Mayor Cherie Wood
Welcome to South Salt Lake!
Cherie Wood is a lifelong resident of the City of South Salt Lake, and began her career with the City 24 years ago at the front counter processing utility payments. Always accepting new challenges, she strengthened her skills through various positions with the City and in 2006 was appointed as Assistant Mayor to Mayor Robert Gray. Cherie graduated from the University of Phoenix with dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Management and Business Administration. After a well-orchestrated, grass roots campaign that declared progress and change, Cherie Wood became South Salt Lake’s first female Mayor on January 4, 2010.
Mayor Wood has assembled an impressive team of department directors and as promised, has set in motion strong initiatives that will forever change the face of South Salt Lake. Under her Promise South Salt Lake initiative the City has been chosen as one of 100 Best Communities for Young People in 2012 by America's Promise Alliance and she recognized as United Way of Salt Lake's 2016 Changemaker.
"I need your voice to shape our community's future!"
Homeless Issues Update
“Homelessness is not a crime, but the activities that often surround it are illegal. We must balance services and enforcement. Our entire city staff is working on identifying and responding to problems, while we proactively work toward permanent solutions.” –Chief Jack Carruth
Current focus areas for South Salt Lake include:
1. Proactive enforcement
- Participating in Operation Rio Grande as a local partner. This coalition of police forces includes Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Highway Patrol, South Salt Lake City, and County Sheriffs from neighboring counties.
- This enhanced enforcement effort is to remove the criminal element to create a safer environment to provide homeless resources.
- Operation Rio Grande is clearing out the criminal activity in public areas around Rio Grande.
- South Salt Lake is focused on handling the problems with individuals booked and released into the Salt Lake County Jail, as a result of Operation Rio Grande.
- Booking offenders into jail, and keeping them in extra jail beds in Salt Lake and surrounding counties.
- This effort has been a training ground for our city to deal with increased presence of homeless and implementing service and enforcement principles.
- Clearing out encampments – working with Salt Lake County Health Department.
- Call to Action – See something, say something – call Dispatch at 801.840.4000.
2. Pedestrian safety - Roadside donations
- Recent legislative amendments to Utah Code 41-6a-1009, through House Bill 161, now prohibit donations from a vehicle on certain roadways, to include: Off-ramps, on-ramps, state routes, medians and other described road ways.
- Both driver and pedestrian can be cited and fined.
- Better ways to make donations. Seek out social service providers – slchost.org. Help the homeless not the addictions.
- Call to Action – Refrain from handing money to people on the street from your vehicle, it is dangerous and counterproductive.
3. Requesting funds to increase public safety force
- We need more public safety staff to manage the problems. We are formulating a budget and request to the State of Utah for funding directly to South Salt Lake. Our city is putting this request to the legislature.
- It is not fair for South Salt Lake to bear this burden alone. We are asking the State of Utah for a permanent appropriation to cover this.
- The State Homeless Coordinating Committee said they would find ways to mitigate the impact of the shelter.
Call to Action – Contact your Utah State Legislators and let them know South Salt Lake needs this funding. Contact House Speaker Greg Hughes, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, Rep. Steve Eliason, Rep. Mark Wheatley and Sen. Gene Davis.
Homeless Resource Center Update from Mayor Cherie Wood
The phrase “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” comes to mind when thinking about the mitigation process for the Homeless Resource Center slated for our City.
While it may appear that not much is happening from the outside, rest assured that there are dozens of dedicated members of my staff and others preparing for this event. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- We have time. The Resource Center is not slated to open until sometime in 2019. The State and County have much work to do at the funding and organizational levels before a single shovel of dirt can be moved.
- We have been promised funding. Both Mayor Ben McAdams and the State Legislature have made numerous commitments to mitigate against local impacts. My public safety, transportation and economic development teams are meeting weekly and working very hard to accurately understand and prepare for potential impacts so we can demand the necessary funding that we deserve.
- We now have a seat at the table. Shelter the Homeless is the non-profit organization slated to oversee the new homeless resource centers in Salt Lake County. South Salt Lake has been promised a position on the board to ensure that we have a voice in all decision making. This is a major victory.
The first milestone in the process is this summer when we will present our funding needs to the State Legislature’s interim session. Legislators will be collecting information to prepare for a funding decision during their 2018 session.
I will be meeting with neighborhood and other stakeholder groups in June and July to gather information for this process. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions or suggestions. We are in this for the long haul and we will win the marathon.
State of the City Address and Best of South Salt Lake Awards 2017
Mayor Wood presented the State of the City on Wednesday March 17th at both a lunch and an evening event to allow anyone in the community to participate.
You can read the text of the speech here: State of the City 2017
You can take a look at the Best of South Salt Lake awards brochure to see who is making our community a safer, cleaner and more beautiful place to live, work and play here: Best of South Salt Lake 2017
You can watch the video recording of the presentations here:
Mondays with the Mayor
The Mayor is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to meet with her constituents. The first Monday of every month she has extended hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to discuss issues, concerns or ideas you have for our city. In an effort to respect the time of those attending please call 801-464-6757 to schedule your appointment for either Mondays with the Mayor or any other time you'd like to come in.