Setting The Record Straight!
South Jordan Recognitions
- Governor’s Award – “Business Friendly Community” (Sept 2013)
- #18 – Best Place To Live in U.S. (Smart Money, Sept 2012)
- #1 – Lowest Crime Rate, SL County (Jan ’12 – Present)
- Top Best Places to Retire in U.S. (Retire, June 2013)
- Governor’s Award – “Technology Leader City” (Apr 2013)
- Financially Smart, paid Off $5.9 Million of Debt (1/12-6/13)
- South Jordan = Jobs, 436 New Businesses Opened (1/12-6/13)
What an honor and experience it’s been to serve as your Mayor for the last 1 3/4 years, since January 2012.
South Jordan Recognized By Governor & National Press
By now, you’ve heard of the numerous recognitions South Jordan has received in the last 12 months.
Depending on the day, these are either a bad thing according to my opponent, OR despite long hours and hard work by myself, members of the Council and staff, we’re taking credit for things performed by a previous City Council — NOT HARDLY!
In fact, we’ve made lots of changes to the old ways of doing things. That’s why we’ve been recognized for these accomplishments since I became Mayor, because the way we attract businesses, and the way we have innovated has cut the costs of delivering services to our residents!
That’s why we are being recognized by the Governor for the 2nd time! That’s why we’ve gone from #18 Best Place to Live to #2 most popular place in to live in the United States based on population growth!
Our growth has brought New Businesses which translates into Jobs for our families! Jobs aren’t the only positive result. In 2012, we had a record $1 Billion in taxable sales and this year we have a 6% increase over last year. South Jordan gets a tiny fraction of the sales tax dollars. The rest goes to the state to pay for education for our children. So, our success is important to our kids’ education and our schools.
South Jordan has become a Destination City! Let me explain…usually, people look for the house they want to buy no matter in what city the house is located. Not so in South Jordan. Here…they come, look around and say “I want to live here!” Then they find or build a house here. They want the atmosphere of South Jordan!
The atmosphere in South Jordan is…
…the sense of rural living, cul-de-sacs with children playing in the street, and the lowest crime rate.
…the 40+ parks throughout the city, with the new Holt Farm (1300 W). On the drawing board – by the old Albertson’s, and the newly annexed 97 acres (4800 W). Built with park impact fees, not property tax dollars!
…the healthy lifestyle – with family friendly activities like CountryFest, the many who jog/walk across the city or run in our marathon races like our new Boston qualifying SoJo marathon (starting this Oct 2013).
…the friendly atmosphere while you drive through the city and people wave at you even if they don’t know you.
…the careful management of your tax dollars without raising Property Taxes the two last years (unlike other cities raising their taxes by 18-67%). AND, NO to water rate increases while YES to reducing staff full-time to 306 employees without reducing service.
Three key areas have been critical to success while I’ve been your Mayor – Innovation, Economic Development, and Financial Efficiency.
Innovation has increased Economic Development AND Financial Efficiency – saving you money – by taking the Council to paperless, switching to secondary water in our parks, installing a new city-wide wireless sprinkler controller system, reducing road paving needs by extending the life of the roads with a new chemical process, and cutting our snow salt budget needs by 2/3 for snow removal, and enabling business license applications and printing online, adding automatic credit card billing for utility payments monthly, having firefighters use special laptops to record medical data .
Strangely, my opponent has misunderstood the facts, or proposed things we’ve already accomplished. Below are some claims from his latest brochure, and the facts.
- Alvord: our property tax rates have an upward trend, and I promise to repeatedly lower them.
Not so! In 2007, a previous City Council raised property tax rates, but they haven’t been raised since. Grab your property tax bill…you’ll see 84% goes to Jordan School District and the County. Only 16 cents of every dollar goes to South Jordan (JSD alone = 50.42%, S Jordan = 16.28%). A neighbor’s actual 2013 tax notice shows $2,243.29 in taxes. Reducing taxes 10% on South Jordan’s amount of $369.99 saves only $3.08/month, but cuts over $500,000 from the budget – hurting soccer & baseball field maintenance and police & fire response. Our property taxes are near the bottom in the County. ( SJC Budget 2013-14, p31-32, “General Fund, Property Tax Revenue” www.sjc.utah.gov/finance.asp ).
- Alvord: Scott Osborne spent millions on a special interest historical home.
Not so and Bad Facts! The previous City Council spent $400,000 on the Holt Farmstead historical home gifted to the city to shore its foundations, and add bathrooms for the future surrounding park. They approved another $400,000 to build fire pits, a bowery, and add a parking lot. The new Council (myself included) stopped the spending of another $500,000 to renovate the interior of the farmhouse. The previous Council created a real winner for the citizens…go visit it, it’s at about 10300 S on 1300 W.
