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Best of South Salt Lake honors those who make SSL a better place

Aug 01, 2018 09:26AM ● Published by Holly Vasic

Guests mingle during the March 2018 State of the City Address lunch at the Columbus Center. (Holly Vasic/City Journals)

By Holly Vasic | h.vasic@mycityjournals.com 

To invest in people is a priority for South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood as she looks toward the future, according to her 2018 State of the City address she gave in March at the historic Columbus Center. Honoring outstanding citizens who have served South Salt Lake is a way Wood celebrates her community and those who make it a better place.

The 2018 Community Advocate award was presented to Senator Gene Davis for his work at the legislative session. Davis’ contributions helped pass a bill that ensures South Salt Lake receives funding for resources to reduce the impact of the homeless resource center that will be moving into the community.

“Senator Davis had some heavy lifting, he was amazing,” Wood said back in a March interview about the legislative session. Despite efforts by many to not be the city chosen for the center, in the end South Salt Lake was still selected. With the support from the senate minority leader, $2.6 million a year for new police and firefighters will ease the transition of taking on the shelter.

South Salt Lake resident Attila Papp was one of the many who stood up and fought for South Salt Lake when the city was first being considered for the new homeless resource center and his efforts were noticed. Papp was awarded 2018 Community Builder due to his Facebook page “Stand Up for South Salt Lake,” that is still active and informative today. According to Wood, during the discussions of where to place the shelter, “He provided critical updates and monitored the conversation about the issue.”

Many people who live, work, worship, and play in the city do their part to keep South Salt Lake a safe place, such as Employee of the Year Firefighter Engineer Joe Anderson who has been with the SSL Fire Department for 15 years, like his father, Leonard, before him. Leonard and his wife, Kathy, and their children Janet, Leslie, Debbie, and firefighter Joe received the SSL Legacy Family award. Leslie’s four children make up the fourth generation of Andersons to live in the city, just like Wood’s children, as she mentioned during the presentation of the award.

The Citizens of the Year award was given to another Anderson family (unrelated)—Bill and Connie Anderson. From Granite High student to teacher and now advocate of education, Connie has been active in SSL schooling. Bill went from planning commission, to city council, and now Utah International Charter School Board of Trustees member. Their community involvement has made them remarkable citizens of South Salt Lake.

Sharla Bynum, formally Sharla Beverly, knows all about being an educator and council member in South Salt Lake. Bynum taught at Roosevelt Elementary for 19 years and was re-elected for another term in 2017 for District 3. She was awarded Council Champion. “She never hesitates to pay a compliment, give credit where it is due, and speak honestly and earnestly about the issues,” Wood said during the presentation.

Next year will highlight more community advocates and residents as Wood continues to invest in people and celebrate those who work hard to make South Salt Lake a better place.

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