Since taking office, one of my top priorities has been to reestablish Orem’s identity as “Family City USA.” “Family City USA” is now proudly displayed on our city buildings, vehicles, uniforms, flags, welcome signs, and more. But let me emphasize that Family City USA is not just a slogan; it is a guiding principle that shapes every decision and action in our city.
Our primary mission as your Mayor and City Council is clear: To create an environment where families can thrive. “Family City USA” represents our unwavering commitment to enhancing the well-being of every person in Orem.
We ask ourselves a simple question with every decision we make: Does this promote family values in Orem? In this way, this motto becomes more than words; it becomes the benchmark against which every decision is measured.
Our focus on family well-being stems from a fundamental understanding: the family unit is the cornerstone of any society. It’s within families that values are instilled, shaping the future of our community. The strength of our society is inseparably connected to the health of our families.
Studies show that strong families lead to longer life expectancy, reduced mental illness, less substance abuse, lower crime rates, higher academic achievements…just to name a few. The bottom line is that a stable family system benefits everyone.
This year, we passed a balanced budget that increased investments in public safety, parks and city facilities without imposing any new taxes and even reducing some fees. Our focus on efficiency has saved the city 1.1 million dollars in operational costs so far this year. Considering that Orem boasts the lowest utility rates and property taxes in Utah County, you can see from a financial standpoint that we are doing all we can to help families thrive.
We’ve also taken steps to protect family neighborhoods by repealing the State Street Master Plan, removing the threat of ten thousand high-density, high-rise apartments on State Street.
In order to protect and preserve Orem’s public lands for future generations, we rezoned all publicly owned land in the city. Additionally, we are planning for the long-term water needs of our families with the construction of a new 10-million-gallon water tank.
Furthermore, we’re creating two new world-class parks, providing families with beautiful places to spend quality time together.
Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, as Orem was recently recognized as one of the top 100 Livable Cities in the United States out of 2,300 cities studied.
We firmly believe that strong families will make for a strong Orem. Our dedication to ensuring Orem remains “Family City USA” is not just a slogan but a profound commitment to the well-being and prosperity of our community for generations to come.
One final thought. As a City Council, we designated September as Orem’s first-ever Constitution Month! Please take the opportunity to participate in these special activities throughout the city.
Fall is here, and I hope you’ll spend time with your family and friends enjoying all that Orem has to offer during this beautiful season. I’ll see you next month.