrest. Upon arrival, CPR it to the hospital. As a result of these efforts, to thank them for their efforts to keep our roads clear. It is no easy task was being performed by West Jordan Police along with the expert care and interventions when temperatures are bitter cold and the snow keeps falling, requiring Officer Tara Hansen. Advanced Cardiac Life provided by Jordan Valley Medical Center, the them to keep clearing the same stretch of road over and over again. Support was immediately started while conpatient was able to leave the hospital with I’d also like to thank residents for doing their best to keep their cars tinuing high performance CPR. The patient a positive medical outlook and an increased off the streets so that plows can clear them. It’s dangerous and difficult received defibrillation and other therapies quality of life! (Nationally only 6-8% of pato plow streets clogged with parked vehicles (see picture below). Some that converted her into a cardiac rhythm tients can report this outcome.) streets (especially cul-de-sacs) may not be plowed if plows can’t safely with a pulse. With this improvement to the Thanks for your service to our community! drive down them. The most helpful thing residents can do to facilitate snow removal is to get cars off A plow driver's view as he tries to clear sTreeTs pLoWeD BY uDoT the street and encourage others to do the same. snow while dodging parked cars. There are several streets within the city which are For this reason, we have a city ordinance that prohibits parking on the street when it is snowing or state highways. These streets are plowed by the Utah snow is on the street from Nov. 1 through April 30. Department of Transportation and include: We also ask that residents and businesses keep all • Redwood Road sidewalks along their property clear of snow and ice. • Bangerter Highway Sometimes Mother Nature can dump snow faster than we can clear it, so please use caution during • 7000 South from the Jordan River to Redwood Road winter months. Slow down and give yourself extra • 9000 South from the Jordan River to 5600 West time so that you can get to your destination safely.
• U-111 from New Bingham Highway to the Northern City border • Mountain View Corridor
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
West Jordan Family Sheds Light on the Positive Junior Brown and his family have been West Jordan residents for 10 years now. In order to show their appreciation for the service given by the West Jordan Police Department, they showed up at the department during the holidays with platters full of goodies. “Their hope is to start a viral challenge, similar to the ice bucket challenge, in that people will bring something to express their appreciation and support to their local law enforcement agency,” said Sgt. Dan Roberts. Brown has formed a nonprofit organization Junior Brown and his family brought goodies to the West Jordan called the “Uplift Foundation” geared to shed Police Department to show appreciation for their service. light on all things positive. His goal is to help youth prepare for their future. “We will continue to shed a positive light towards all of our service men, near and far,” he said. “We are extremely grateful for all of the sacrifice you give our community every single day.” #appreciateyourlawenforcementchallenge #AcceptTheChallenge #UpliftFoundation #UsoStrong
Listen to City Council Meetings Did you know you can listen to City Council meetings? The audio files are online the day after the meeting (we are also evaluating the costs to stream them live) as well as meeting agendas and minutes. Stay informed at:
Online Bill Pay Did you know you can pay your city utility bill online? You can set up one-time payments from your checking account, credit or debit card. You can also set up auto pay to automatically notify you and deduct your payment each month. To enroll, have your utility bill handy and visit Wjordan.com, click the e-services tab and follow the enrollment instructions.
GOOD NEIGHBOR NEWS: WEST JORDAN NEWSLETTER PAID FOR BY THE CITY OF WEST JORDAN
Winter Parking Ordinance
WATER RIGHTS AND WATER SHARES The City of West Jordan is interested in purchasing Water Rights in Salt Lake County and Water Shares in Utah Lake Distributing, Utah Salt Lake, Welby Jacobs, South Jordan, and North Jordan Canals.
