Variety of issues discussed during first “Let’s Talk Taylorsville” meeting
Feb 20, 2019 11:24AM
By Carl Fauver
A constituent speaks with city council members Meredith Harker (center) and Brad Christopherson (R), following the first-ever “Let’s Talk Taylorsville” meeting. (Carl Fauver/Valley Journals)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
Plenty of fireworks accompanied the launch of a new tradition Jan. 30, as the Taylorsville city council and mayor hosted their first-ever “Let’s Talk Taylorsville” meeting, hearing concerns ranging from problem neighbors to internet connections to infrastructure issues.
“I’m not exactly sure what we were expecting,” Mayor Kristie Overson said. “I am just glad people felt like they could come to the meeting and be heard. We didn’t resolve any issues on the spot, – but we became aware of problems and are now following up on them.”
The city council normally holds its bimonthly meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. For years, tradition has held, a mayor’s town hall meeting was held during those three or four months each year that have five Wednesdays — on that fifth Wednesday.
“We were at one of our city priorities meetings when we began to talk about possibly changing the format of those town hall meetings to include the entire city council as well,” said Councilman Ernest Burgess. “I wasn’t sure how many different issues we would hear about. This was a good meeting. I think it’s important we try to be more accessible to residents.”
More than half the meeting was consumed with one particular issue, as a group of concerned residents appeared to express frustration over the same home and its allegedly unruly residents.
“My grandchildren get high on marijuana when they mow my lawn, as the smoke drifts from that house.”
“That place scares me to death, and we fear retaliation from the people living there.”
“Loud music plays all night — there are domestic fights all the time — and the language.”
These were among the comments from the group of residents, speaking about a problem rental home and its occupants.
Unified Police Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant attended the meeting and did confirm several calls to the address in question over the past several years, though not nearly as many as the concerned residents claimed to have made.
“It is important when people call in to complain about neighbors, they provide us with the address of occurrence,” he said. “We also need complainants to tell us their name and contact information. We do not provide that information to the people being complained about. But providing that information allows those complaints to carry more weight.”
A brand-new Taylorsville resident — who had just moved into the city two days earlier — raised a completely different concern when he asked the council why they have not agreed to allow the UTOPIA Fiber internet provider to operate in the city.
“Why should I have to pay more to get less?” Ian Webb asked the council. “Fiber optics works at the speed of light, providing much better service.”
In unison, council members said this is perhaps the most common question they receive.
“UTOPIA just wants to cherry pick apartment buildings, while not serving all of our residents,” Councilman Brad Christopherson explained. “If we granted them a franchise agreement, the increased tax burden is not something our residents would support. We continue to talk with (UTOPIA); but right now, it is not in our plans.”
Talk at the meeting also turned to infrastructure. One resident expressed concern with poor walking access to Millrace Park. The park is in Councilman Curt Cochran’s district, and he strongly concurred.
“As long as I am in that (city council) chair, I will work to make improvements along 5400 South, between 1300 West and Millrace Park,” Cochran said. “I would like to see curbs and sidewalks in the area.”
Former city planning commission member Dan Fazzini added another item to the infrastructure improvement wish list.
“The railing on the bridge across from the Taylorsville Utah Heritage Museum (4800 South) has been in disrepair for a long time,” he told the council. “This is an aesthetic thing that I think could be fixed for not much cost.”
Like most other topics of conversation at the meeting, the council agreed to look into it more thoroughly and take action if possible.
There are three remaining months in 2019 with five Wednesdays. “Let’s Talk Taylorsville” meetings are scheduled for May 29, July 31 and Oct. 30.