On December 4th, I had the opportunity to attend the lighting ceremony at Barker Park. A choir of young children sang, Santa Claus arrived in a fire engine that was escorted by police, and children lined up on the sidewalk for their turn to visit with Santa Claus. The feeling was electric as the kids anxiously awaited their turn to talk with the big man in the red suit. The outstanding job done by Parks and Recreation and Public Works in stringing the lights added to the atmosphere. It was definitely a positive experience!
Contrary to that experience has been the newspaper headlines and conversations posted on social media. Headlines such as the following have appeared: Inflation is at its highest level in decades, intensive care units are overwhelmed, and the great resignation continues. This morning, I read a post that demeaned first responders who were performing an act of compassion. There’s definitely a dichotomy on how people view things. It’s interesting that, as we age, we sometimes lose the positivity we had as little children and fail to look for the good in things. We are blessed to live in an area where it’s not hard to find something good!
At a recent city council meeting, a list of priorities for North Ogden’s future was discussed, along with several financial policies intended to maintain and enhance the city’s financial position. A survey will be available on the city’s website and Facebook page asking citizens to rank the items presented at the council meeting and suggesting additional items that should be considered. I would encourage citizens to become involved by participating in the survey.
With the beginning of a new year, the city will start the budgeting process. This exercise will determine how the city will spend revenues from the taxes paid by you. Attendance at city council meetings, held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. is a good way to give your input. Inflationary pressures felt by private businesses are also being felt by the city. The best time to influence how the budget is prepared is at the beginning of the process and not at a truth in taxation hearing. Please join us as we engage in this very important aspect of government.
As the new year begins, we will welcome a new council member, Jay D. Dalpias and say goodbye to long-term council member, Cheryl Stoker. We are excited for the prospective Jay D. will bring. Councilmember Stoker has served the citizens of North Ogden with courage and determination, and we will miss her. We wish her well in her future endeavors.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each city employee for their commitment to serving the citizens of our great community last year. We couldn’t do it without them.
It is my hope that each of us can concentrate on the positive things that are happening while minimizing the negative headlines and Facebook posts. Maybe we can experience that same electricity the little ones experienced!
Mayor Neal Berube