Friday, January 25, 2008

Local Officials Day

Utah State Capitol Building

While the State Legislature is in session this blog will have a slant towards what is happening on the state level. Because of decisions that are made by the State we spend a good amount of time paying attention to bills that are being proposed.

With that, on Wednesday, January 23rd South Ogden City participated in Local Officials Day. Local Officials Day is organized by the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) and is an opportunity for mayors and city councils across the state to spend the morning with their legislators up at the Capitol. Most cities have previously met with their state representatives before the session starts, but this gives them a chance to watch the state legislature in action.

Along with local officials, youth councils from across the state were invited as well. The South Ogden City Youth Council had eight kids attend the event. It was an early start since we had to be to the Capitol by 8:00 a.m., but we were able to arrive in time to attend a couple of committee meetings. Because there were 450 youth council members in attendance it was kind of hard to find a seat at times.

Utah House of Representatives Chamber

At 10:00 a.m. we were able to watch the House of Representatives in action. Personally, I have always found the State Legislature to be quite fascinating. If you have never had the opportunity to be at the State Capitol to view them in person it is worth it to do it at least once. We didn't have a chance to visit the Senate due to time constraints, but I think it was fun for the youth council to see something they don't see everyday.

After that the youth council went to a session where Pat Bagley was the guest speaker. Mr. Bagley is a political cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune. He was able to show some of his work from the previous years as a cartoonist.

The day ended with lunch in which the youth council met back up with the local officials and the state legislators joined us at our respective tables. This time is important to cities as we continue to let our state legislators know about the issues that affect us. State legislators have a tough job because of so many competing interests so we make sure that they recognize that their constituents are also our constituents. We hope that decisions made at the state level will continue to support the citizens of South Ogden.