I’ve been doing magic since I was 8 years old. A lot of people don’t know this but to put myself through college, I toured the country as a professional magician for several years. I performed at venues both large and small, putting on hundreds of shows for thousands of people. My show toured alongside other great magicians including the famous David Copperfield.

But the best magicians I’ve ever worked with are right here in the City of Orem. What our elected officials, staff, and residents have accomplished over the last year or so has been nothing short of magical. It would take hours to properly review and consider all of the city’s 2023 accomplishments, but luckily we have magic on our side

I am now going to attempt my most daring magic effect to date: to highlight the city’s top accomplishments in 2 minutes or less.

We are all in on Orem as Family City USA. It’s more than just a slogan. It’s who we are and what we’re all about. We have made it the benchmark for all decision-making in the city.

This is where we’re going to build Utah County’s first Gold Star Family Memorial to recognize the sacrifices of those in our community who have lost a loved one in the armed forces.  

We’re more than halfway done building this 10 million gallon, underground water tank that will secure Orem’s water needs for generations to come and create our 21st park in Orem.

Through some innovative efficiencies and restructuring, we’re saving $1.1 million per year that can be reinvested in critical projects and personnel.

We’ve made major investments and changes in our Public Safety Department to make sure Orem remains one of the safest communities in the nation. We’ve expanded the number of school crossing guards, combined dispatch forces with Provo for faster response times, and made sure our first responders are taken care of. We also got this awesome new fire engine!

The former Hillcrest Elementary site is being magically transformed into a world class park with three playgrounds, 12 pickleball courts, a community center, a splash pad, and so much more. It’ll be ready this Spring.

We’re building a state-of-the-art city center here at the heart of Orem and the real magic is we’re doing it with absolutely no debt and no new taxes. This new building will serve as our emergency operations center. We can’t wait to have you come see it early next year. 

Thanks to a $2 million grant from Utah County, Lakeside Sports Park has new turf softball and soccer fields which will extend our recreation seasons and make Orem a prime location for regional and national tournaments. 

We buried the State Street Master Plan that called for 10,000+ high-density apartments on State Street and we’re now working on a new plan to transform and beautify State Street that focuses on service, office, and retail development. 

We’ve passed legislation to protect Orem’s public lands for future generations. We don’t want any kind of development on our parks, schools, or city properties.

Being super business-friendly has been a huge priority for us. Over the last two years, we’ve issued over 880 new business licenses and enhanced our efforts to support and promote our local businesses. Orem is open for business!

We’ve secured over $21 million in grant funding to help us do more as a city without adding taxes on our residents. We’ve conducted an independent and comprehensive  study of city departments to make sure we’re running the city in the best possible way. We created the Orem Transparency Portal so that our residents can always see what we’re up to.

And my personal favorite, we revamped our city Christmas light display and event for maximum holiday magic.

Magicians are never supposed to reveal how they do their magic but in this case, I’ll be completely open about it. The magic that made all of these amazing things possible are the people who work, serve, and live here. No one person could accomplish all of this alone. It takes the whole team and we’ve got a truly magical team here in Orem. 

Let’s keep the magic going  this year! All you have to do is believe.

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