Welcome to 2024! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for all the great things that lay ahead in the new year.
I want to start by wishing a warm welcome to our new city council members, Jenn Gale and Chris Killpack. We are also glad to have Jeff Lambson back on the team. I look forward to working with each of these new members to continue to make great things happen for Orem.
Over the first weekend in January, we held the annual two-day City Council retreat, where we gathered together as city leaders to discuss important issues, set goals, and identify the top priorities for the upcoming year.
At the retreat, we had a positive discussion about moving forward in a spirit of unity that is grounded in truth, honesty, and mutual respect. We will not always agree on every issue, which is actually a good thing for the city. Still, we are fully committed to working together in a civil and productive fashion to create an environment where families can thrive.
I would also like to extend this challenge to each of you, our valued citizens. There has been so much division and negativity in our nation, state, and even our city. Let’s make this the year where we rise above that and unite in honesty, service, and goodwill towards all. It is only on that foundation that Orem can heal and live up to its incredible promise as a premier community in this country.
Looking back on 2023, we have much to be proud of:
- As a City Council and City Leadership we are working together to raise the bar and make Orem one of the best cities in the country.
- Once again, another year with NO NEW TAXES – Cities & agencies all around us are raising taxes, but not Orem
- $1.1 Million in direct savings thanks to restructuring and operational efficiencies throughout the city
- Over $21 Million in grants, which is $21 million that we can use to enhance our city, while costing our taxpayers nothing.
- There are many new parks, playgrounds, critical infrastructure projects, green space preservation, water conservation, recreation amenities, and so much more.
There is an incredible amount of momentum in Orem right now. The City Council and city leadership staff are aligned and working together in a spirit of collaboration to take Orem to the next level. Our vision is clear, and we are completely committed to the mission.
As we step into 2024, we, as the City Council, are focused on specific areas that will further enhance the quality of life in Orem. Our areas of focus for the upcoming year are:
- Safe, Livable, Connected, & Engaged Neighborhoods
- Thriving and Balanced Business Environment
- Dependable Infrastructure
- Community-Focused & Effective Government
- Skilled & Talented Workforce
We will pursue these goals all under the overarching benchmark that Orem is FAMILY CITY USA, and all decisions should align with that identity. We will share more specifics about each of these areas of focus as we go throughout the year.
All of us on the City Council are working on these goals, but we can’t do it alone. Your support, involvement, and UNITY are crucial to our city’s success. We encourage you to stay engaged, share your ideas, and participate in our community initiatives. Together, we can achieve incredible things and make Orem an even more wonderful place to live.
Here’s to a prosperous and fulfilling new year ahead!
I’ll see you next month.