If interested, call: 801-569-5091
Winter driving weather is upon us! Remember that West Jordan City Ordinance 7-3-10 prohibits parking a vehicle or semitrailer upon a street when it is snowing or snow is on the street from November 1 through April 30 of the following year. Violations will result in citations issued. If left snowbound for more than 48 hours, the vehicle is subject to impound. Residents can also help our plow drivers by removing vehicles, trailers, and garbage cans from the street. Here are some tips to help you drive safely in snowy conditions: • Set your alarm clock to start your day earlier and plan on twice the normal commute time. • Clear the top of the car, the windshield and the windows of all snow and ice before driving. • Always bring warm clothes and extra water in the car with you. • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. • Double the amount of space you would normally put between you and the car in front of you. • Brake and accelerate slower than normal. • Do not slam on the brakes, if you can help it. • Know that many people are nervous when driving in winter weather and use caution when passing. • Stay 50 to 100 feet away from an active plow truck.
Get involved and make a difference in your community AppLY noW To serVe on A CiTY CoMMiTTee The city has a variety of volunteer-run committees designed to make our community a better place. If you have ever wanted to get involved and help shape the future of our city, now is the time. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities including: • Western Stampede – Dust off your cowboy hat and join the fun as we plan for our 62nd Western Stampede Rodeo. • Arts Council – Help promote art and cultural events and activities. • Activities and Events – From the demolition derby to the Independence Day parade to the Memorial Day Tribute and everything in between, help bring these events to life. • Healthy West Jordan – Ready, set, RUN! The Healthy West Jordan Committee plans our annual fun run, Weigh Biggest Loser contest and more in an effort to keep our community moving. • Parks and Open Lands – Share your ideas on what types of parks we need and how we are going to pay for the maintenance and operation of them. • Sustainability – Help find ways for us to be more efficient in our use of water, energy and other resources and plan for the future growth in West Jordan. • Planning Commission – The Planning Commission helps determine the types of new homes that are built and where new stores and business are located. More information is available on the city website at www.wjordan.com under the “Resident” and then the “Committee” tab. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact City Hall at 801-5695100 if you have questions about the committees or how to apply.
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Page 20 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
Year in Review: West Jordan City Has Highs and Lows By Taylor Stevens
It’s been a trying year for the City of West Jordan, between lawsuits and
allegations of harassment and discrimination. However, the newly elected
council members are hoping for a less dramatic year that will refocus on getting work accomplished
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It’s been a trying, dramatic year for the City of West Jordan, as the divide within the city council has come into sharper focus and allegations of bullying, retaliation, hostility and sexual harassment have swirled around city hall. In April, the city escorted its ex-city attorney, Jeff Robinson, from his office, ousting him from the city in a controversial move that has left some questioning its legality. Five months later, Robinson filed a notice of claim of a lawsuit against the city, alleging wrongful termination and conspiracy, among other things. The lawsuit was not the only one of its kind this year. In August, Mayor Kim Rolfe again demonstrated the depth of contention at city hall when he filed a lawsuit that would have prevented the city council from making changes to his authority and pay—a claim that was rejected in a Salt Lake City courtroom soon afterward. In October, the personal emails of city council member Sophie Rice, which contained an account of sexual discrimination at the hands of the mayor, were released in an email sent to the entire city. Rice said that Rolfe had asked her illegal interview questions when she was elected to the council; Rolfe denied all accusations of sexual discrimination. To round off the year, council member Jeff Haaga filed a notice of claim of a lawsuit against all of the council members and city staff at a city council meeting held in November. The nature of his claims included violation of civil rights and abuse of the judicial system and violation of the first amendment, among others. He later withdrew the notice of claim, saying at a city council meeting that he would never sue the city of West Jordan. Although West Jordan has had its fair share of contention