Dear Fellow Residents and Visitors,
I would like to share with you something that I’ve learned in my first three months as mayor. I am impressed with the knowledge and perspective-taking ability of our town’s staff, our town council members, the staff members of our partner agencies, and many of our residents and visitors. At the same time, I have occasionally been caught off-guard by the ways in which some folks seem to understand the opportunities and challenges that confront our community. I am gratified by the first observation and concerned about the second.
Our staff, our town council, and our partners grapple with complex issues including, to name just a few, dog licensing, water and sanitation system management, budgeting, law enforcement, summer programming, avalanche safety, and land use and zoning regulations. After the March Little Cottonwood Road Committee meeting amongst representatives of ten agencies, Alta Marshal Mike Morey and I wrote an open letter to the users of SR 210. That letter was inspired by the incredible dedication, intelligence, and integrity of the people who keep access to Alta safe. These are examples of the kinds of collaborative efforts I have been lucky to be part of.
However, I have received several emails in response to that open letter that belie what I think is a lack of a consistent understanding among the general public of just how complex Alta, and Little Cottonwood Canyon, really are. Some of these letters have been harsh in tone and even accusatory, and I regret that some canyon users feel that we are not doing all we can to promote public safety and recreation access. We will endeavor to do more to communicate about everything we do to make Alta and Little Cottonwood a safe and enjoyable place to visit.
The more time I spend as your mayor, the more I learn that the complexity of the issues that confront us require us all to have empathy for others’ points of view. Thank you to all who see that need and have the patience to understand that many people are working tirelessly on our behalf. Here are just a few ways to learn about what’s happening, and to contribute to the conversation:
-Follow @altacentral, @canyonalerts, @udotavy and @uacwasatch on twitter for real-time notification as restrictions to SR 210, backcountry terrain, and interlodge travel are announced
–Attend an Alta Town Council meeting
–Subscribe to the Town of Alta newsletter
-Attend the upcoming UDOT SR 210 EIS Public Scoping Meeting