I can officially say we are off to a great summer here in Kirtland. With neighbors helping neighbors, new civic partnerships, a community survey, exciting outdoor events, and selfless volunteerism, I’d say the barometer measuring community spirit is on the rise.
We led off June with several incredible efforts of coordination, comradery, and purpose. On Saturday, June 5th, Service Director Fornaro led over a dozen Kiwanis members in completing a litter index as part of our commitment to the Keep America/Kirtland Beautiful initiative. Covering each neighborhood and quadrant of Kirtland, our groups were charged with rating streets and neighborhoods for both litter and unsightliness. Although we have some work to do, I’m proud to say most of the areas surveyed were in an exemplary state.
On June 12th we had the privilege of executing our first Mayor’s Action Network project as we identified ten properties in Kirtland that needed assistance with light yardwork. With the help of members of Kiwanis, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and Divine Word Church, nearly forty volunteers weeded, trimmed, mulched and even mowed ten residential properties in less than three hours. I have to say, this might have been my proudest moment since taking the office of Mayor. If you have a friend, relative or neighbor that might need a little help in the yard, or if you would like to be added to our list of volunteers, please call Teresa Szary at 256-3332 ex. 5 or email email@example.com.
The month of volunteer spirit continued with what was an utterly successful Safety Town. Led by Jeni Potter (my beautiful wife), over thirty Kirtland High School counselors taught sixty Kirtland Elementary students the ABCs of fire, traffic, and general safety measures. We appreciate the time and energy from all of our presenters and instructors, including School Resource Officer Bill Bauckman, Firefighter Dan Samf, Service Director Fornaro, Fire, Police and Service Department and Kirtland School personnel to create a fun and safe environment for our young residents. And a sincere thank you to those that donated to the cause, including Down the Block, Mike’s Meat Market, Sweeter than Honeycomb, and Angelo’s Pizza (we encourage you to check out the complete list of sponsors on Facebook and our website). Last but not least, to Steve our Service Department mechanic that worked on the traffic safety light at home and on his own free time, and to Pete Taraska (husband of Senior Staff member Sharon) for his five days of volunteer work. Truly a team effort.
In the next few weeks, we will be breaking ground on the highly anticipated Pickleball courts at the Community Center. With a lot of hard work, we hope to have the courts filled with action by Labor Day. Our seniors and community have waited patiently for this project and we are grateful to all those helping get us to the finish line.
The rest of the summer in Kirtland is gearing up to be both exciting and productive. We are all thankful to City Council for passing legislation authorizing the City to enter into a contract for the paving of Billings Road, Springer, Wisner Road, Oakwood Drive, and a portion of Beechwood Drive. Contract paving should begin later this month or early August. As road work begins, we will keep residents apprised of both the schedule and progress. We appreciate your patience and caution as crews from both the City and hired contractors work along our roadways.
The City survey is now closed, and results will soon be posted on our website and Facebook pages. Residents Sanjay Parker and James Schleicher, as well as Councilman John Lesnick invested an enormous amount of input toward the development of the survey, and a big thank you to Sanjay for bringing the digital version to life. Kirtland is fortunate to have so many talented and giving residents, and I truly appreciate the willingness to lend a helping hand.
Finally, continue to be on the lookout for details regarding the Friends of the Kirtland Library summer concerts in the gazebo. With the help of Jane Carle, the City is working to compliment these already great evenings with food and community.
Happy summer and stay safe!
Kevin Potter, Mayor