in 2015, the year wasn’t all drama for the city. After a year of instability following the resignation of the city’s permanent city manager and the appointment of interim city manager Bryce Haderlie, the city council approved the appointment of new city manager Mark Palesh in early September in a rare 6-0 vote. Aside from placing a permanent fixture in the city manager position, the city council approved some big development and improvement projects around the city that are currently in process. In May, the council approved development on the Big Bend area of the Jordan River Trail, development that will focus on habitat restoration and the development of an urban fishery and a wildlife-viewing platform, with an estimated completion date of 2030. More controversial than the development on the Jordan River trail was the approval of a 224-unit apartment complex at 1206 West 7800 South at Gardner Village. While many residents argued against the high-density development, those coun-
cil members who voted for the approval of the plan said the multi-use space would integrate the “historic fabric” of the area and increase pedestrian connectivity. Along with approving new development, the council also approved measures to better older aspects of the city this year. The city implemented a plan to replace all of the old streetlights in the city with LED lights to provide better light, save costs and help the environment. The council also approved the purchase of new playground equipment at 10 parks across the city to improve the safety and quality of the parks. Although the year is not quite over, members of West Jordan’s newly-elected city council are already looking ahead to next year—and many are hoping to create a seamless transition from one council to another, with less contention than city hall has seen in months past. Next year’s council will be comprised of council members Dirk Burton, Jeff Haaga, Zach Jacob, Chris McConnehey and Sophie Rice, with Kim Rolfe acting as mayor. Next year’s representatives are composing their goals for the upcoming year. “My main focus is to listen to the citizens and hear what their concerns are,” Dirk Burton, a newly-elected face to the council from District 2, said. To this end, he wants to create a tradition of holding monthly meetings with residents in his district to hear their concerns and needs and come up with solutions. “I don’t want to tell [the residents] what we should be doing; I want them to tell the city council what we should be doing,” Burton said. “I want to listen twice as much as I talk.” For Mayor Kim Rolfe, some of the main concerns going forward will be keeping West Jordan off the prison list and getting construction started on a recreation center on the west side of West Jordan. Rolfe said that getting “the council working together with staff professionally” is another of one of his major goals. Resolving the contentious atmosphere at city hall and getting West Jordan out of the media spotlight is also a goal that many of the incoming council members share. “It’s been kind of crazy that a lot of this time has been spent on the arguing and the fighting and the he said/she said kind of thing has kept some of the stuff from happening that needed to happen,” incoming District 3 council member Zach Jacob said. “The communication wasn’t there. I’d like to work on that communication—being open to hearing from all sides and getting together and talking about things so we can make progress instead of pointing fingers.” Other goals council members cited for the upcoming year include increasing park maintenance, adding more streetlights, hiring more city staff and doing all of this without raising residents’ taxes. l
January 2015 | Page 21
Switch to Traditional School a Tradition for West Jordan Schools 2015 Review: Story originally ran in September 2015
By Tori Jorgensen
quirrh Elementary and Columbia Elementary transitioned from a yearround to a traditional calendar this year to accommodate community preferences. The school board voted for this change back in January, claiming the traditional schedule would unify the elementary schools’ schedules with those of the middle and high schools, making planning easier for families with children in multiple schools. Now that Oquirrh and Columbia completed the transition trend, all schools within West Jordan High School boundaries are on a complimentary schedule. During a year-round calendar rotation, 25 percent of the staff is “off track,” or on break, at any given time, and teachers can be up to six weeks ahead or behind curriculum compared to their colleagues on different tracks. Katherine Riding, principal of Columbia Elementary, said her staff is able to collaborate more effectively because of the change to a traditional calendar. “Our master schedule got to be very clear on how we were going to teach everything. Each grade is going to be teaching the same concept at the same time, but it is going to be individualized by the teacher’s talents and the class needs,” she said. “Now everyone can focus on a concept together so we can see how the kids are doing.” Despite its help in planning, Mandy Thurman, principal at Oquirrh Elementary,
