Everyone Can Be In-the-Know  on City Issues

Everyone Can Be In-the-Know  on City Issues
Posted on 06/01/2017

 By Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore

 “A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.”

These wise words written more than 200 years ago by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson are perhaps even more important today.  In his day, of course, President Jefferson was concerned that citizens take the time to seek out information and educate themselves. The challenge was much different then. The quantity of books and other information was limited compared to today’s world where we find ourselves overloaded with vast amounts of information that is literally at our fingertips.

In this information age, we are bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day, according to a recent study by the University of Southern California. We receive five times more information every day than we did 30 years ago, and we each have the equivalent of 600,000 books stored electronically. Comparatively, people living 100 years ago were lucky to read the equivalent of 50 books in a lifetime.

Sorting through and analyzing the value of that information is likely what makes it hardest for us to stay informed now.  It is a matter of quantity vs. quality. But the importance of the objective to stay informed, as well as the outcome of a better society, remain the same. That’s especially true when it comes to community issues. Only by knowing what is going on around us are we able to make certain that our communities are functioning as we want them to. Armed with information, we are also able to bring about change and improvement if we deem that necessary.

Along those lines, I am frequently asked how citizens can know what is happening in the city or how they can be informed. Fortunately, because access to information is so readily available, it has never been easier to be in-the-know about city issues. Finding out what is going on is not exclusive to a privy few. We all can tap into the important information about the happenings of Cottonwood Heights.

Becoming informed doesn’t have to take much time (unless one wants to dig deeper into certain topics) and there are plenty of ways to gather information and interact directly on community matters. As for the City Council and me, as Mayor, we welcome an informed electorate. We know that the vibrancy of our city depends on the involvement of its residents and each of us as neighbors. It’s up to all of us to become informed so we can ensure our city is the best it can be.

 

There are multiple ways to do that, such as:

 

  1. Sign up to automatically receive copies of agendas from the City Council, Planning Commission or other committees.  You can subscribe on the city’s website at cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/newsletter/. Get email alerts for meetings and other notices. You can select the categories of interest, ranging from council agendas to notice of road projects, community events or employment opportunities.  You don’t have to miss out on anything. You can also subscribe to receive an electronic PDF version of the city’s monthly published newsletter.
  2. Listen to the City Council and other city meetings over the internet. If you are unable to physically attend a meeting, you can listen to live streaming audio at http://mixlr.com/chmeetings/. This is a great way to be informed if you are out of town or otherwise unable to be there in person.  You can also listen to past meetings.
  3. Read the city newsletter each month. There is all kinds of information there about city issues and events. The newsletter also contains monthly columns by several city officials, including elected officers and representatives of the police and fire departments, as well as spotlights about Cottonwood Heights businesses. It’s mailed each month or find it on the city’s website.
  4. Follow the Twitter feeds of the city at twitter.com/CHCity or Cottonwood Heights Police Department at twitter.com/CHPolice. You can also sign up for text alerts from the city Twitter feed, by going to twitter.com/settings/devices and entering your mobile phone number. This is a good way to get instant updates and news about the city.
  5. Follow the city’s Facebook Page at facebook.com/CHCITY. This is a great place to get answers, address concerns and receive information about immediate issues, such as weather incidents and special events. The city also maintains a Facebook page for the Arts Council and Butlerville Days. Citizens are always welcome to express comments and concerns while engaging with friends and neighbors on a variety of subjects. The page is monitored and a city representative will always answer your queries.
  6. Attend a City Council meeting held the second and fourth Tuesday or attend a City Council work session any Tuesday other than a fifth Tuesday. Meetings are held at City Hall, 2277 E. Bengal Blvd. 
  7. Email your elected representative with questions or concerns. Our email addresses are: kcullimore@ch.utah.gov, mshelton@ch.utah.gov, sbracken@ch.utah.gov, mpeterson@ch.utah.gov, ttyler@ch.utah.gov. 
  8. Check out the city website at www.cottonwoodheights.utah.gov.  
  9. Interact with the city website by letting us know of issues in the city. You can report problems or concerns via our Citizen Dashboard program at cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/community/connect_with_us.
  10. Volunteer to be on a city committee or group. Cottonwood Heights depends on volunteers and you’ll have an inside track to the workings of the city. Find out more information here: cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/community/volunteer

 

By becoming informed, citizens truly can make a difference in our community. I would even go so far as to say that the very fabric of our city is the result of an informed electorate. All of our functions and their underlying events and committees – from Butlerville Days, the city’s annual Easter Egg Hunt and Bark in the Park to the Arts Council, Historic Council and Planning Commission – are citizen driven. Who knows where we would be if citizens weren’t willing to become informed and involved.

So take a minute and choose one of the ways from my Top 10 list above as a starting point to becoming informed. It’s easy to be in-the-know in Cottonwood Heights.