The end of 2012 brought major change to the administration of the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council. Not only was I elected the chair for 2013, other officers are also new to the Council leadership: Melanie Fitzwilliam and Laura Arellano. Our first Vice-Chair, Polly Hart, has been an officer before and has a wealth of information about our Council and a deep love for our neighborhoods. What Melanie, Laura and I don’t have in experience, we make up in heart and desire to serve the residents of Capitol Hill.
In addition to our four officers, we have a wonderful slate of trustees, each of whom represents their distinct neighborhood and brings their own expertise and experience to the Council. For a complete listing of all our officers and trustees, please see the council page here on our website.
I have been a resident of the Capitol Neighborhood, living on the corner of Zane Avenue and Wall Street in the Capitol Heights Condominiums, for twenty years. And in that time I have seen a lot of changes, some good, some not so good. Our air quality is worse as is traffic through our narrow streets. Services have not improved. I’ve seen Victory Road re-constructed as well as the Capitol buildings and grounds. It was much quieter in the neighborhood when Victory Road was closed that summer. But now that the Capitol renovations are complete and Victory Road is open, our neighborhoods are directly in the path of students, professors, business people and politicians all driving to points on, east and south of Capitol Hill.
I am personally pleased that the empty block on 300 West is being developed as the Marmalade Block with a public library and townhomes, apartments and stores. The plans are in the works with development to begin as early as later this year. For those of us who use the public library, it will be great to have one in the neighborhood. Our Council has had representation on the library planning group and will participate in the selection of the developer for the rest of the project through SLC Redevelopment Agency.
Beautification on 300 West from North Temple to 900 North:
Third West Street is a state-operated highway within the jurisdiction of the Utah Department of Transportation. It also intersects with city streets at each intersection and with UDOT maintained 600 North to I-15. As early as next year, 300 West will be beautified with the addition of mid-road berms, plantings and trees. This road construction may add to traffic congestion on Capitol Hill and around the Marmalade Block. We will post more information about this on our blog and website as it becomes available.
600 North and I-15 Interchange and Overpass:
For the better part of the last 6 months, our Council has been working with the SLC Transportation Department about the lights outage on the overpass and interchange on 600 North. Thieves had stripped the copper wires out of the lights there (several times, actually) and the City has been looking for a long-lasting solution. Finally, with a solution that they hope will thwart these thieves, the City is currently working on the lights. At this time, some of the lights are on, while others are still being reconfigured. Our Council plans an annual clean-up activity to maintain the overpass for students who attend West High. We will invite the Rose Park and Fairpark Communities Councils to participate with us.
I’ve also initiated a series of neighborhood-specific meetings. I hope that these meetings will serve several purposes for the Council:
- Increase participation in, and understanding of, the Council and its work on behalf of the nine neighborhoods that make up Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council,
- Provide a ground level source of information on what each neighborhood feels are its issues and concerns, and
- Provide new leadership for the Council as we move into the coming years by increasing the role of residents in committees and other Council activities.
To date, two neighborhood meetings have been held: the Capitol & Ensign neighborhoods. I’m working with other trustees to establish dates/times/places for the other neighborhoods. I hope to have this process completed by end of summer 2013. We will post the times and places for these meetings here in The Bulletin.
In late 2012, a Traffic Committee was established and chaired by Laura Arellano. This committee is charged with looking for solutions to the traffic flow and congestion around the Capitol. Pedestrians and drivers from many neighborhoods have complained about the steady stream of traffic from Victory Road to State Street and reverse that inhibits their ability to enter and exit their neighborhoods. Ensign Downs and the Desoto/Cortez neighborhoods are being especially impacted by the current traffic patterns. The committee meets outside of Council meetings and is working with UDOT and SLC Transportation for solutions. Some of the ideas being discussed are a semaphore signal at the intersection of 500 North and Columbus Street, regulating flow onto Victory Road from Beck Street, one-way traffic streets and others.
Personally, I bring 35 years of nonprofit experience to the Council. I also have extensive education in nonprofit administration with a BS in Organization Behavior (University of San Francisco) and an MBA with a concentration in Organization Development (Boston College). I also have a Certificate from Harvard Business School in Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management and am currently working toward a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (University of Utah). I have directed start-up to multi-million dollar nonprofit organizations in Utah and elsewhere. I am currently directing a senior services organization called Utah Senior Village (www.utahseniorvillage.org) and have my own nonprofit consulting company: RStarley Consulting (www.rstarleyconsulting.com).
Chairman, Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council
Thank you for this letter that I read thoroughly. I look forward to more letters. More communication, I hope, will encourage all of us to become more involved. I regret having to miss last night’s monthly meeting. It sounds like we have a great team in place.