Salt Lake City

COUNCIL: November 17th Council Meeting Recap

At Today’s Council Meetings

The Council received: 

  • an informational update relating to the local emergencies such as COVID-19: 
    • the Mayor says Covid numbers are still increasing;
    • the Administration is watching for vaccine plans from the State and County and will include the public in the process of distribution plans;
    • the Mayor is working on supporting outdoor dining during winter for restaurants. The Mayor’s team is reviewing other City models and perhaps will be ready with a plan in a week or so.
    • the Mayor reported various updates on the digital equity program with 11 pieces of smart furniture being prepared for placement around the City in early spring; the furniture is solar with free public wi-fi and public charging. A backhaul system is nearing completion which helps with public wi-fi for several parks. Five apprentices will be hired as digital navigators to help the public with computer support for digital literacy events such as pop up labs and other events where the City partners with libraries and schools.
    • The Mayor also reports that public events to help people file for stimulus checks ended up helping 114 people.
  • an informational update on relieving the condition of people experiencing homelessness. The Mayor reported: 
    • one overflow shelter with 60 beds may be online this week; a second proposed winter shelter hotel in Midvale was not well received; more discussion is planned by a Coalition of partners around the County for another second location in the County.
    • the Community Commitment program continues into its third outreach week with 166 people encountered, 40 who took advantage of services.
  • an update on recent efforts on various projects related to racial equity and policing in the City. They included:
    • an update on the Racial Equity in Policing Commission, which has three subcommittees and a youth committee preparing reports and planning a listening session for the public.
    • Council staff reports choosing an audit team for a review of the police budget is closer to being selected; the scope of the audit is going through some adjustment as the City prepares for the next step –the zero based budgeting process for the police department.
    • The public process may include inviting anonymous comments as part of the policy review of policing.

Other Agenda items
The Council: 

  • discussed an amendment to the current budget of Salt Lake City, including various items, but this follow up briefing focused on:
    • a Downtown Street Ambassadors program expansion into the Rio Grande neighborhood and North Temple area with 12 new ambassadors;
    • the 27 portable restrooms already deployed in parks and natural lands. This ordinance will add more portable restrooms specifically at several homeless camp locations and the funding is flexible so they can move when camps move;
    • other funding for enhanced services for people experiencing homelessness.
  • discussed an amendment to the current budget of Salt Lake City. The proposal includes various items, but this briefing focused on:
    • $20.5 million from the next issuance of the $87 million voter-approved Streets Reconstruction Bond;
    • new employees to be hired outside of the hiring freeze such as 2 senior city attorneys and employees at the office of the City Recorder.
    • Other items, such as windstorm concrete repair around the City.
  • discussed a proposal to replace both the Civil Service Commission and the Employee Appeals Board with an appeal hearing officer system. The current system is believed to have started in the early 1900s. This proposal is modeled after a change made for land use appeals. The proposal also includes a new chapter in Salt Lake City Code to establish competitive merit-based recruitment and promotion processes for the Fire Department and the Police Department. A Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. and tentative Council action is Tuesday, December 8.
  • received a follow-up briefing on changes to the City’s Demolition ordinance. The proposed changes are intended to streamline the process for demolitions on commercial and residential properties, remove the requirement for a replacement use, landscape plan and bond, and provide clarity to the enforcement process for boarded buildings. The briefing included answers to a variety of questions from the last briefing.
  • The Council Executive Director noted a comprehensive housing policy discussion (with various existing elements) is planned for the December 1 meeting.

Formal Meeting

  • The Council adopted a joint ceremonial resolution with Mayor Mendenhall declaring November 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance in Salt Lake City. Several invited supporters of the transgender community accepted the resolution and spoke.
  • The Council also adopted a joint ceremonial resolution with Mayor Mendenhall recognizing December 1 as World AIDS Day in Salt Lake City.
  • PUBLIC HEARINGS were held, five in all. 35 people spoke, many of the comments about the Fleet Block Zoning Amendments and a mural that sits on the block.

  Here are the actions taken by the Council on the hearing items:

  • Ordinance: Congregate Care Text Amendment Additional Recommendations: A public hearing was held. The item was then adopted by the Council.
  • Ordinance: Fleet Block Zoning Amendments (300 and 400 West and between 800 and 900 South): A public hearing was held. Action was postponed until further discussion on this item is determined.
  • Ordinance: Budget Amendment No. 4 for Fiscal Year 2020-21:  A public hearing was held. The item was then adopted by Council.
  • Ordinance: Budget Amendment No. 5 for Fiscal Year 2020-21: A public hearing was held. Another hearing may be held in December. Council action on this item may be in December.
  • Ordinance: Demolition of Dangerous or Boarded Buildings: A public hearing was held. The item was then adopted. A list of legislative intents was attached to this item, including that the ordinance be revisited in two years.    


  • Resolution: 2020 Salt Lake City Water Conservation Plan- The Council set the date of Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. to accept public comment and consider adopting a resolution that would adopt the Department of Public Utilities’ 2020 City Water Conservation Plan. 
  • Ordinances: Creating an Appeal Hearing Officer System by Repealing Civil Service Commission and Employee Appeals Board – The Council set the date of Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. to accept public comment and consider adopting two related ordinances.

Board appointments or reappointments approved include: 

  • ReappointmentTransportation Advisory Board – Paul Schulte
  • Reappointment: Planning Commission – Andres Paredes

All agenda-related comments received through any source are shared with the Council and added to the Council public meeting record.

Visit the Council’s agenda page for meeting documents and video or view an archive of prior meeting recaps.

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