Many of you have been asking about Pony Express Days (PED), specifically, what it will look like moving forward. I have not made any public statements yet about my position on PED because I did not want to front-run our City Council on this subject. I intended to have a discussion at the February 4 council meeting, but I canceled that meeting in light of the tragedy only days before. This discussion has been rescheduled for tomorrow’s City Council meeting, in the 4 p.m. work session.
In the August 20, 2013, City Council meeting, a PED analysis was released showing an adjusted net loss of $125,416.43. A proposal was made in that same council meeting that the City no longer organize the PRCA Rodeo, Demolition Derby, or Concert in conjunction with PED. It was also recommended the Rodeo Committee form a non-profit to organize and run the rodeo if they desired, though they would take the financial risk and would be responsible for any loss or gain derived from it. Here is a link if you would like to take a look at the proposal: PED Preliminary Analysis: Restructuring Events Department. I fully support this action.
Since the election, I have personally told former Mayor Heather Jackson, as well as a member of the rodeo committee who contacted me via email, that I would be willing to consider any action to allow the rodeo to continue through an outside organization, though there would need to be written proposal from the committee as to what support they would be requesting from the City. I have not yet heard anything from the Rodeo Committee, however we have invited them to participate in the discussion at tomorrow’s council meeting.
I was elected by the people of Eagle Mountain to exercise fiscal restraint and positive stewardship of taxpayer money. That is exactly what I intend to do. This doesn’t mean that a city-sponsored celebration is inappropriate, only that we should exercise restraint in the pursuit of such a celebration.
Using the Pony Express Days survey to guide our decisions, City staff and I have determined which events we would like to keep and those we wish to either postpone or cut. We have considered the timing of the celebration and plan to start it after children are out of school. We will shorten PED from 11 days to a more manageable number of days, and we will take some of the popular events that don’t fit in to the schedule and spread them out over the summer and fall months so that we can provide events for the community for a longer period of time.
The goal is to keep a fun tradition that brings the community together while keeping the cost down. I have more details which I plan to share with the council tomorrow. I hope to see those of you who can attend there, and will provide an update here on the blog following the meeting.