Wellington mayor sets goals
With the new year well under way, local government officials have entered newly elected offices and prepare to represent citizens as best as the officials can. Wellington City is no different with newly elected mayor Karl Houskeeper preparing to lead the city into new directions.
The main goal of Houskeeper and his administration is to promote business in the Wellington area. The industrial park located on Ridge Road is a prime example of the city endorsing businesses to build in the area. Although the park is built mainly for industrial businesses, Houskeeper hopes that commercial businesses will begin to boom at the downtown area of the city.
Along with promoting new business in the Wellington area, Houskeeper also hopes to upgrade the appearance of the existing businesses in the city. "We have talked about making the business buildings along main street unified in appearance by making the fronts all grace a certain theme such as stone fronts. This has just been an idea to upgrade Wellington's appearance, but nothing has been finalized," explained Houskeeper.
As mayor, Houskeeper hopes to not only draw business to Wellington, but also appeal from its residents and visitors to the city. Discussion has been made about possibly making a horse trail or a parkway in the area. "There is plenty of ground in the Wellington area that we might as well utilize and make recreational facilities out of in the area. We plan to promote recreation strongly in the next several years, whether it is through projects such as this or the upgrading of our parks which we plan to focus on quite heavily," Houskeeper commented.
According to Houskeeper, plans are already underway to improve the parks in Wellington. The goal is to make the facilities desirable for citizens, visitors, and event coordinators who may want to hold public events at the park facilities. By supporting more community events, Houskeeper feels that the Wellington community will become more involved with the city.
"I have gone ahead and appointed a specific position in my council to Matt Rauhala, that is devoted to recreation. By doing so, I hope that we can get desirable recreational facilities and events in our city," explained Houskeeper.
Public involvement is always an issue to local government officials. Houskeeper feels that getting residents involved in local projects and events is important in keeping the city unified. It is however, difficult at times to actually get the public involved in local government and events.
Houskeeper explains that "we have had a few people come forward lately and say they want to get involved. We do hope that more people come forward naturally, but we must also sit down and have each council member come up with individual plans that will determine how to get the public involved. We may have to approach individuals or groups and personally ask for support and involvement. Some may step forward and some may not. We just need to come up with a plan to involve citizens in what we're doing."
As far as council members are concerned, no reappointments have been made and none are expected. There has however been a new council member appointed to fill in Houskeeper's place for the remainder of his term. Paula Noyes will fill this opening for the next two years and will aid in the cities governing force.
Houskeeper not only is happy with the council members that occupy his administration, but also with the public services in the Wellington area, especially the police and fire departments.
"We have a very proactive police chief in Lee Barry," commented Houskeeper. "It is pretty common to see him with new equipment which he purchased with grant money, this money does not cost the city nothing, but does allow the police department to upgrade and protect its citizens. I have encouraged council members to follow Barry's lead and find out how to apply and receive grants to fund our improvement plans."
As far as the volunteer fire department is concerned, Houskeeper explains that the council is "planning funding for new equipment to aid the department in its needs."
The main project that the council is concerned about is the road improvements that is to be made and completed this year. "We began improvements to our cities streets last year and plan to finish these improvements this year. We also have the highway construction that will begin this fall. The Utah Department of Transportation's plan is to widen the highway coming into Wellington and making it a four lane highway. There's not much that we can do in regards to this project, but our main concern is that after the completion of the highway, people may not slow down when entering the city. This posses a real problem with the school children that cross the street on a daily basis. We will face this problem when the time comes."
Upgrades to city parks, road improvements, and the addition of recreational facilities tend to be the main focus for the Wellington mayor and his council. Promoting businesses to the area is also an important factor for the council.
By adjusting to the needs of the city and promoting new ideas, improvement is bound to come to the city of Wellington and citizen support will accompany the decisions made by newly elected mayor Karl Houskeeper.