said the calendar change led to a major turnover in teachers at her school because teachers who preferred year-round transferred to nearby schools with their preferred schedule. As teachers transferred from Oquirrh Elementary School, students transferred into it. 150 students transferred into Oquirrh
Elementary after the schedule change announcement. The school will serve 760 students on a traditional schedule, while it served only 630 last year on a year-round calendar. Two portables have been added to accommodate the extra students. Thurman said “cramped quarters” are an
adjustment for the faculty and staff, as they are used to having a ton of space. Prior to the schedule change, assistants and aids each had their own classrooms. One of the biggest challenges, Thurman said, is trying to decide if they should keep the class sizes bigger with more classrooms available for teaching specialists, or if they should hire another teacher, reduce class sizes, and consolidate the area for the specialists. Columbia Elementary revamped their classroom organization as well. Hallways used to be organized by grade, but with the change to a traditional schedule, four classrooms were needed at a time per grade, instead of three, so classes were arranged wherever there was space, and not necessarily by grade level. Ms. Riding said there was quite a hype about the schedule and classroom organizational change. Around 1500 people attended the open house in late August to see the changes. Riding said that, although some teachers are sad to lose breaks during the year and many students miss the pride that comes from having their own “track,” she is confident the new schedule will be implemented successfully. “What I have to remind people is that the year-round school system is not a new thing. It has been around for ages,” she said. “It will work out for us.” l
I am Grateful for the Poor Man’s Casserole
t slapped me in the face, like an old Three Stooges movie. Last month my husband came home from work holding a large envelope. Handing it over, he simply stated, “Read this.” My heart sank. You see, every year in December, his company does their annual, “Merry Christmas layoff,” and I was certain it was his turn. I began to hyperventilate, sweat trickled down my forehead as my trembling hands opened the letter. How could they, after 26 years of company loyalty? They can’t! We are only four years from retirement! As I read and re-read the words on the letter, my mind began to compute: not a layoff letter, but a retirement letter. In two weeks, TWO weeks, my husband would be retired! Could we do it a full four years before we had planned? Yikes! Now, I have a confession to make. We have not always enjoyed a frugal lifestyle; in fact, in the early years of our marriage it was quite the opposite. We lived to the point of an extravagance that almost sent us bust. We lived right at the edge of our means, throwing caution to the wind, buying now and vowing to save later. Then it happened,
our turning point: my husband lost his job. It was the 80s. Remember those days? With 14 percent home interest rates, no jobs and two kids, we quickly discovered our skinny bank account and high debt had put us at the brink of disaster. What could we do? We had officially hit what we call our “Poor Man’s Casserole” days. One only needs to Google “Getting out of debt” to find a plethora of advice from financial savvy experts: refinance the house, make budgeting lists and spreadsheets to track payoffs, start by paying off the highest interest loan rate, etc. All good practices, but what if you don’t qualify for said refinance, or your budget doesn’t cover your bills, let alone allow you to make extra payments? How will making a list help when what you really need is money today? The fact is, finding immediate money in a set budget takes sacrifice, creativity, work and commitment. Here are some practical tips for increasing your finances that I’ve learned and used along the way. #1 – Ditch the luxuries. Cutting cable
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TV, gym memberships, and eating out top my list of quick ways to save some serious cash. Brown bag it for lunch, discover Hulu for TV entertainment and take a walk instead of utilizing an expensive gym treadmill. #2 – Sell your stuff. Cleaning out the clutter not only can bring in some extra cash, but it clears the mind of clutter and helps you get organized. Utilize your local consignment store (check Yelp.com for a list of several), make use of online classifieds or give Ebay a try. #3 – Find alternative ways to travel. If you have two cars, sell one. Try taking TRAX or carpooling to work. #4 – Cut your grocery costs. Groceries can be a huge part of the family expenses. Instead of planning your shopping for the meals you want, plan your meals to what’s on sale. Clip or print coupons. You can check Coupons4Utah.com’s “grocery” section for a list of resources. Cut your meat portions in half. For years our mainstays were casseroles and Mexican and Italian dishes like lasagna and pizza. It’s easy to decrease the meat in those kinds of dishes. One of our
