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The City Journals

Sandy resident recognized for contributions to public meetings

Apr 06, 2018 11:36AM ● By Justin Adams

Steve Van Maren is presented with an Engaged Citizen award by the Sandy City Council and Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Visitors to Sandy City Council meetings are bound to hear from a few different people during the evening: the council of course, the mayor and other administration employees, and Mr. Steve Van Maren. 

Van Maren has been attending various public meetings in the community for years, an effort for which he recently received a Citizen Engagement Award during the city council meeting.

“Steve Van Maren should receive the award for being the record holder for making the most public comments during city council meetings,” said council chair Linda Martinez-Saville when presenting the award. “If you guys come here you know he’s always in the audience.”

Martinez-Saville added that Van Maren is well informed on all the city’s issues and that he often greets those who may be attending a public meeting for the first time and helps to make them comfortable.

“My interest in doing this is good governance,” Van Maren said. “Everything from a spelling error to good behavior on the government’s part. I don’t have an agenda other than that.” 

Van Maren began attending public meetings about 10 years ago during the creation of the Canyons School District and hasn’t stopped since. He now regularly attends city council meetings, school board meetings and county council meetings.

In one instance, Van Maren remembers attending a county council meeting in which one council person expressed some kind of grievance with the Sandy city government. Van Maren then reported that grievance to the Sandy City Council, which was able to clear up the issue with the county.

Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn said it would be great to see more citizens coming out to public meetings. “I’m a big believer in our democracy working best when more people get involved. I think that deliberating and discussion that creates better ideas. The more citizens we can have like Steve, the better Sandy City is going to be.”