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The City Journals

Draper City Council Year in Review

Jan 04, 2016 02:32PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Stacy Nielsen

Draper - With the start of a new year comes an opportunity for residents to stay informed about what’s happening in Draper City and to be engaged with local city officials who spend countless hours making decisions for the growth, development and improvements around the city. The Draper Journal asked each city council member and the mayor to provide a brief biography, and to provide an update on two issues: What are major highlights from 2015? What is anticipated in the city for 2016? We received the following responses: 

Mayor Troy Walker

2015 has been an excellent year for Draper City and we have completed many projects. The accomplishment I am proudest of is that the state legislature made the decision to move the state prison out of Draper.  That means we will have 700 acres of land that will be a huge economic boost to our community.  We built the first dog park in Draper off of 300 East and 13400 South called Dayland Dog Park and built a new park just off Bangerter Parkway at 14100 South called Southfork Park.  The Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge was built east of the city to connect the Bonneville shoreline trail across Bear Canyon, called the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge.  We added a beginner’s mountain biking trail at Little Valley.  We built onto city hall and added a police wing.  And the great news is that the construction on 1300 East is completed!

Looking forward to 2016, we have some great projects we are working on.  We are hoping for the addition of a Salt Lake County Aquatic Center in Draper.  We will be concentrating on the economic development at the Frontrunner Station. We have some exciting new businesses coming to town:  Thumbtack, EMC and a new Larry Miller Car Dealership.  The Master Plan for Corner Canyon and the General Plan will be completed in 2016. My door is always open.  Please let me know if
you have some great ideas to improve our community.

Councilmember Jeff Stenquist 

It’s been a great 2015 in Draper. While it was a tough construction year overall we had some great accomplishments.

It’s great to see new businesses continue to locate in Draper to provide employment and great shopping opportunities close to home. I can finally say I don’t need to leave the city for my favorite restaurants.

Personally, I’m most excited about the improvements to our parks and trails systems. I’ve been amazed at the popularity of our new Cycle Park next to the Equestrian Center and we have an incredible new suspension bridge along the Bonneville Shoreline trail across Bear Canyon thanks to the work of the Wadsworth family.

The historic Park School now has a viable future and we have a memorial park at 13200 Fort St. Also, the Wheadon Preserve Park and Dayland Dog Park will be ready for use next year. In 2016 we look forward to finalizing plans with Salt Lake County for a new Recreation Center.

I look forward to continuing the work with my colleagues to enhance life for all Draper residents while doing so in an ethical, transparent and fiscally responsible way. As always your input is welcome in all we do.

Councilmember Bill Rappleye 

I love Draper and its great people. Above all, I am always grateful to those who are always willing to give a helping hand and who are fiercely loyal friends and supporters. I appreciate the “unending optimism” we hold as a council. I have served on many boards and committees through thick and thin, and admire the many great people we have in our city that share their passion and willingness to serve. We have accomplished much because we work as a team as none of us can act alone.

Our current priorities include: parks and trails, recreation programs, quality of life, good planning and balanced zoning, the environment, economic development, good paying jobs and stable businesses.

More than anything I strive to be good person every day, the kind of elected official that is approachable and knows how to get down to business! I believe in keeping a sense of humor:  When we laugh together we can set aside our differences and be good neighbors. I am quick to see a person’s good qualities and am always ready to make a new friend and support them in their efforts in the city. Many people may hold loftier ambitions than local government, however city government is a good fit for me. It is where people really care about other people.

Councilmember Michele Weeks

I am very excited to be the newest member of the Draper City Council.  I am looking forward to a year of listening, learning, and growing into an effective city council member. I want to be a good colleague and a good representative for all of Draper’s citizens. 

Draper is a wonderful community, but as times and issues change, there is always room for improvement. As I walked and knocked on doors, listened to residents and interacted with them, a number of our residents said they feel like their voice doesn’t matter. It is my goal to change that by improving the communications and transparency within our city government. During my first year in office, I plan to work with my colleagues to learn and to listen to what Draper citizen’s needs are and collectively, we will find ways to positively respond to them. I understand I have a huge learning curve being a new member on the city council. I am up to the challenge. 

Here are some of my priorities: Getting more people involved in developing the new Master Plan of Draper. Finding additional funding to maintain our trails. Designating a few more walking only trails in Corner Canyon. Taking a closer look at Draper City Ordinances in regards to the rehab homes. Appointing a citizen advisory committee to make recommendations to the state as to how the approximately 652 acres from the current prison site should be developed. Creating a better flow of traffic in highly congested areas in Draper. Working with Geneva Rock and Sage Engineering to address community concerns. Limiting the amount of new high-density housing in Draper. Exploring more frequent recycling pickups. 

Thank you for electing me to the Draper City Council. I look forward to working with you.

Councilmember Bill Colbert

Draper City did very well during 2015.  We were selected as the 18th “Best Place to Live in the United States” by Money magazine.  Over the past five years, we have continued to improve our ranking in several national publications.  Last year, the city moved forward, with input from our residents, to plan for the SunCrest area open space.  Involved residents will help shape the vision for this pristine open space for generations to come.  I will always be grateful for being able to preserve, with our community’s support, over 4500 acres of pristine open space over the past 12 years.  We also received public input in preparing the city’s application to Salt Lake County, for an expanded aquatics/recreation center on South Mountain. 

We dedicated a new public safety wing to our city hall. Joining these two facilities resulted in significant financial savings.  During the year, we also dedicated two new cycle parks, including one to help novices safely improve their mountain bike skills.  We also dedicated a wonderful new dog park.  We recently dedicated additional softball and baseball fields next to the new Salt Lake County Park on the Wheadon Preserve.  This past year, we likely completed the most lane miles of new road construction and maintenance in our city’s history.  While it was painful and complicated by major concurrent utility projects and I-15 construction traffic, residents are now seeing the benefits of these projects and wise financial budgeting.  As a city council, we secured a private investor to preserve and repurpose the Historic Park School to benefit the community and draw more people to our Town Center.

Looking towards the future, I express my gratitude to Draper residents for giving me the honor of serving our great city over the past 16 years.  I will always be humbled and will treasure the memories of serving our community, with the support of many great people, including my fellow elected and appointed officials, city staff and the many volunteers who help make our city such a great place to live, recreate and work.  

I am confident our city, under the leadership of Mayor Walker, will continue to move Draper forward.  Most importantly, finally, I need to thank my dear, sweet wife, Ruth, who continuously supported me, but unexpectedly passed just before Thanksgiving.  I will miss her greatly. I wish Draper the best! 

Councilmember Marsha Vawdrey 

2015 was a great year for the residents of Draper City.  Ranked the 18th best place to live by Money Magazine, we are fortunate to call Draper home.  Many hard working people have helped to make Draper such an award-winning community.  From our amazing volunteers, to our exceptional city staff, to our elected officials – we have hard working people who have made this happen.  In 2015, we opened a beautiful new public safety wing, along with a new cycle park, a dog park and a mountain bike training course at Little Valley.  We welcomed many hugely successful businesses, paved miles and miles of streets and had a great time celebrating at Draper Days.

In 2016, I look forward to many more successes.  Some of my goals are to work with the council to build a community splash pad and an expanded and more usable Equestrian Center. I also hope to see our trails become friendlier to all users, to build an aquatic recreation center with the county, and explore a green waste recycling program.  2016 promises an even better place to live!

Councilmember Alan Summerhays 

The Draper Journal did not receive a response by press deadline.