Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Provo City Council Member - Calli Hales

With the untimely passing of Stephen Hales on January 21, the District 5 Provo City Council seat has been vacant. Utah State statute required that the vacancy be filled by having the City Council appoint a person to the position. Four Provo residents submitted their names for consideration and they were interviewed at a special Council Meeting held on February 24.

Calli Hales, David Harding, and Stephen Hemingway each made a three-minute statement to the Council about their qualifications and then answered questions put forth by Council Members. There had been another applicant but he did not appear for the meeting. A vote was then held to narrow the field to two applicants. Having received the most votes, Calli Hales and David Harding advanced for a final vote by the Council.

Update on Non-Consensual Towing

At the February 17 Work Session Mayor Curtis updated the City Council on progress made in decreasing the amount of non-consensual vehicle towing in Provo.

Number of Tows

Total Tows

The towing ordinance was amended in the first quarter of 2014. It took some time to get with everyone to educate the property owners and others involved so towing initially went up during that time. Once the changes were made, improvements were seen in areas with the exception of Joaquin Village, which has seen an increase. Mayor Curtis hopes to find out why problems are continuing at that location.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vote by Mail

https://provo.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_d6AFVUGipPu3p9bThe City Council was presented with information on adopting a vote by mail program. In years where elections are run by Provo City, registered voters would receive their ballot by mail and would be able to mail the ballot back or drop it off at designated locations.

Utah cities that conducted voting by mail in 2013 saw significant voter participation increases. Although there would be cost savings for polling locations and workers, Provo would most likely see election costs increase due to postage. The Council would like Provo residents to offer their feedback as they prepare to consider this program.

Cost Recovery Through User Fees

The Citizen's Budget Committee has recommended some guiding principles on Provo City's user fees. Providing quality services and public facilities to Provo residents and businesses is costly. The purpose of user fees and charges is to recover those costs at a level that assures the continued quality and sustainability of services and facilities.

The Committee is recommending a cost recovery philosophy for reviewing user fees and basing fees on the benefit of the services to the community. What is considered a "benefit" and the importance of it are part of the items to be considered.

Council Members are now reviewing the information presented and will discuss it at the March 3 Work Session. We are inviting your input as we move forward. Please read the following items for a better understanding of the philosophy and the recommendations:

Guiding Principles recommendation

Presentation on User Fees

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Do You Want a Choice in Where your Engergy Comes From?

As mentioned in Mayor Curtis' State of the City address, Provo residents may soon be able to choose renewable energy sources for the power they are using.

RenewChoice has a website that explains the choices and lets you calculate the costs. This is a voluntary program and it pays for itself. Residents opting in will have a small fee added to their monthly utility bill. Each block (100 kWh) of energy is $2 a month and you can select to purchase one or more blocks. The system would synchronize with your Provo City Power bill so that it is automatically included each month and you can opt out or change the number of energy blocks purchased at any time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015 Neighborhood Symposium

Once a year we gather the Neighborhood Chairs and Vice-Chairs together for a symposium that
provides training as well as networking opportunities. This year's symposium was held in January and we had a chance to hold a Services Fair for neighborhood leaders to learn more about programs and resources available to them.

Neighborhood Chairs are encouraged to delegate so they aren't overwhelmed by tasks and so more residents have an understanding of the process. Provo City Code allows Chairs to appoint helpers and even to form a committee with responsibilities and bylaws. Chairs are also encouraged to consult their manual for information and resources. The manual has been updated and is available online. Let us know if you would like a printed copy.

For those who missed the Symposium, here is some of the information provided:

Summary of the February 17 Meetings

In the Work Session

Renew Choice:
The Utah Municipal Power Agency presented information on the renewable energy program mentioned by Mayor Curtis in his State of the City address. RenewChoice is voluntary and allows consumers to choose renewable sources for part or all of their electric power. The Council will vote on Provo City's participation in RenewChoice at the March 3 Council Meeting.

User Fees:
Some recommendations from the Citizen's Budget Committee on establishing some guiding principles for user fees were presented and discussed.  The Council needs to determine how City services will be paid for. If the costs can't be fully recovered  through user fees, another funding source needs to be identified. This will be discussed again at the March 3 Work Meeting, giving Council Members time to review the recommendations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Provo City Council Leadership - Kim Santiago

From 2015 Council Vice-Chair, Kim Santiago:

My professional background is in nursing. My favorite part about the job was working with people. I found satisfaction in providing care for those who were going through very difficult health challenges. In my nursing workday I focused on patient-centered care through assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation (The Nursing Process).  Though my current job as a city council woman provides different challenges than nursing did, my approach is much the same.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Council Meeting with School Board Rescheduled

The City Council's joint meeting with the Provo School Board was scheduled for February 12, 2015, at noon but has been rescheduled for March 12, 2015, at noon. This is a quarterly meeting held to discuss mutual interests. Watch for the meeting agenda to be published on our public documents site.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2015 State of the City

Gary Garrett, Council Chair, got things started this morning for the Mayor's State of the City address by introducing Council Members before turning it over to John Curtis. Afterward, Garrett reflected on Mayor Curtis' remarks and the sense of hope he generates for the citizens of Provo, "I think that Provo is successful because of the confidence the Mayor instills in our citizens and our community. People are excited about Provo because he is excited about Provo. I enjoy working with someone who is passionate about our city and that's what gives me great optimism for the future of Provo."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Honoring Stephen Hales

At the February 3, 2015, Council Meeting we had an opportunity to pay tribute to our friend and fellow Council Member, Stephen Hales, who passed away on January 21, 2015. One of his last actions on the City Council was to present the new Provo City flag design. That design was unanimously approved.

We were grateful to have the Hales family as well as a number of friends, neighbors, and constituents in attendance. Cindy Richards, former City Council Member and a close friend of the Hales family, offered the invocation.

As part of the tribute to Hales, the Provo City Honor Guard brought in and posted the flags at the Council Meeting, including the first new Provo City flag produced.  Gary Garrett and Kim Santiago then read the following:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Summary of the February 3 Meetings

In the Work Session

CDBG Funding:
Funding recommendations from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Non-Social Service and Social Service Committees were presented to the Council with explanations on how the decisions were handled. The final recommendations from both committees will be presented for public hearing at the February 17 Council Meeting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015