Commissioners hear about the Community Covenant program for the National Guard
The Emery County Commission met in their last commission meeting of 2011 and also a public hearing was held to receive comments on the 2012 county budget as well as the Castle Valley Special Service District budget.
Two representatives from the National Guard community covenant program, Chaplain Capt. David Jones and Sgt. Hiram Durfey out of the St. George office presented information about their program to the commission. They showed a short video on the program and asked the commission if they would be interested in establishing a Community Covenant program in Emery County. They are also visiting the local towns and cities to introduce the program to them as well. The Community Covenant program is a nationwide movement to offer support to military families in local communities. The first step is to author a resolution to become involved, after the first step then an event is held on its own or with another community activity where people sign a banner and pledge their support to the cause. The program helps community members become aware of the challenges military families face and educates the public on how they can help military families. Program organizers work to line up the resources and educate community leaders.
Capt. Jones said there are 12 National Guard members in the county. He said he knows there is support for these families and the Community Covenant program enhances awareness for what military families need. One idea is for the military families to receive a utility abatement while their family member is involved in active duty. Another idea was a food drive in support of military families. There can also be a request for added patrols on a family where someone is serving. This gives the service people the comfort of knowing their family is watched over at home. Capt. Jones said the ideas and possibilities are endless for ways a community can come together and support these servicemen and women and their families. "We invite you to be part of the program," said Capt. Jones.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth said the ladies auxiliary has a program called Operation Home Support where they send packages to those on active duty, they also help support family members at home.
Capt. Jones said they can also present an event where military issues can be discussed. The commission will look into the program and start with a resolution.
Capt. Jones said they hope to have the cities become involved with their own resolutions as well.
Under citizen concerns regular pool goers said the water at the pool is too cold. They said the handicapped door doesn't work. Another concern expressed was when there are a lot of people in the pool there needs to be more supervision. Also when the handicapped people are using the pool, there needs to be a lifeguard close at hand.
Other swimmers said the first year the pool was open it was warm, now the water is colder in the evening than in the morning. They wondered if the water temperature can be regulated better.
The swimmers agreed the pool is wonderful and fabulous, but the cold water is chasing people away.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks thanked the ladies for bringing these items to the attention of the commission. The ladies also commented that customer service at the pool is sometimes lacking.
Another concerned citizen commented that there are some boards in the county where people have been there for 20 years or more. He wonders if the boards should have term limits. He also commented the inmate visiting at the jail is pathetic. It's too noisy and there is only one room that is an isolated booth. He recommended extending the walls between the visiting rooms to act as a sound barrier. He thanked the county officials for their service to the county.
Sheriff Greg Funk said they are considering putting phones in the visiting booths for better communication.
Commissioner Horrocks said the county is short a jailer and submitted the name of Brent Ward for approval. He will begin POST training on Jan. 9.
In the commissioner reports Commissioner James Nelson said he attended an interesting meeting with the Alaska delegation on RS-2477 roads and he thinks the county is headed in the right direction there. New covers for the tables at the museum are in place and hopefully this will increase the use of these tables in warm weather.
Commissioner Pitchforth reported the county hosted a senior citizen Christmas party at the museum and it was very fun and well attended. The food was great as well as the entertainment.
Commissioner Horrocks said there are real concerns with possible cuts to programs operated by the Southeastern Utah Association of Governments including the HEAT program and meals on wheels. He is not sure how much will be cut and is working with Debbie Hatt the AOG director to hopefully reduce the impacts. The DWR RAC is working on changes to the bear hunts in regards to using dogs or not using dogs on the bear hunts.
Commissioner Horrocks wished all the county a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He said Emery County has the best employees in the state.
Under the consent agenda the commission approved the following items: on call pay for the detectives, ratification of ambulance adjustments made at the last commission meeting. Approval of out of state travel for Tina Carter, Mike McCandless, Beth Marshall, Taina Benson, LaMar Guymon, Mark H. Williams, Gary Kofford, Eugene Swalberg and David Ames.
One item pulled from the consent agenda was the discount of $100 off a pool pass for county employees which is good towards an individual pass or a family pass. The discount was approved. Tracy Urie and Jackie Allred were approved to serve second terms on the library board. The commission approved a contract for Marilyn Collard to teach a lifesaving class during the holidays. The class will be held on Dec. 21-29 to create a hiring pool for trained lifeguards.