Mayor McAdams sends letter of resignation to the County Council
Today I sent my letter of resignation to the County Council; resignation effective on January 2, 2019. I am grateful to county residents for this incredible opportunity to serve as Salt Lake County Mayor and I look forward to continuing public service as representative for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, beginning on January 3, 2019.
Read my resignation letter here
Announcing a proposed new Jordan River Park
Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation is beginning the process to design a proposed Jordan River Park. Using existing areas owned by Salt Lake County, including small parks and open space, the park will bring these places together into one regional park.
The Jordan River Park will prioritize conservation of natural habitat and fun activities to bring more families to the Jordan River.
An exciting part of a future Jordan River Park will be a second location for the Tracy Aviary that they’re calling the Jordan River Nature Center. Tracy Aviary will take its beloved education
and conservation programs right to the Jordan River. Construction on a new facility will begin in 2020. To begin programming sooner, Tracy Aviary is openning for business at the Jordan River this spring using a transitional,
temporary building until their permanent Jordan River home is ready for use.
Collaboration and public participation are key to getting this project done right. The county is working closely with local cities and the Jordan River Commission to ensure their voices are heard and their ideas are part of the planning process. Understanding
that parks are built for the public and that the Jordan River is something we all share, community feedback must be part of the park visioning and development. Parks and Recreation will begin a robust public engagement starting in the spring, and
members of the public can start weighing in now by visiting the Jordan River Park website.
Read the Salt Lake Tribune article about the park announcement
Mayor’s proposed 2019 Salt Lake County budget
Today I presented my proposed 2019 Salt Lake County budget to the County Council. My proposal is a structurally balanced budget that is fiscally sound with no tax increase. The budget prioritizes public safety – our core responsibility to county residents.
Public safety is my top priority. We must lock up criminals, we must maintain public safety, and we must do it in a fiscally responsible way. Together, with the support of the County Council we made a commitment to fund the opening of two additional pods
at Oxbow Jail. My proposal renews that commitment with an additional $1.3 million to fully fund the opening of Oxbow. This amount is in addition to the already $7.4 million public safety investment for Oxbow Jail that was funded with council support
We know that jail is not the silver bullet to complex criminal justice issues. While criminals belong behind bars, my budget proposal also recognizes programs that are proven to get to the root of why a person breaks the law. Breaking that cycle both
saves taxpayer dollars and allows those who have paid their debt to rejoin society as law-abiding, contributing citizens.
Read more about my proposed budget here.
New initiative to increase U.S. citizenship
Today I joined partners in the faith, government, business, and education sectors to launch the new United for Citizenship effort. The new program is geared towards the 22,000 permanent legal residents living in Salt Lake County - with the goal to help them become U.S. citizens.
There are many benefits that come with citizenship, including better education opportunities, easier travel, and access to more jobs. Those who are naturalized also increase their earning potential by 10 percent - that’s money that can be put back into our local economy, helping it to grow. Unfortunately, eligible residents encounter barriers to gaining U.S. citizenship, such as a lack of information, a confusing process, tough English and civic tests, and expensive fees.
Understanding these benefits and barriers is what shaped United for Citizenship. Using a two-pronged approach we are: (1) making information about resources such as legal and language help, more easily available; and (2) enlisting the help of others in the community to participate. Our new website at unitedforcitizenship.org is a one-stop-shop where residents can find resources to become U.S. citizens, and where business and nonprofit organizations can sign up to join the effort.
My hope is that those who are eligible for citizenship will take that first step; and that those who started but then got stuck, will take that next step.
There are so many community partners supporting and working on United for Citizenship. Together we welcome immigrants and recognize the contributions immigrants make in our community. It is with this broad support that we will share the American Dream with so many of our friends and neighbors.
News conference to launch United for Citizenship
Organizations represented at the launch:
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Utah State Legislature: Senators Jani Iwamoto & Curtis Bramble
Salt Lake Chamber & Downtown Alliance
Salt Lake Community College
Operation Rio Grande – one year later
When I joined state and city leaders to launch Operation Rio Grande one year ago, I said we cannot jail our way out the problem. Now, a year later, in-patient residential treatment for drug abuse and mental illness has expanded by 243, people who were once on the street are now in safe, affordable sober living housing, and our community is safer.
There is still more work to do, more challenges ahead. One thing we know for sure, is that those who have accepted help and stuck with it, are getting back on their feet and rejoining society.
My team and I continue to expand treatment options and work to remove barriers that can prevent people from regaining self-reliance. We work with the behavioral health treatment providers, the courts, law enforcement, and state and local leaders. People who once thought they were destined to die on the street are getting housing, jobs, and reuniting with loved ones. Our work is not only compassionate, it also saves tax dollars. It is cheaper to provide treatment than for those same individuals to cycle in and out of jail.
More on Operation Rio Grande
Photo caption: Mayor McAdams with Emily and Beth who were arrested in Operation Rio Grande, and Beth’s daughter Kelsey. Emily and Beth are both in treatment and have stable jobs.