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favorites was called Poor Man’s Casserole, a mixture of ground beef, green beans and mashed potatoes. #5 – Find contentment with what you have. This was a turning point for me, and one of the best pieces of financial advice I have. In my own personal experience, it took me years to feel contentment with what I have. Once I did, I found that the longing for things grew smaller, and I was able to learn to experience what life had to give. I am grateful for the Poor Man’s Casserole days and the contentment it brought me. Poor Man’s Casserole: Brown 2/3 lb. of ground beef or turkey with ½ an onion. Salt and pepper to taste and place in the bottom of a three qt. round casserole dish. Drain two cans of green beans and layer on top of the beef. Layer one can cream of mushroom soup on top of beans and top with about three cups of smashed potatoes (about five potatoes boiled in salty water and smashed with a little milk and butter). Microwave on high until hot (about 10 to 15 minutes). Enjoy. l
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Making a Clean Sweep
s long as everything stays the same, I’m super cool with change. So when January rolls around with all its high-pressure resolutions and soul-destroying goals, I choose to decline. After years of making unobtainable promises, I know I won’t learn a new language, acquire the ability to run marathons or stop eating candy by the pound. But this year I decided it was time to get rid of the clutter that had infiltrated my home when I wasn’t looking. On January 1, my house seemed as organized as the shelves at Dollar Tree the day after Christmas, so I thought maybe it was time to clean things up. (FYI: Because Americans have so much junk, there’s a store that sells only containers to store our stuff. There are even boxes to store our boxes. Crazy, I know.) I’ve heard when you’re organized, you can be lazy. That was incentive enough to get
started. Once my mess was stashed away in designer bins, I’d have more time for napping, Pinteresting or sitting on the porch with a cold drink. (Well, not in January, but at some point this year.) My kitchen was the first place I tackled. I thought it would go quickly until I started throwing out cans of soup that had expired in 2009, quinoa I bought during my whole-grain phase and bags of organic kelp that were never opened. That’s when I realized this project could take longer than I anticipated. The freezer was next. I tossed out Ziplocs filled with frozen flesh from indeterminate sources (could be salmon, could be sausage) and Fudgsicles coated with ice crystals. Healthy Habit Tofu Extravaganza meals I couldn’t choke down were sent to the trash bin. After taking a breather to eat a bag of Almond Roca (Christmas clearance!), I headed
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to the bedroom to sort through my clothes. Cleaning the closet is difficult, because I’m pretty sure I wear all my clothes every day. But I found the dress I wore to my mom’s second wedding, ballet shoes from dance class 35 years ago, the sequined skirt I swore I’d wear once I lost 25 pounds and a ketchup-stained T-shirt from my first major league ballgame. Gone. Then I attacked the bathroom. I thought it might be easier to throw a grenade into the bathtub, shut the door and walk away action-hero style, in slow motion. I’m truly not a hoarder. I just figure at some point I will use the dozens of hotel shampoos and travel-sized body washes I’ve saved for emergencies. I dug into my drawers (so to speak) and purged almost-empty hair spray bottles, driedup face masks, greasy lotions and anti-aging
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creams that did not work. I tossed cold tablets from the 1980s, stretched-out hair elastics and a tube of ... something unidentifiable. Then I turned to my desk where office products go to die. I found a roll of two-cent stamps, dried up pens that were too far from the garbage can to throw out, tons of cable connectors (although I’m not sure what they connect), enough Post-it notes to write a novel and several used gift cards with a total balance of $1.57. I finally collapsed on the couch, reveling in the afterglow of a job well done. My house felt lighter, like it had gone on a green juice cleanse, and I was pleased with my Zen-like non-attachment to material possessions. That’s when I realized I had room for new stuff! And there were New Year’s sales! Maybe next year I’ll add, “Don’t buy more junk” to my list of soul-crushing resolutions. l
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Page 24 | January 2015
West Jordan Journal
Vol. 16 Iss. 1