Do you want a better understanding of where the City of Moab is headed in 2017?
If so, then drop by the Grand County Public Library, 257 E. Center St., on Monday, Jan. 9, at 5:15 p.m.
Interim Moab City Manager David Everitt and Moab City Council member Kalen Jones will be joining the Grand County League of Women Voters for a free question-and-answer session during the league’s first regular meeting of 2017.
The league typically schedules nonpartisan educational programs at its regular meetings, which are held at the library on the second Monday of each month, except for June and July.
In the recent past, for instance, it hosted a Grand County High School debate team’s mock congressional session at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, where students discussed the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage.
With city-related issues in the local headlines over the past two years, league members felt it was important to learn more about the direction that the city will be taking in the coming year.
“It’s just one of the things that members were interested in getting updates on – issues facing the city, and what 2017 holds in store,” league member Barb Lacy said. “They just thought it would be good to have some representatives from the city to catch up …”
Apart from a question-and-answer session, Everitt said he doesn’t have a set agenda in mind, so he plans to take his cues from Jones.
“I’ll really be following his lead, and I’ll be happy to be there as a resource to answer questions,” he said.
Everitt, who previously served as Salt Lake City’s chief operating officer and former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s chief of staff, joined the City of Moab last October on a short-term basis. A former Moab resident, he stepped forward to help out as officials began their search for a full-time city manager.
Before he signed on as interim manager, the city went through a sometimes-rocky period under the administration of former Moab City Manager Rebecca Davidson. Prominent city department heads were either fired or quit their jobs, still-unspecified personnel issues arose within the Moab City Police Department, and citizens made allegations of nepotism and cronyism against Davidson.
But, speaking on a personal note, Everitt said he believes that city employees enjoy coming into work these days: They are focused on their jobs, he said, and they’re focused on doing them well.
At the same time, he said, the city is entering the new year on strong financial footing. Resort community taxes and other sales tax revenues are streaming in, and with more and more visitors coming to Moab each year, Everitt said there aren’t any signs to indicate that will change.
“(Those revenue trends) are all very positive right now,” he said.
In addition to answering questions about the city’s finances, Everitt and Jones will be available to talk about efforts to improve local infrastructure, such as stormwater drainage and sewer lines, as well as city streets.
“I think we all know that our streets are in need of significant upgrades and rebuilds,” Everitt said.
Before they get started in earnest on the biggest infrastructure project of the year – a new regional wastewater treatment plant – crews will be continuing site preparation work on the property near the intersection of 400 North and Stewart Lane. Meanwhile, city officials are busy preparing the construction documents for the project, and Everitt said they hope to award a contract for the job some time in late February or early March.
“Everything at this point as near as I can tell is on track,” he said.
Although he and Jones are more limited in what they can say about ongoing investigations into personnel issues within the police department, Everitt said they’ll be prepared to answer any related questions that citizens may have.
In terms of other major issues facing the city, Everitt may be able to delve more deeply into a proposed agreement that aims to resolve a dispute between the city and the developers of the previously approved Lionsback Resort.
“If that is going to move forward, I think that’s going to be at the forefront of people’s minds over the next month or two,” he said.
League of Women Voters to host Jan. 9 Q&A with city officials
“It’s just one of the things that members were interested in getting updates on – issues facing the city, and what 2017 holds in store.”
When: Monday, Jan. 9, at 5:15 p.m.
Where: Grand County Public Library, 257 E. Center St.
For more information about the league or the Jan. 9 meeting, contact Barb Lacy at 970-261-3235.