One Giant Leap For Ponykind!

At the last city council meeting, we shared the financial results from Pony Express Days (PED). The goal that we were aiming for was to keep PED costs before wages at or below $25,000. I am pleased to announce that our events department knocked it out of the park and not only met this goal but made some money on the events!  The preliminary results show we made $5,453.28 before paying employee wages for PED.  When we add in the expenses of employee wages, we spent a total of $23,305.46 for the PED festivities.  I am thoroughly pleased with these results and I hope you are also.  We will have a staff meeting in the coming months to discuss the plan for next year’s PED.  I have confidence that this year’s performance is repeatable, and having set the baseline, we can manage PED and any improvements or additions in a controlled manner.

I want to be perfectly clear that the accounting for PED fiscal year 2014 does have other expenses from the prior year’s rodeo, derby and a final payment to the stock contractor which was a contractual obligation for this year.  While those expenses were a result of prior commitments and will not exist from this point forward, they are expenses associated with PED. A link to the financial analysis is posted below. This analysis shows expenses strictly from this year and also expenses including prior obligations.


Copy of 2014 Pony Express Days Analysis Draft


15 thoughts on “One Giant Leap For Ponykind!

  1. Mayor Pengra, you are doing an outstanding job. Thank you for your dedication to Eagle Mountain and it’s residents.

    • ^ lol! Really?! Where’s my torch and pitchfork? We need to get those little girls of his kicked off of health insurance!

      • Lol really, he needs to keep one of his biggest campaign promises. Or is honesty not important to you, Rebecca?

    • L. Heber, You are indeed still paying for my families health insurance. The legislation which my wife was waiting for did pass in the last legislative session, effectively allowing her job classification to change. At this moment, she is working with the State to change the entire structure of her organization which will make hers a benefited position. The timeline we expect is January 1 for that to happen. Because I don’t have any control over that process I can’t commit to Jan. 1, though that is what I expect.

      I was thinking about your question, or more the tone of your questions and I was a little frustrated at first. Then I thought back to how I felt prior to running for office and even prior to that. I don’t like being lied to by government. Period. I suspect you have some of the same frustrations, and Lord knows we all have ample reason to be frustrated with government these days. My hope L. Heber, is that over time you will see that I am NOT a stereotypical self seeking politician. I believe that the words ‘politician’ and ‘public office’ used to represent a venerable calling for a brief period of life, where an act of service for the benefit of others was the motivation. It is plain to see that these words no longer mean the same thing to many ‘politicians’. No matter what meaning the words ‘politician’ or ‘public office’ have assumed today, I choose to revert to the prior definitions from the early days of the formation of this great nation.

      I’m not looking for praise from you, or anyone else for that matter, but to help you understand what I am doing from this desk, and what it means to my family. We sold the City’s Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. (The one with leather seats and power everything.) We did this (at my insistence) because while a vehicle may be needed, luxury was not. We did this because there were other and better uses for the money within the government and it seemed wasteful. Instead of driving a city vehicle, I drive my own truck everywhere I go. I go to meeting in Provo, SLC, and everywhere in-between as your representative for EMC. I drive my personal vehicle and I pay for my own gas. I don’t file for reimbursement. I have a clothing allowance. I have not used a dime of it. I pay for my own dry cleaning and I wear suits to work (most days) to present a professional image instead of paying for embroidering the City logo on polo shirts paid for with tax dollars. There isn’t anything wrong with city employees wearing professional attire or tax dollars paying to embroider the logo on them. It is appropriate to present a professional image. I simply choose not to use those “benefits” because I believe that elected officials should be above reproach. I will hold myself to a higher standard and I thank you for asking the questions which will never let me forget that I must continue doing so.

      If I am reading the tone of your question incorrectly then I apologize. If I am not misreading, and your intent was indeed to be accusatory, then I will ask that you continue holding me accountable, though with a little more understanding and perhaps a little grace. Either way, I will continue along the same path as I have been. The grace just makes it easier for me to do so.

  2. I think his promise was to get insurance when it was available through his spouse’s employment. Maybe that is the question to ask: Are you not taking available benefits through your wife’s job? Your question is posed in such a way to imply that they are available and he’s not taking them (going back on his promise, being dishonest), but then, you knew that, right?

    • It’s been 8 months. What employer makes you wait 8 months? Maybe my question was framed the exact way I meant it. His promise was to take a $50k salary. When asked about the health I surface portion, he was aloof at first and than admitted he would still be compensated $70k by taking health insurance benefits from the city. If his wife is no longer eligible for benefits from her employeer, he should say so. At least he would be up front about it. Crap happens. I get that. But I would like an answer.

