Joe Piccolo is the new mayor of Price, although his commitments to working with the city are not.
Piccolo first joined the council in 1995 and has served as a council person for the past six years.
"I am so grateful to be the new mayor," said the Price mayor in an interview last week. "It is an honor to serve the city and place I love so much. It is the city I am raising my children in and a city I hope I can lead to be a better home so they can raise their children here."
Price makes up for 60 percent of the population of Carbon County and the city is a key player in the community.
Discussing his top goals, Piccolo indicated that he plans on setting up a meeting or assisting with forming a committee with all the mayors in the county, school district representatives, the Carbon commissioners and College of Eastern Utah staff members to meet and prioritize economic goals.
The idea is to have round table discussions to determine ways of supporting each agency.
It is interesting to note that Carbon County has three new mayors, a new school superintendent and a new college president as the local community heads into 2002.
"The door is open and we have an opportunity to grow and address the needs of the community, as we set primary goals," commented Piccolo.
Piccolo pointed out that crime consumes a giant portion of our budget. "Nearly 50 percent of our human resources money goes to public safety and as we go into the next decade we will be faced with more crime and thus the need to share resources and join hands with the other agencies," he added.
Piccolo believes that it is important not to duplicate services. Instead, all agencies in the county should work together.
"Good sharing and interdepartmental cooperation needs to be brought to a higher level," pointed out Piccolo. "We have a great need to meet the needs of our law enforcement officers and continuing to extend cooperation with the community. All three public safety divisions, the police, emergency medical, and fire department will need to share resources and grow without duplicating equipment."
Piccolo indicated that the third major goal has already begun.
"We have started working with the Main Street merchants by preparing a letter to all businesses and property owners asking them what the three most important factors are for future growth. Together, we will then create a vision of what Main Street would look like by compiling a five-year plan. We will work closely with the redevelopment agencies and assist in reeducating businesses on the availability of funding," explained Piccolo
A major improvement in 2002 will be the reconstruction project on Main Street from Carbon Avenue to 300 East. Besides sidewalk and street improvements, the three-block area will get a new sewer system, water system and the conduit for over head electrical lines will be laid.
The three blocks affected by the project will be closed for three or four months.
However, Piccolo said officials are "working on agreements to secure additional parking and developing plans to assist the businesses in functioning while their streets are torn up."
Discussing personnel, Piccolo
pointed out that in the last six years, he has seen wages and benefits for city employees increase.
"In 1996, 83 percent of the city budget was earmarked for personnel. As we enter 2002, that has dropped to 70 percent, but with no firing or layoffs," said Piccolo.
"We need to establish a policy to extend friendliness to make our city more inviting, but we have no plans on making any changes," he added.
"The council has been frugal and careful with their spending." stated Piccolo. "We have paved more streets, added new cars to the police fleet, made a lot of capital improvements and are running the city with better equipment. Services are the same or better that they have ever been. This is a win-win situation, we are running our government more like a business."
Another of the mayor's goal is to establish a trail system from city limit to city limit and eventually work with other agencies to have it run from Wellington to Scofield.
Piccolo's immediate objective is to continue the preliminary design and develop the trails into Price from the ball fields to the river and follow from one end of the city limits to the other.
Applications for funding to pay for the trails project has already begun and citizen involvement is beginning to fall into place.
"Price, by nature, has a long standing reputation of being fiscally responsible and enjoying financial stability. This is a good place to be," he said.
The largest public service project is the continuation of the water transmission line from the plant to Wood Hill.
Piccolo has no concerns with the progress.
But since Price officials "are in the initial states of bidding, we need to make sure that the rates stay affordable and the city act as a watch dog towards the completion of this $10 million and three year project,"pointed out Piccolo.
"This is a people's office, earned in trust and proved in performance," emphasized the new Price mayor. "People will be involved with decisions and its my commitment to our people that will help our city grow, from town hall meetings to a new newsletter."
Piccolo is determined to improve communication and public involvement.
"There is a fire within each of us, just as there is within the city and just as we have the opportunities to look inside each of us and take advantage of all the resources available to make our lives more complete, so does the city have opportunities to grow and improve," concluded the new Price city mayor.