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Current Newsletter

Hello Neighbors!

We’ve had some wonderful opportunities over the past few weeks in open houses and meetings to listen to and talk with many many residents.  I’m so optimistic about the long term future of the Park.  How can it not be great when there are so many people out there willing to step up and help out!

One buzz word we’ve been hearing a lot is “transparency,” which I understand to mean visibility and accessibility of information.  I’m all for it!  I would love for everyone to have all the information and be able to contribute meaningfully to discussions about the future of the place we all love to live.

Here’s a quick summary of what we’re already doing, what we plan to change immediately based on recent discussions and how you can get involved in the development of our efforts going forward.

Current Efforts

First, anyone can signup to receive email updates for Stansbury Service Agency, Stansbury Greenbelt Service Area and Stansbury Recreation Service Area (and any other Utah government group) at the Utah Public Notice Website. The Agency uploads meeting agendas, minutes, supporting documents, and audio recordings to this website.  Jim gives great slide show presentations at every public meeting that include updates on financials, capital project priority and progress, maintenance, staffing, policies and more.  If you haven’t seen these before, I think you’ll find them very informative. This information can be used to prepare to attend meetings, review past meetings, provide input to the board and management on current issues in or out of public meetings, etc.

Next, we have a website, www.stansbury  There’s a lot of information there, including some history of the community, park and facility addresses and amenities, events, newsletters, policies, fees, volunteer information, links to our quarterly state transparency audits and more.  You can send us comments, questions and report things like sprinkler breaks.  You can even use the website to reserve the Clubhouse, pavilions, and swim lessons (assuming we can reopen the pool).

Third, we have a Facebook page.  To date, this has been used somewhat haphazardly for meeting posts, newsletters, board/management statements, and event notices.  There’s a lot of information there, and like all Facebook pages, if you don’t see it all the time there’s a lot to wade through to find what you need.

Fourth, in the first quarter of this year, we put out a comprehensive State of the Park 2023 document via Facebook and flyers.  It was several pages long and went though many aspects of managing the Park.  We plan to continue that tradition, but expand the distribution to the website and e-mail database (if we can figure out a workable cost efficient plan for emails).

Fifth, we post hard copies of our meeting agendas at least 24 hours in advance at Clubhouse, Golf Course Pro Shop and SPID Office.  Our annual meeting schedule is also posted at the Clubhouse.

Finally, the culture in the office is very open. We want residents to know everything they want to know.  There’s not one board member who won’t answer emails or sit down and talk frankly with any resident.  Jim, Ingrid and the rest of the wonderful office staff are more than willing to break down finance line items or answer questions on any topic. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll do our best to figure it out and get back to you.  Your questions are key.  Not only do thoughtful questions give us an opportunity to provide information to one person, but they might indicate that information is of general concern and that we should push that information out via Facebook or in a newsletter.

Immediate Changes

Based on the conversations we’ve had recently, we’re making a few immediate changes. First, we’ll video our meetings and post them on Facebook and the Utah Public Notice Website. Look for this change in the next week or two.  Second, we’ll make sure our annual meeting schedule is more visible on Facebook and the website.  Finally, we’ve issued newsletters in the past but we’ll do those more regularly.  Right now, we post those on Facebook and the website, but those can’t reach everyone so that leads us to  the next section.

Next Steps

We need a Transparency Policy. I like policies so that everyone—management, the board and residents—know what to do and what to expect. That way, we can hold each other accountable.  And if changes need to be made, we have a starting point for doing so.

This policy will have to balance providing the opportunity to receive information with cost.  We could go door to door giving updates each week or send a lot of costly mailers, but that’s probably not the best use of taxpayer resources. Most likely, residents will have to make some sort of effort to get the information they want. Those efforts will probably have to be in proportion to the quantity of information desired.

For example, if we, as residents, want basic information, we might have to take five minutes and sign up to receive Utah Public Notice or SSA Newsletter emails. If that’s not enough information, we might have to click through a couple links to read the full text of a policy draft, or review preliminary budget numbers.  If that’s still not enough information we might have to make a call, send an email, attend a public meeting or set up a private meeting to get specific details.  Does that sound reasonable and fair?

Some ideas that still need to be hashed out include:

  1. Quarterly, semi-annual or annual postcard mailings with QR codes linking to additional information and to signup for e-newsletters, social media notifications and Utah public notice emails.
  2. Full newsletter quarterly mailings.
  3. Develop an email database so people can sign up on our website for the types of emails they would like to receive (e.g. policy updates or events).
  4. Campaign-type signage posted around the park to remind people of meetings.
  5. Posting more frequently on Facebook.
  6. Adding a presence on other social media platforms.
  7. Improve the website to include a banner for a social media feed.
  8. Weekly live Q&A with the general manager.
  9. Walk printed flyers around door to door.

Again, we’ll have to balance resources.  Some mailers/door to door flyers might be necessary in order to truly reach every resident household.  But we’ll have to budget and balance cost. No one wants us to distribute a flyer telling them we didn’t fix sprinklers or cut the grass this week because we’re sending a flyer instead.

The next meeting of the Policy Committee is Tuesday November 14, we’d like to hammer out a draft of the policy then.  Please send all comments and suggestions to [email protected].

Volunteers to help with any of this would be greatly appreciated.  For example, once our email database is up and going, if we can make that work, we could use help spreading the word to sign up for emails.  Sharing our social media posts helps. There are some things that are a little more labor intensive than others (such as putting up and taking down meeting signs) or distributing flyers so if those are things that are particularly important to you, please volunteer to help.

When I’m out in the parks, I see people picking up trash and pulling weeds—both as part of organized groups and family walks. We have amazing people and unmatched resources. I know of no other community where you can play pickleball, tennis, frisbee golf, baseball, float paper boats down a stream, kayak or paddle board across a lake, enjoy a community art-adorned tunnel, picnic with the pelicans at a lake-side gazebo, go fishing, get married at a lovely Clubhouse with a view, spot a great blue heron or an owl, observe the stars with world class telescopes and get shave ice—all without crossing a street.  I love it!  I know you do too. Let’s work together to make this community the best it can be.

Your neighbor,
Cassandra Arnell
Chair, Stansbury Service Agency Board
[email protected]