To the Citizens of Moab,
This past year has been a year of change for Moab and especially your city government.
2015 started out with the resignation of long-time city manager Donna Metzler in order for her to realize a lifelong dream of teaching. She had served the city for 20-plus years. I was on the city council when we hired her; we had just changed the form of government from a strong mayor to city manager. The decision to hire Donna was not without controversy, but the council at the time felt it was the right direction for the city to go. I still believe we made the right decision.
Replacing someone who had been an integral part of the community was a daunting task and we did not take it lightly. The governing body realized that there needed to be an emphasis on our aging infrastructure. Some of our pipes in the ground date back to the 1950s, and we saw that our roads, an aging sewer plant, water storage and other infrastructure also needed significant improvement.
We were looking for someone with vision and the skill-set to address these issues. We had over 50 applicants for the city manager position. By consensus of the hiring committee, the field was narrowed down to 12 very strong applicants, who were then further narrowed down to eight applicants interviewed by the committee. This field was eventually narrowed down to two possibilities: Ms. Rebecca Davidson and one other. Both were interviewed by the council.
The end result was that Ms. Davidson had the skill-set we were looking for. Her 30 years of municipal experience plus degrees in Civil Engineering and Public Administration were a deciding factor in this decision. We gave her a list of our priorities at the outset, which I might add were quite extensive. She and the staff have taken on those tasks not only with enthusiasm, but a lot of long hours and hard work. In the year that she has been here, we now have a clear path to building a new regional sewer plant that will handle the needs of this community long into the future. We now have in place expedited maintenance programs for sewer, water, storm drainage, facilities, roads and trail systems. We are extremely pleased with the ongoing effort to put in place essential housing not only for the city, but also for county, school district and hospital employees.
Ms. Davidson is also a leader in the effort to address Moab’s widespread housing issues.
From the beginning, Rebecca Davidson has been focused on the long list of desired requests we brought forth for her to accomplish both long and short term. In the short time that she has been here, she has been able to start and begin to complete many projects that have been needed for years. Some of these include current efforts to develop essential housing, rewriting the zoning code, updating the Master Drainage Plan, numerous sewer projects, the water tank project design, bridge projects for the Mill Creek Parkway trail system and several other infrastructure challenges. In the last nine months, more progress has been made toward a multi-agency sewer agreement than in the past 12 years.
With all that she has been able to do in the short time she has been here with us, I believe that not only did the council make the right decision to hire Ms. Davidson, but the citizens of this community will benefit greatly from the council’s decision as we go forward.
We’ve been receiving many compliments from residents on the changes and progress being made. That said, I am particularly disappointed by the rumors and false statements a few individuals are so eagerly disseminating about Ms. Davidson and their attempt to discredit her integrity. These distractions are unnecessary and are taking away from the positive performance from not only her, but the city staff as well. It is my hope that going forward, the community begins to increase its support for her and the city on our goals and objectives that we need for our near- and long-term future.
I would encourage anyone who would like to discuss any issue to contact me or Ms. Davidson; we are more than willing to have a conversation. The door is always open; Ms. Davidson, the council and myself are dedicated to this community and its citizens.
Dave Sakrison is the mayor of Moab.