City Manager Spotlight: Looking Forward in our Community Efforts
Looking Forward in our Community Efforts
By City Manager Tim Tingey
One of the critical elements in city government is to constantly be looking forward to opportunities and ways to enhance a community. In my time as city manager at Cottonwood Heights, I have been impressed with how our current and past community leaders have been forward-thinking in making decisions that will impact the future of our city. I have also been grateful for our city staff and department heads who work diligently to enhance efforts for the future of the community. Let me share some recent ways in which our city administration is looking forward to enhancing Cottonwood Heights:
Planning and Open Space—This past year we finalized the Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan and have been working collaboratively with representatives of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), in providing input on environmental impact statement (EIS) and Gravel Pit design meetings. These efforts along with collaboration with the Central Wasatch Commission, Utah Transit Authority and Salt Lake County will contribute to better design elements for the future of Wasatch Boulevard and will address traffic congestion by planning for parking transit and parking amenities for the area.
We completed the final section of the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail, in front of the existing homes on Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. The project was completed using grant money from Salt Lake County and UDOT. We also procured $1.5 million in grant funding for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, began an access master planning process and explored other opportunities to pursue trail development. These projects are important quality of life enhancements for the city and region.
Internal Operation Enhancements—We are working on ways to enhance sustainability in our community in collaboration with Millcreek and Holladay cities. This includes development of a three-city sustainability master plan that we hope to have considered by our elected officials later this year. In recent months, our staff has conducted a complete overhaul of our geographic information system, which created direct and easy access to maps and data for our community.
Our staff also completed the process for a new internal timecard system. This transition has resulted in a cost savings for the city and enhances efficiency for city users. We acquired an online onboarding human resource system which allows for a more updated and streamlined process for potential job applicants for our city. We have also worked on succession plans for each department to be prepared for future staff capacity needs and received the certificates of achievement for our efforts in financial reporting and budgeting, which has been an ongoing occurrence for several years.
Public Safety Efforts—Our police department staff conducted an important and major transition to a new computer assisted dispatch (CAD) system that links criminal activities with other communities. This included extensive work in new network setup, testing and configuration of workflows for the system which was a huge undertaking. This system is critical to allow for coordinated communication and assignment of public safety resources to respond to individuals in need. This effort is an important step to be prepared for the valley-wide transition to new software and these efforts demonstrate our forward-thinking on public safety issues.
Snow Plowing Efficiency—In our efforts with improved snow plowing, we have enhanced our efficiency by installing new wings on two city plows to allow for tandem travel which reduces time needed to complete major roads such as Fort Union Boulevard and Highland Drive. We have also improved our salting efficiency per mile, which has resulted in a savings in our public works operational budgets.
These are just a few examples of the many areas where we are looking forward in our community efforts, and we are pleased with ways that we have enhanced our capacity or efficiency in providing services. However, there are many other areas where we continually need to improve our efforts to better meet the needs of residents and property owners. We will continue to find ways to be more effective and efficient in our processes and implementation of services. Our focus now and in the future will always be to keep striving in looking forward to better our community.