Last night I had the honor of addressing the Holladay City Council and sharing the public safety concerns of several local business owners. While knocking doors I learned from these business owners of a missing sidewalk between the Olympus View Gas station and the Olympus Hills Park running along the north side of 4500 south. This missing sidewalk, it turns out, is not only a drag on local businesses, but also a public safety hazard.

After initially sharing the concerns of local residents with city officials, I was initially told the missing sidewalk is located inside a UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) easement— which unfortunately will not allow the city of Holladay to build a sidewalk in this location. After contacting UDOT, I learned this is simply not the case and our existing City Council members do in fact have the ability to construct a sidewalk inside their easement. Subsequently I was later told by city officials a sidewalk is not possible because over time the easements had intersected in an awkward manner and the only way to build a side walk is by convincing local business owners to deed portions of their own land to the government. After again contacting UDOT and requesting access to publicly available easement maps, I next learned this is also not the case and there is in fact a consistent 80 foot easement running down the center line of 4500 south all the way from the freeway to 2300 south—thus making it very possible to finish the existing sidewalk. After learning of this information I even investigated possible ways of securing funding to help build a sidewalk from UDOT monies without dipping into city funds and burdening Holladay City tax payers. As it turns out, UDOT does in fact place funds aside for projects like our own and there are even established mechanisms in place to apply for said funding.

While addressing the City Council in chambers yesterday evening, I shared my recent findings with the council and even offered to share my work with the city manager—an offer the sitting mayor Robert M. Dahle graciously accepted. I have subsequently forwarded my findings to the city manager as instructed and I urge any citizen living in my district to contact their elected representatives if they desire to see the sidewalk extended. The purpose of open democracies, in my opinion, is provide an avenue for average citizens to share their concerns with their elected officials, and when these concerns are not listened to, peacefully remove these same leaders from positions of power via the ballot box.

If I am fortunate enough to earn the votes of the citizens of my district I will not only listen to the needs of my neighbors, but I will also do everything in my power to serve their needs—even if this requires putting in extra hours and thinking outside the box. Holladay Utah is my home and the citizens of my district are also my neighbors.