Vibrant and Growing City
Investing in our City is a promise I made 4 years ago.
- I have and I will continue to support Ogden's growth by supporting key investments like our library, historic landmarks and urban redevelopment areas.
- I have and I will continue to push to create strong identifiable neighborhood districts.
- I have and I will continue to promote public/private partnerships.
- I have and I will continue to support funding for playgrounds, parks and community gathering places.
- I have and I will continue to focus on wellness and recreation programs for all ages.
- I have and I will continue to work with Ogden's education offerings as valued partners.
Create identifiable neighborhood districts
I want to create walkable communities with identifiable neighborhoods. Although small, Ogden is an urban city with urban issues, challenges and successes. We need to embrace this aspect of who we are and take pride in our heritage. Every neighborhood deserves to be named and have signage with a community center and community counsel that celebrates the area. The development and use of community counsels would be the voice for the community and they in turn would be able to share with the City Council the needs and achievements of the area.
We have several areas of land that need developed or re-developed into mixed use or community centered places to anchor these neighborhoods and allow those communities to have areas where they can gather and celebrate their way of life and their history. Ogden already has many community centered hubs which could be used like schools, community health centers, small businesses with mixed used characteristics, places of worship and library centers where people could gather and talk about the issues in their neighborhood. However, there are other areas where we could focus efforts to create more mixed use community gathering places including areas like 24th and Monroe, 30th and Harrison, 2nd and Harrison, the 5 Points area and the area around 12th and Washington.
Promote public/private partnerships.
Public/Private partnerships can be as small as identifying businesses who may want to partner with Ogden to involve their employees with afterschool reading programs and park clean up days. I also see there is a potential to take advantages of public/private partnerships to develop these community and marketplace centers throughout Ogden. Using these tools appropriately, will serve the greater good for all the citizens of Ogden.
I believe the City should have a short and long-term plan and zone the various areas, in general terms, to what the City wants built in the various areas and neighborhoods. I would encourage development and zoning based on the plan and those needs. We should be asking developers to propose what they could develop within the guidelines that have been set by the City Council. The Riverfront Project between 20th and Wall and 18th and Washington is a good example of how this successful planning has finally been implemented. This is a mixed used development with some high density housing which will increase the population, economic diversity and a property tax base of downtown Ogden. This residential growth is required to support the already existing retail businesses.
Maintain playgrounds, parks and community gathering places
In order to continue this trend of creating a unique vibrant city we must fully capitalize on the assets we have and use to our advantage the good media press we have received nationally. Ogden is well known across the globe now as an outdoor recreation paradise. We must make the most of this within our City and not just in our hills and trails. The City has already created a green space zoning category to protect the foothills and mountains and the Ogden River Parkway does a good job of connecting downtown to our canyon and the trails on the east side and can do more.
Ogden maintains several parks and green spaces including Mount Ogden and El Monte Golf Course. Most of these parks were built more than 50 years ago and some of them are in need of reconfiguration. We need to implement the findings of the recreation study that has been evaluated over the last few years and refresh the parks to better serve the more diverse needs of our community.
Focus on wellness and recreation programs for all ages
We are a community which promotes health and wellness to the world, yet we haven’t focused on the wellness and recreation programs for the Ogden citizens. There is a recreation study that is currently being finalized. It is important for Ogden City to be the leaders in the recreation plan for the entire County. We passed a bond this summer to help fix and maintain our pools within our schools and we need to look at the rest of the recreation infrastructure. The Marshall White Center continues to be utilized and is at capacity. We need to make sure we have places for young and old to recreate and stay healthy.
We need to partner with groups like the GOAL foundation who is building a youth recreation division and use the expertise that can be found in our community to support new programs to keep people healthly.
Strive to make Ogden’s education offerings a valued asset.
I want to briefly touch on education. I support the Promise Neighborhood and Ogden United program. The City and the Ogden School District recently have collaborated on a few projects, like those at Shadow Valley Elementary School and the New Bridge School project, where the City and the schools have combined schools within a park. This partnership has saved both the City and the school district money and provided better land use and greater opportunities for the neighborhoods where they are located. I want to encourage more of this cooperation.
I want to explore the opportunity of adding community health centers, exploring partnerships with the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club, in more than one location of the center city and add them to existing schools to aid in the support of well health in the neighborhoods for all ages. There is a multi-purpose reason for adding community health centers within schools. It provides us with opportunities to make those health centers revenue centers instead of cost centers, provides the school with the much needed student health care within the school and it allows the community, to access local health centers within their neighborhood.