- Alvord: wants Xeriscaping instead of grass, and wants grass removed from 11400 S. road planters.
Bad Advice! The 11400 S. planters have low-water, drought tolerant grass being tested before we place it elsewhere. This grass will be used in our new parks around the perimeters. HOWEVER, you can’t xeriscape soccer and main park play areas because the kids can’t play on xeriscaping plants!
- Alvord: wants small ways to save including printing and automated payments.
We’ve already done that! Last year, Council and Senior staff went paperless slashing our printing costs on manuals, reports and our bi-monthly 200-300 pg City Council packets. Technology was upgraded so residents have been automatically charging their utility bills for a year. But I prefer to think big on savings — and we’re doing that with a new road chemical making the roads last years longer. We also started pre-treating the roads before snowfalls cutting our salt budget by 2/3’s, and we started converting our parks to secondary water instead of culinary – all which is now saving you hundreds of thousands in tax dollars every year! This year, we’re installing a central wireless sprinkler controller to cover the parks across the city, saving hundreds of thousands more.
- Alvord: taxpayers should pay to provide canal water to the entire city.
The cost is too high! We’ve already studied it. 1/3 of residents now have access to secondary. A previous Council’s decision years ago would cost over $63 million to change now, sending monthly secondary water costs to $72/month, making it too costly. Our solutions – existing neighborhoods can get low cost city financing to install it to their neighborhood as a group, and new developments install it if it’s nearby.
- Alvord: Uncontrolled Growth is hurting our property values, Osborne’s pushing developers away creating development gridlock, plus stop building high density housing and 80% of housing being built is high density.
Not so and Bad Facts! You can’t have it both ways — that I’m pushing away developers and creating development gridlock while I’m also responsible for growth by developers. FACT: South Jordan issues 25% of all building permits in SL County. FACT: We’re #1 in Home Starts across the Wasatch Front for the last 12 months (as of 6/30/13, SL Realtor Board). AND, FACT: we’re #2 in UT in Fastest Appreciation and Growth in Property Values because of what we have been doing! (SL Realtor Board).
The previous City Council passed the VMU zoning designation, allowing mix of housing jointly with commercial development. As we were recently surprised to find, it also allows higher density housing (apartments), so we voted for a 6 month moratorium to fix it. Despite the VMU, we’ve already denied high density apartments from the last 5 VMU applications!
And just so you know, the first 3 VMU’s that did not have high density housing in the application and we approved them, but again, we denied high density housing in the last 5.
Alvord’s number of 80% of housing being built is high density – NOT EVEN CLOSE! That figure is from 2008, FIVE YEARS AGO! In 2012 – out of 654 building permits, 1 is for the apartment/townhome mix on River Heights Drive before the VMU problem came to our attention. In 2013 YTD – out of 571 building permits, 1 was for senior moderate income housing on Redwood Rd required by law, and 1 was in Daybreak over which we have no control because of a previous Council approval of a Master Development agreement.
- Alvord: There is discord by the Council and gridlock by residents storming City Council meetings.
Not So! Sure there are disagreements, but that’s the nature of the City Council Members doing their job in representing their constituents. Everyone is cordial, and we end up voting the same way 90% of the time as we modify motions and resolutions to provide for concerns. HOWEVER, I fail to see why it is wrong to inform residents of land use changes with our new 2 foot x 2 foot signs so they can have input as their neighborhoods build out. Residents having input does not equal gridlock!
- Question: A Mayoral candidate has said Mulligans is being sold, why?
Not so, and Bad Facts! Over the last year, we commissioned an Economic Development survey of the east side, and Mulligan’s was a portion of the study area. The conclusion was that 10600 South needed expansion, affecting Mulligan’s future operations but we don’t have specifics and won’t know for several years. Our new Circulator Bus system between Sandy Trax, Front Runner, River Park, and Redwood Rd is helping to reduce congestion, but we’re talking with UDOT because the process will take several years before 10600 S is widened.
“Despite being a relatively new Mayor, he sits on state boards like EDC-UT (economic development) and WFRC (transportation) and local boards including Jordan Valley Water, South Valley Sewer and Jordan Coalition (works with Jordan School District), attending 14 various outside meetings monthly plus city meetings. We need his recognized experience and focused dedication to the job to continue to represent us. We continue to need a Mayor like Scott Osborne who can continue the 30+ hours a week he puts in.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . George & Jackie Sanders
“…it is critical to our success to have local government that is well managed, operates efficiently and understands the needs of those companies which reside within its limits. Under your leadership (Mayor Osborne), South Jordan City has been an example of how local government should be run…Thanks again for the leadership you have provided during your tenure as mayor.”
. . . . . . Harry Rosenberg, Pharm.D., PhD., President Emeritus, Roseman University
To ask Scott questions, please email him at email@example.com