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South Salt Lake Journal

Mayor addresses goals, accomplishments and kindness in State of the City speech

May 30, 2022 05:37PM ● By Bill Hardesty

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood gave her 12th State of the City speech during a dinner at the Columbus Center April 25.

Previous to the mayor's speech, the land and meeting was blessed by Councilmember at-large Clarissa Williams, a member of the Navajo Nation. A joint honor guard of SSLFD and SSLPD under the direction of Chief Terry Addison presented the colors. Edward Lopez of Promise SSL, an accomplished singer, sang "What a Wonderful World," a song made famous by Louis Armstrong.

2022 – The Year of the Neighborhood

"I hope you feel like you are on my front porch," Wood said at the beginning of her remarks.

She pointed out that the State of the City event was not her day but every resident's day because it is a day for reflection and celebration of the past year.

Because 2021 was an election year, Wood said she spent more time in the neighborhoods speaking to various SSL residents.

"I learned that no matter your age, your income, or ethnic background, we all want to live in safe and vibrant neighborhoods," Wood said. "One of my three primary goals for South Salt Lake is to be a city of strong and amazing neighborhoods. And we are doing it!"

Wood listed 11 unique neighbors: Granite Legacy, Central Park, S-Line, Fitts Park, Mill Creek, Meadowbrook Station, Southgate, Water Tower, Downtown, Jordan River, and Riverfront. The city created fun lawn signs for residents to display. They are available at city hall.

Wood highlighted the creation last year of the Department of Neighborhoods, headed by Sharen Hauri. This reorganization puts city services under one roof, such as parks, facilities, and code enforcement. She encouraged residents needing help to contact the new Neighborhood Ambassador Abbey Sherlock. Sherlock directs people to the correct department and promptly makes sure the issue is resolved.

Wood spoke about the developing SSL downtown with the opening of South City office space and the eight-story mixed-use building under construction.

"But perhaps the most exciting downtown news is the area where 11 developers have joined forces to create a half-billion dollars in investment right here in South Salt Lake. Residents will see more construction cranes at one time than ever before in our city's history. And the result will be a mix of retail, housing, office, and our city's first tech campus," Wood said.

In addition, Wood mentioned the new Granite Library opening in June and multiple ways the city is becoming greener.

Wood moved to her second goal for South Salt Lake: continued efforts to be a city that truly invests in people. Off the top, she spoke about the 13 community centers serving youth and young adults. Next, she highlighted Promise SSL after-school programs.

"If Promise was the 1.0 version of investing in people, our exciting new Community Opportunity Center is the 2.0 version, officially opening this summer," Wood said. "I'm so excited about this new space at our Columbus Community Center that will be a launchpad for people to invest in themselves. The Co-op, as we call it, will offer co-working space and resources for financial empowerment, digital access, and supporting job and career growth and entrepreneurship."

Wood also announced an expansion of the Mill Creek Trail and other outdoor investments. In addition, she committed to having more "Mondays with the Mayor" in 2022. Her goal is to hold one in all 11 neighborhoods.

The mayor ended the speech by talking about her third goal—celebrating South Salt Lake. She outlined her top five SSL things to celebrate:

1.      Our diversity.

2.      The entrepreneurial spirit thriving in our growing Creative Industries Zone.

3.      Let's celebrate all the new businesses making South Salt Lake home.

4.      Let's celebrate events like tonight that are so important in bringing residents and businesses together.

5.      Great neighbors.

"Let's make 2022 the best year in South Salt Lake's amazing history. I know we can," Wood said. 

State of City Awards

The State of the City awards recognized the people and businesses that "make South Salt Lake truly a community." More information about recipients is available on the city's website.

·         Citizen of the Year – Doug Moffat

·         Legacy Family of the Year – The Farnsworth Family

·         United Way and Promise SSL Partner of the Year – English Skills Learning Center

·         Community Builder – Tom and Marsha Lowe Family

·         Employee of the Year – Jenica Laws (Animal Services Supervisor)

·         Volunteer of the Year – Rick Birrell

·         City Council Champion – Natalie Pinkney

·         Equity Champion – Bonnie Owens

·         Best Friend of Seniors – AARP – FitLot

·         Community Champions – SSL Homeless Resource Officers

·         Mayor's Spirit of Community – Christie Patton

·         Youth Neighborhood Ambassador – Sydney Thorton

·         Best Local Art Advocate – Josh Scheuerman

·         Best Public Art – Krysta Dimik

·         Best Pizza – Villaggio Pizzeria

·         Best Coffee – IndieGo Coffee

·         Best Small Business – AlphaGraphics

·         Best Café – Dali Crepes

·         Best Creative Industry – Grid City Beer Works

·         Best Employer –


Wood concluded the night by talking about the "Doing One Kind Act a Day" initiative by the Semnani Family Foundation.

"I'd like to support and encourage this initiative but make it special to SSL," Wood said. "Since it is the year of the neighborhood in SSL, I would like to encourage each of you to perform one kind act a day in your neighborhood. It could be as simple as a smile, a wave, picking up garbage, or helping with yard work. Imagine how powerful and contagious with one kind act leading to another."