Some pretty fun topics for discussion at tomorrow’s council meetings.
Here’s whats on the slate:
Work Meeting – 12:30pm
If you hate taxes, this may be the meeting to see.
First up, we have a discussion regarding the future of Downtown’s economic development. Will likely include discussions of the highest best use of tax dollars towards our downtown as well the role of the downtown business alliance or some other coordinator in helping downtown Provo grow. Interested in the downtown, or in how the city decides on creating new positions, this should be a fun conversation to see.
Second, a discussion regarding an idea to charge a ‘curb tax’ on properties within the city limits to cover the cost of street maintenance. These types of fees are sometimes championed as one of the few ways that a municipality can have tax-exempt organizations help fund services like parks and fire departments.
Third we have preparation for the August 9th truth in taxation meeting regarding the proposed 16% increase in city property taxes.
Fourth, we have a discussion and approval of a process for redistricting city council and school board districts.
During the redistricting discussion I hope that we will agree upon a few guiding principles for creating our districts. Some which my constituents have identified are:
Study Meeting – 3:45pm
If you’re interested in transportation, or the northwest connector you’ll certainly want to see this meeting.
First we have an update on the Northwest Connector, which perhaps due to the opposition it has seen, is now named the Provo Lakeview Parkway and Trail Project.
Next we have yet another change to the energy fees, as happened last year, a mistake was made and a fee was forgotten.
Third we have a discussion on our transportation master plan. Hopefully we’ll be able to update it to better reflect our efforts to improve biking in Provo, address the concerns on the Northwest Connector, consider complete streets and modal share goals, as well as outline what new roads will be built in the next decade.
Fourth we have an easement discussion. This likely has to do with the Central Utah Pipeline project.
Fifth is an amendment discussion on minimum average residential unit sizes in the downtown. Sounds like some flexibility is needed for redevelopment.
Next we have a presentation on the property tax increase proposal.
Seventh we’ll continue the work we’ve been doing towards campaign finance reform in Provo elections.
Eight is a discussion on Board and Commission appointments.
Council Meeting – 7:00 pm
After all of that, the council meeting seems a bit dull in comparison. We’ll have the usual public comment period, some awards, and then a vote on the earlier discussed energy fees change.
Then we’ll vote on the boards and commissions appointments. Also discussed earlier in the day.
And finally, the vote on the easement we discussed in our previous meeting.
And that’s all folks, no more meetings in July, so we’ll gear up for the August 2nd meeting. Interested in getting involved? You have until Friday to file to run for city council in Provo’s 2011 Elections.
The agendas and supporting documents for Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.
The council will be holding a Work Session at 1pm in room 310 of the city building. As with nearly every council meeting, it’s open to the public.
During the work session we’ll discuss possible cuts in federal CDBG funds.
Our study session begins at 3:00pm in the Municipal Council Chambers. Highlights will include a discussion on preparations being made for the new convention center downtown and finally getting Spring Creek some property for use as a park.
Our main meeting will take place at 7pm in the same room. Big issues include the tentative adoption of a budget, implementation of a city-wide opt-out recycling program, address the construction of a road near the state hospital, and campaign finance reform.
This afternoon at 1:30pm the Provo Municipal council has a discussion on Historic Preservation efforts in Provo. This is an excellent opportunity for us to implement one of the most important goals outlined in our Vision 2030 process. Some time ago, the council passed Title 16 of the City Code which provides the legislative basis for the city’s stated intent of safeguarding our historical heritage. For a few years the city was very successful in working towards a comprehensive historic preservation effort.
When I ran for office I had the opportunity to speak with many of the residents in Provo’s historic downtown. They told me that the historic preservation efforts seemed to have slowed significantly. Many mentioned their concerns that key Provo Landmarks such as the Catholic church building, Hotel Roberts, and the Maeser School Grounds could have perhaps been maintained had the city been more aggressive in Historic Preservation efforts.
They often cited the success the city had in preserving the Library at Academy square as a great example of the willingness of Provo residents to go the extra mile to make sure our city maintains its historic character.
It can be a tough battle. Critics of the Library often cited its run-down condition as evidence that the building was past the point where it would be worth saving. As is unfortunately the case with most old buildings, they do tend to be in less-than-new condition and often require some work to maintain. In support of this the city has a program that provides a no-interest loan to home owners interested in fixing up a historic home.
The last two years have not been our brightest when it comes to making an effort to preserve historic properties. The Tabernacle has burned down, a number of historic properties including the Kress Building were slated for demolition for downtown construction projects, and last council meeting a vote passed that will likely lead to the Provo Housing Authority razing the George Taylor Jr house pictured above.
We also have been seeing a net loss to the number of properties our Landmark registry. The use of our registry seems like an excellent tool which has been under-utilized in recent years.
I believe we can do better and look forward to a discussion that can lead to the council taking more aggressive steps to implement Provo’s Vision for what our city should look like in 20 years.
The Provo City Administration has sent out a letter in response to the heavily scrutinized Provo curfew ordinance proposal. This ordinance has been noticed for consideration in today’s council meeting.
Within this letter Mayor John Curtis addresses some of the issues which led to the proposed ordinance and cites community concern as a good reason for seeking a superior solution to a truancy problem.
This ordinance received a good deal of attention over the past week with a number of news and radio stations discussing it, ABC 4 reporting on the issue, KSL, BYU, tribune, as well as the Daily Herald, and the Deseret News even mentioning a planned ‘peaceful protest’.
The letter which went out this morning states:
“Coming together to address the problem is a better approach than feeling divided by any one possible solution. And a solution that works in Provo for our community, devised by our community, will result in a vastly superior solution than one developed without the involvement of all. The current daytime curfew ordinance as drafted has clearly not met that high standard, and we ask the council to not act on it at the meeting on March 1. The Administration looks forward over the next few months to the effort of our entire community to find answers to these very challenging problems.”
I appreciate the statement above very much and commend the Mayor for the Administration’s level-headed response. Our community has clearly expressed a desire to have their voices heard and I appreciate the open discussion which so many within our city and state have created over the last few days.
Many have speculated that in response to this letter, this ordinance will likely die. As previously mentioned I am opposed to this ordinance, and as a council member will vote in favor of dismissing this ordinance.