Sean Coletti was raised in Northern Utah and Eastern Idaho. He graduated from Rigby High School and attended Ricks College prior to serving as a missionary in Seoul, Korea for two years. Afterward, he continued his education at Brigham Young University, where he received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science, and University of Connecticut Law School, all while serving in the Army National Guard as a counterintelligence agent and Korean linguist.
After school, Sean worked as a law clerk in Twin Falls and then American Samoa. Professionally, he has worked as an attorney at a local law firm since 2007, which is also when he and his family moved to Ammon. He currently serves as the Mayor of Ammon, after having served on the City Council for two terms.
Sean currently also serves on various community and state boards, including the Idaho Health Facilities Authority, the Eastern Idaho Regional Wastewater Authority, the Idaho Innovation Center, Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Regional Development Alliance, Regional Economic Development for Idaho, and the Idaho Special Assistant United States Attorney Executive Committee. He previously served as Chairman of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce and also Chairman of the Upper Snake River Valley Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.
Sean is married to Ammon native Jessi Grigg Coletti, and they have two sons, Jaydn and Sterling. They love spending time together as a family, whether indoors or outdoors—traveling, exploring, playing sports and games, or just having fun. Sean and Jessi also enjoy performing music together, as Sean is a singer and Jessi is an accomplished pianist. Their son, Jaydn, is a pianist and composer, and Sterling is a budding artist.
Today, I want to consider what we have done in 2018, and then move on to what the future holds. My review of 2018 is not to live in the past, but instead simply to consider what we are able to do. I tell my 7-yr old frequently, “You can do hard things.” It’s always a good reminder to see that we can, too. Consider these things in the context of our new city slogan, “Where Tomorrow Begins.”
2018 began by the City adopting a new comprehensive plan. This is a big thing. It tells us where we are, and where we are going. This year, we will build on the comprehensive plan with an updated strategic plan that we will review and implement on a regular basis.
We had the most active building permit year ever in the City of Ammon with 1687 total permits, including 215 new homes in 2018.
We concluded the year with strength—a direction from the Council to publish metered water rates. This is an extremely important accomplishment that came after over 40 years of discussion regarding metering, years of study and analysis, a citizen review committee and many public meetings. Not only that, but we have a meter installation plan for the next 6 years that will keep us on track. We’ve also approved the bid for construction of a new water tank and booster station at the south end of Ammon which will be critical to infrastructure stability and growth. I am extremely proud of these “hard things” we have done, which will lead to a self-sustaining, conserving water system for decades to come.
Consider this—by the end of 2018, almost 900 locations in the City of Ammon have fiber access. Of these, more than 400 are residential and are hooked up to our service with another 100 expected to be on our service by the end of January 2019. This is incredible! And with ingenuity and resolve, our fiber team has determined to increase their buildout by nearly double this next year. Not only that, but we’ve completed LID 1, are about finished with LID 2, and are preparing for LID 3. And we’ve done what we did not expect one year ago—we’ve found private financing for LID 2 and future LIDs. And our creative team is looking at even more, better ways to offer financing for fiber.
We’ve accomplished a balanced budget for FY 2018 with no need to open the budget and any remaining funds being moved to reserve. We’ve also adopted a balanced budget for FY 2019, and so far we are well on track to another great year of conserving public resources. This is no small thing—there are governments across the nation that don’t balance their budgets so this is extremely significant. And we did this all while the City of Ammon tax levy decreased.
We’ve completed the Midway project, which we can all be proud of. It is a testament to our public works department determination that we can do hard things. We will complete the Hawk Beacon and, if approved, build the Sunnyside/Ammon signal and 21st Street walking path, both grants submitted last year. We’ve continued branding with a new sign at 17th and Hitt and will continue to make improvements in that regard.
We’ve hired an exceptional new City Administrator, and with his help have actively pursued new economic development opportunities. We’ve responded to RFI’s from the State and strengthened our local and regional partnerships for economic growth. Really, Micah Austin has made an incredible mark in less than one year with the City, which, I think, is only a small sign of much greater things to come from him.
Consider, now, the Fire Department. We’ve transitioned from a full-time, day-only crew, to a 24-hour crew with minimal added cost and significant benefit to the community. This is huge. And more improvements to the fire department are on the way this year.
Consider our parks. We’ve vastly improved McCowin Park with a new shelter, new parking lot and updated landscaping. We will continue park improvements this upcoming year at Woodland Hills, and will get our parks metered. We’ve also constructed a beautiful walking path at Quail Ridge Park and will see more efforts at walking paths in the next year.
Consider our arts, culture and service. I am confident that our new group Ammon Arts will contribute greatly to arts planning in our community. Invest in Ammon will continue to evolve to become a means for Ammon residents and businesses to contribute to community amenities. The new Service Awards will continue to give us the opportunity to recognize our residents—and with that recognition comes a continued desire by our residents to serve. And Ammon Days had the highest number of participants it has ever had, based on food prepared.
We’ve also come a long way toward planning for 1st Street development. We completed the Eligibility Report for the new URA district, that report has been adopted by our Ammon Urban Renewal Agency and is awaiting City Council review. People are interested in this project. Exciting things are happening there. We’re also having productive meetings with the County for additional road improvements on 1st and Ammon Roads.
Internally, we’ve cleaned up ordinances to remove unnecessary language and reduce many unnecessary misdemeanors to infractions. We have dramatically improved the Personnel Policy Manual and converted to PTO. We’ve launched a Caselle Connect program for time sheets and budget tracking, but ultimately for a move of all functions to online management. This Caselle change is big. We’ve also rewritten significant sections of the Zoning Ordinance, pending adoption, approved a new template for development agreements and strengthened requirements for subdivisions. We’ve adopted new fees for our planning, engineering and building departments, which will help to make that part of our city self-sustaining in the future as well.
So it’s been an incredible year. I’ve discussed 2018 in the context of future improvements. What else does 2019 hold in store? Our next big project must be streets. We need to take street funding seriously. I want us to work toward a long-term funding plan. 2019 is the year of road and bridge. I think there are short term improvements we can make, such as creating some turn lanes on major arterials with a little asphalt and new striping. The long term improvements are consideration of a 2-year street levy and completion of our URA, and design and submission of projects to BMPO. Let’s make a significant improvement in our streets this year.
I am also looking forward to next week, when we can dig in to strategic planning. I’ll ask the Council to come prepared to discuss the strategic plan draft and make suggestions and improvements. I want us all to own this process. And every three months we will review and analyze where we are. Let’s keep this train going. I am excited to proactively follow a new strategic plan that is created based on our goals and our comprehensive plan.
I am also giving the council members new department liaison assignments. Some will change and others will remain the same. But I invite you to consider a few things with these new assignments. Of course, your role with department heads is not to run the department—that’s the role of the department head. But don’t let that stifle your ideas. Develop a healthy relationship with the department head you are working with, and discuss not only budgets but other aspects of the department. What ideas do you have to help improve what we are doing? Draw upon your life experience to offer ideas where appropriate.
Last night as I thought of what to say today, I started with our new slogan, “Where Tomorrow Begins.” Let’s make sure Ammon is always on the cusp of great changes. This is where the ideas of tomorrow begin. This is where people want to spend their tomorrows, whether it is living here, in business, or otherwise. I think our overall approach should be to make the City better everyday. Do the unexpected. Lead. Don’t just drift. We are agents for good. Disruptive innovation is our new tradition. We are constantly rethinking and improving upon our work. And I think as we consider our City in this light, we will find new meaning in our slogan “Where Tomorrow Begins.” Because the tomorrow I see does begin in Ammon.
Mayor Sean J. Coletti