City Council Announcements
July 7, 2009
A. Information Needed by Council Staff
1. With the support of the Council Communications Subcommittee, Council Member Christensen is proposing an amendment to the current Council Policy relating to the district communications budget. It is proposed that the communications budget include an opportunity for the use of funds for community-building activities. Community-building activities to be defined as: Activities sponsored by city-associated agencies including community councils, county government, non-profit agencies, or community organizers working within the community to provide a non-political event open and free to the residents of the specific council district. The funding limit is not to exceed $250 per event, and requires the inclusion of the Salt Lake City logo on sponsor-related material.
Would the Council support the proposed amendment to the Council Communications Budget Policy? ? Council Members did not have any concerns about the change but Councilmember Sorensen said his preference would be to use it in ways that would communicate what the Council was doing or why they were doing it. He said if that meant communicating through other organizations he was ok with that. Councilmember Garrott said communication was a two way street and it was to hear from other people as well. Councilmember Christensen said each Council Member might want to set their own parameters on how they wanted to do that. There was no opposition.
2. The City and the University of Utah are partners with fraternities, sororities and neighbors of the fraternal organizations near the University of Utah on what is known as the Neighborhood Relations Committee. The committee is designed to have all parties engage in dialogue about issues involving the fraternal organizations and their neighbors. Since roughly the first of the year discussion of issues involving the two groups have reached an impasse over issues involving the conduct of members of fraternities and sororities. In an attempt to move discussion to a productive conclusion the University of Utah has hired a mediator to facilitate Neighborhood Relations Committee meetings. The University has asked the City to share in the cost of the facilitator – in part because when City Council staff attempted to gauge the level of interest among all participants to share the cost of a facilitator only the university and the City indicated any interest in cost-sharing. The University subsequently hired a facilitator, and is asking the City to help share the cost.
The University’s original estimates of the total cost for a facilitator were $6,600. However, the University recently indicated that it had received two invoices totaling $1,380. The University has asked the City to pay $690 of the invoices.
The City and the University have been involved with the Neighborhood Relations Committee at least since March 2001 when Mayor Ross C. Anderson called a meeting of residents living near the fraternities and representatives of the fraternities and sororities and the University of Utah to seek a permanent solution to long-standing disputes between some Federal Heights residents and the fraternities and sororities. After that meeting, Diane Hamilton was asked to facilitate meetings that included the two sides plus the University, City Council Member Nancy Saxton and members of Mayor Anderson’s Administration. City Council staff currently is researching how Ms. Hamilton was paid. In the meantime, Council staff has suggested that City Council offer to have the City pay $1,000 as cost-sharing for the new facilitator. That sum and any future sums could be split between the City Council and Administration budgets.
Does the City Council agree with this idea? All Council Members were in favor.
3. The Utah League of Cities & Towns is seeking applications from interested elected officials to serve on the League’s 19-member Board of Directors. According to the League, the Board of Directors determines policy, reviews and adopts yearly League budgets, ratifies decisions of the Board Executive Committee and Legislative Policy Committee, establishes ad hoc and blue ribbon committees, ratifies presidential appointments of members, and maintains close contact with League members within Board members’ districts.
According to the League, upcoming issues the Board of Directors will face include:
1) The need to provide for intensive infrastructure needs with limited resources.
2) Dealing with greater urbanization in areas that were, until the last ten years, rural.
3) The realization that many of our communities have become growth-dependant. What will cities do when businesses fail and taxes diminish? What will happen as business licenses, development fees, and other growth-related fees cease to be major sources of revenue?
The League requests that interest elected officials submit nominations to the League office, in writing, no later than August 1, 2009. City Council staff has copies of the nominations forms. After nominations have been received, all nominees will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and submit a personal photo. Additionally, all candidates will be asked to provide a 5 minute address to the Board of Directors Nominating committee on the opening Wednesday of the ULCT Annual Conference (September 9, 2009). Councilmember Mike Winder of West Valley City, and ULCT 2nd Vice President, will chair the Nominations Committee.
According to League staff, members of the Board of Directors automatically become members of the League’s Legislative Policy Committee. The committee generally meets monthly when the Legislature is not in session and weekly when the Legislature is in session. According to League staff, members of the Board of Directors are exempt from the standard League limit of three members per city or town on the Legislative Policy Committee. For instance, Salt Lake City generally has three members – currently Council Members Carlton Christensen and Eric Jergensen and City Legislative Coordinator Ben McAdams – on the Legislative Policy Committee. However, Council Member Jill Love – by virtue of her position on the League Board – also is a voting member of the Legislative Policy Committee. If someone from the Salt Lake City Council is selected for the League Board of Directors, that person also will be a voting member of the Legislative Policy Committee, according to League staff. Councilmember Christensen said if any Council Member had an interest it was also a good opportunity to meet some of the City’s counterparts throughout the State.