As the Mayor of South Jordan, it gives me great pleasure to report back some of the progress we are making as we work towards good governance. As an elected official, I have learned that you have to balance politics and good governance. Politics is the art of working together to achieve compromise. Governance, on the other hand, is seeing that the government stays on course to efficiently provide for the common good through areas like transportation and public safety.
As citizens in South Jordan we frequently disagree on political positions. Even among our City Council members, there are frequent political disagreements. However, I am pleased to report that a budget has been prepared that displayed the council’s unity to work towards the overall good of the city. As a result, this budget includes tax relief, debt repayment, a new fire station, new full-time employees for the city as well as many other asset improvements. As I mentioned to the council, we are truly blessed to live in South Jordan at this time in the history of the city.
Some of you may know that in preparing for the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget the City Council, City Manager, senior staff and I engaged in a new priorities based budgeting format. Priority-driven-budgeting is a common sense, strategic alternative to budgeting. The philosophy of priority driven budgeting is that resources should be allocated according to how effectively a program or service achieves the goals and objectives that are of greatest value to the community. As those needs are identified and prioritized through discussion, a very clear picture of where to allocate resources emerges. As a result the City will once again have a balanced budget in 2015-2016.
One of the budget priorities for me since I became interested in local government has been seeing that taxes reflect our actual needs. I am pleased to announce that after working with our City Council and city staff, that the 2015-2016 budget will include further reductions in tax revenue, meaning that the City will be taking less taxes. This accomplishment could not have happened without the cooperation of our excellent staff and employees.
Priority-based budgeting also requires elected officials to make fiscal decisions which benefit the long term financial health of the City. To that end, the City will be paying off $4,000,000 in debt from the bond used to purchase the Mulligan’s property. Reducing our debts improves our already well regarded credit ratings and improves the overall fiscal health of South Jordan.
In addition to payment of debts and reduction in property tax revenue, South Jordan City is also preparing for its future needs by maintaining and in some cases improving services through increases in employees and operational budgets. The City will also be working towards building an additional fire station, which will help us expand our advanced life safety and fire response.
South Jordan’s residents and elected officials disagree about a wide variety of political positions. That’s part of the political freedoms we share in the United States. Our shared commitment to efficient governance, however, will focus all of us on working together to find solutions that benefit our common good. Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Mayor. It’s great to live in South Jordan!