The Future Looks Bright in Cottonwood Heights

The Future Looks Bright in Cottonwood Heights
Posted on 12/03/2018
By Council Member Tali Bruce
As we come to the end of another year, it is with pride and pleasure that we can celebrate the many accomplishments of our great city’s departments and employees. As a Council, we couldn’t be prouder of the incredible team that runs the daily operations of our city. This past year, we’ve had more diversity of thought and representation for all voices in our community. We’ve learned and grown together and are better for our inclusive conversations. It is with enthusiasm that we anticipate the exciting new paths we will follow as Cottonwood Heights moves boldly into the future.

Our people are at the heart of all we do. The Cottonwood Heights’ Human Resources department helps us find and retain the amazing people who run our city daily. This year, they have implemented a paperless application process with a broader advertising network which has led to an increase in applicants and a more efficient application process. This tool also allows job seekers to apply from any electronic device. In addition, HR recently implemented Performance Pro®, which increases interaction and feedback between employees and their supervisors.

Kudos, too, to our police department. True public safety requires a collaboration between law enforcement and the community. To that end, our fine police department holds inviolable the constitutional rights of every person. Our officers and staff believe in dedicated, skillful enforcement of the law and the delivery of humanitarian services which promote community peace through proactive, solution-oriented policing. We can be extraordinarily proud that CHPD was the first police department in Utah to establish a Narcan opiate overdose program, which has saved over 100 lives this year. They have also successfully expanded the Neighborhood Watch Program to the entire city, and we are working to update the city's emergency management plans to refocus efforts on ensuring proper training for city employees and enhanced coordination with volunteers. We are grateful to all these fine professionals for their dedication and innovation.
Our Public Works department continues to provide public services to residents, local businesses and other city departments in a prompt, courteous, safe, efficient and cost-effective manner, which enhances the quality of life for all of us. Highlights of 2018 for the Public Works department include the implementation of a 5-year street maintenance rotation schedule, which will give longer life to our roads at minor cost. (Reconstructing a road versus maintaining it is as much as seven times the cost). The city also has added 4.3 miles of designated and shared bike lanes, demonstrating its commitment to alternative transportation options.

The Community and Economic Development department has helped our city grow with as few growing pains as possible, and aids our expansion in a way that will ensure the community’s vision is realized both now and in the future. They review and inspect all construction projects, actively support our local businesses through the Cottonwood Heights Business Association and strive to promote the ongoing economic well-being of the city through guided and balanced economic development.

The department began a comprehensive, long-range study of the Wasatch Boulevard area, which will help maintain the desired aesthetic and quality of life in the area and guide the future of land use, transportation and recreation. They have begun work on a citywide trails and open space master plan (in conjunction with the newly created Parks, Trails and Open Space Committee) and hosted several community events with the Cottonwood Heights Business Association, including Death by Chocolate dessert tasting, a community bike ride at City Hall, Trunk or Treat, Bites in the Heights food truck nights, and the Women in Business Leadership Conference. What’s more, they did this while also issuing 720 building permits, with a total construction valuation of $74.1 million.

Our Finance department is making exciting progress in aligning the budget with the wishes of the city’s residents. We’ve recently hired Scott Jurges as Finance Director. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and his MBA with an Accounting emphasis from Utah State University. He’s been the holder of a CPA license for 15 years, with 16 years of governmental accounting and administration experience, including seven years with Salt Lake County and nine years with the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. We’re thrilled with the experience that he brings to the city and look forward to higher levels of transparency and accountability. Tim Tingey, our new city manager, also comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience that will provide the ability to capitalize on our assets and overcome areas in which we need to improve.

All in all, 2018 has been a banner year for our beautiful city, and we are confident that 2019 will see even more excellence from our employees, our citizens and our community. It is an exciting time in Cottonwood Heights. Mahatma Ghandi said, “The future depends on what we do in the present.” Thank you to everyone who has made our present the foundation of our bright future.