The City’s Budget Process is Bettered by Citizen Involvement

The City’s Budget Process is Bettered by Citizen Involvement
Posted on 06/01/2018

As many of you are aware, the Cottonwood Heights City Council approved its tentative 2018-2019 budget on May 8. Before this occurred and since then, it has become apparent to me that misperceptions or misunderstandings about this process are widespread.

I'd like first to stress that the budget approved last month represented the beginning of balancing next year’s expenditures, rather than the end. The budget is set for final approval by June 22. Click here for our financial reporting information.

Speaking for both myself and the rest of the council and the city staff as a whole, the few weeks following the budget’s tentative passage have strengthened our resolve to do better as we move forward. It is a path that I’m confident we can forge, due in large part to our city’s incredibly involved citizenry. One of my fellow council members shared that this is the first time so many have been interested in our budget process. The engagement and the great ideas that citizens provided about the budget during the council’s public comment period are invaluable.

Some of the amazing citizens and volunteers whom I have had the pleasure of meeting since I took office in January include members of the Pavement Index Committee, the Emergency Preparedness volunteers, the Historical Committee, and Neighborhood Watch, as well as those who regularly attend City Council meetings. These individuals along with those from the Butlerville Days Committee and the Arts Council give their time and energy to make Cottonwood Heights a great place to live. We owe them our deepest thanks, and I sincerely hope they will continue to serve and provide input.

In response to the results of multiple surveys that show overwhelming support for parks, trails and open space, the city is providing a critical new opportunity to participate in a process with far-reaching implications. The Cottonwood Heights Parks, Trails and Open Space Advisory Committee is an effort that Mayor Mike Peterson has asked me to head up.    

Some of the issues we’ll tackle at the committee’s once-a-month meetings include: reviewing feedback for Trails & Open Space Masterplan options presented by city staff at two public open houses (in November 2017 and April 2018); revising the city’s bike plan; and creating a framework for trail development and connectivity, including completion of a Cottonwood Heights section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. In the coming weeks, the city will appoint at least nine Cottonwood Heights residents (see below) to serve with me on this committee.

Population projections forecast an increase of as many as 15,000 people moving to our city in the next 20 years. More residents combined with the increasing popularity of canyon ski resorts will put continuing pressure on our infrastructure in the coming years. And while recent budgetary challenges are, in some ways, forcing us to take two steps back, I am committed to keeping my focus on the future and making our city a better place to live for many years to come.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly by email, christine@ch.utah.gov, or phone, 801-944-7014, or look for my next get together around June 11 to voice your ideas, suggestions and to find out how to get more involved.