  3. Maybe I’m just a party-pooper, but the Rodeo was the only thing I wanted to do for PED. We always had family come into town to attend as well. And for someone who isn’t a cowboy or follows rodeo, it was a nice fun family event. And the concerts\fireworks were cool as well.

    Now we have the:
    Parade – It’s like a 2 hour commercial in the hot sun. How many dance studios are there around here anyway…. I know people who go, but I don’t know anyone over 12 who enjoys it.
    Carnival – Kids like it, but we only go on the 1$ night. It’s more of a teenager thing anyway.
    Vendor Booths – zzzzzzzzz
    Fireworks – They are fun

    I can honestly say that I just about avoid it all now. There may have been big budgets and funny accounting, and that needed fixing, but at least we had something that we could invite friends and family out to. As far as I’m concerned, you could now just do away with everything else. Well, maybe just keep the fireworks.

  4. Andy, thanks for your comments, and you are not alone. Many people would love to see all of the events maintained. There are more reasons than just money that those events were discontinued. Even if the City wanted to host those events this last year, it would not have been a possibility. The events staff was brand new when I took office in January and no fundraising had taken place at that point. The staff did not have the resources or hands on experience to run a rodeo, demolition derby, or concert. (nor were the funds in the budget)
    The contract for the rodeo was turned over to a non-profit and they have said the rodeo will be in September. I was working on a revenue neutral contract for holding a concert prior to PED and for several reasons we couldn’t make it fit this last year. We may pick back up with that option for next year. I certainly don’t want to remove value from our community. It is not an enjoyable part of my job. Having said that, I wasn’t elected to enjoy my time in office. I was elected to make difficult decisions that will give you, as a resident, greater value. That value may not come in the form of entertainment, but this year, it did come in the form of much needed road repairs while they are far less expensive than they would have been if we continued to put it off.
    In fact these are not “my decisions” it is only the direction I wish to lead. City Council will always have the ability, right, and authority to disagree with my direction or leadership. In fact they did with the contracts and agreements that were given to the non profit.

  5. In reading some of the comments I am concerned that some residents are expecting to be lied to, due to previous city government issues, and because of this assume they ARE being lied to. In voting for Mayor Pengra, I myself didn’t know what to expect when Mayor Pengra took office, but hoped for something better than previous years. I have been pleasantly surprised by the way things have been handled thus far. I believe the promise of honesty has been kept. It is going to take some time for our city to heal previous wounds. Give Mayor Pengra some time. Our city is strong and the events will return with proper budgeting. Keep up the good work!

  6. I for one am glad you’re taking on such initiative to cut down on things as you did for PED. It is sad that we had less to enjoy this year but it gives the city a chance to pull the budgets back together in order to be able to do the more elaborate things later on. 🙂

  7. Mr Heber, I guess you have never worked for a Government agency, or a non profit. Nothing happens fast. The other thing is that the City does not pay the full cost as I am sure there is a cost for adding the family to the insurance plan. The City government has been far more transparent with the citizens, but some people are never satisfied. Also the additional money is not all health insurance, part is the payment for his health insurance, and retirement as well as other benefits that by law is added to the reported salary of a public employee. Also some companies do not work on a traditional year but a fiscal year and budgeting in the new position. I for one believe that if Chris said he is going to do something he will as I trust him. Somethings just o not happen to your time frame and I think he and his family deserves health insurance. We the taxpayer pay for it for all of our State representatives as well as our federal ones. One day without coverage could be catastrophic to any family.

  8. Mayor Pengra, I appreciate your hard work and integrity. I feel like we finally have a mayor who makes me proud to live in Eagle Mountain.

  9. I too would like to echo the comments of people are almost accustomed to leadership lying. I thank the PED folks. Yes the parade was just cheerleaders and dance groups but parades are for kids. The carnival is just a money pit on my pocket book. The 5k race was good, just not attended well. I would have loved to see better categories than just male and female. Overall I am liking the changes. My only hope mayor, is that you watch the traffic situations carefully, especially Sr 73. I know it is Udot, but I hope you can add input. No one has called me back about my concerns, including the mayor’s admin.

  10. Mitsie, thank you for your comments. If you need to reach me directly, you are welcome to call my cell phone at 801-564-9342. I do have a couple messages that I have not answered this week, though I certainly will before the week is out. I pride myself in calling back every resident who has a concern. I apologize if I somehow missed doing so from earlier, and I’d be happy to speak to you.

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