Council recognizes Recovery Awareness Month, approves Windmill Plaza

Councilmen weigh heavy decisions during the Cedar City Council meeting, Cedar City Council Chambers, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 19, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Wednesday’s Cedar City Council meeting declared support of a national awareness campaign, established a new foundation of rules of public conduct and approved the controversial Windmill Plaza Subdivision’s final plat so it can begin development of five lots on the south end of town.

Recovery Awareness Month

September was declared Recovery Awareness Month in Cedar City by Mayor Maile Wilson who read aloud a proclamation:

Whereas each day millions of Americans take courageous steps towards recovering from alcohol and drug addiction and whereas their examples reveal the transformative power of recovery and although alcohol and drug addiction remains a serious challenge in our country recovering addicts make steady progress each day …

Cedar City is just one of many cities across the country uniting together to raise awareness about addiction and recovery, Wilson said.

As a show of support, councilmen agreed to wear red, or a red ribbon, at each city council meeting for the month of September.

Therapia Addiction and Healing Center Director of Business Development Splendor Sargent was at the council meeting Wednesday night to accept the proclamation on behalf of the recovery center that initiated the campaign in Southern Utah.

In addition to Recovery Awareness month, Sargent said, she has also been working on a campaign specific to Southern Utah, Red for Recovery. The project is so new it hasn’t got a website yet, she said, but she, and others, are working hard to launch it on Sept. 1 in St. George at Therapia.

With 15 years of recovery under her belt, Sargent said, she understands addiction and what it takes to recover all too well:

With the addiction comes a lot of shame – a lot of shame and guilt – and so, I thought, I want to put this together where we are supporting, where we are encouraging those that are in recovery and to embrace it … the problem here is no surprise, it is huge, but I think when we can embrace those and empower those that are in recovery the success rate might be a little bit better.

Sargent created the Southern Utah Red for Recovery campaign with the intention of breaking down the barriers of shame, she said, and educating those in the community about the realities of addiction and recovery.

The campaigns motto says it all: “Creating unity in the community; empowering those in recovery.”

Red for Recovery will act as a fundraiser by selling pins and ribbons to those in the community who want to help break the mold, Sargent said, and support those in recovery.

All of the funds raised will go to help support Recovery Outreach, a nonprofit organization that is, “…dedicated to promoting and supporting the achievement of a positive and productive lifestyle by individuals who face challenges related to addiction, substance abuse, mental illness and domestic violence.”

Codes of conduct

Cedar City Councilman Fred Rowley shared information with City Council attendees that was taught to new committee and board appointees during a training held by Cedar City Attorney Paul Bittmenn Tuesday.

While they are not formal rules and they have not been adopted by City Council, Rowley said, they are informative and worth sharing with the public at large:

The ability of the public body to discuss the public’s business and to reach an informed decision is significantly hindered by conduct lacking civility. Further, the ability of the public to participate in the public process is hindered by conduct lacking civility.

In order to protect the public’s ability to participate and protect the orderly conduct of the public’s business, the following behavior during a public meeting is not allowed:

Interrupting another person; talking over one another; taunting, unreasonable personal attacks, shouting, booing, name-calling; general conduct that is disorderly, rude profane or that disrupts the orderly conduct of the public’s business.

The code was written for all of the chairs of the committees, Rowley said, and instructs the chair of each committee to give members of the public a chance to speak their mind, but if the rules are offended more than once, that person will be asked to remove themselves from the meeting.

The mayor followed Rowley’s declaration by saying it is important to create an environment where members of the public always feel safe and welcome to participate in the public process.

Windmill Plaza Subdivision

Despite pleas by Cedar Knolls residents Robin Haight and Wade Grimm for City Council to delay approval of the final plat for the Windmill Plaza Subdivision, the council voted to approve it.

Haight and Grimm were joined by resident Bob White who stood in support of the two men. Having known Haight for 20 years, White said, he believes that he knows him well enough to say Haight is a thorough and educated man.

Although he admitted that he was not familiar with the entirety of the discussion, White said, he is deeply invested in the topic because his parents own a home in the Cedar Knolls area as well.

It is Haight and Grimm’s contention that the city is aware of misinformation and wrongdoing by the developers and that they would be allowing it to continue should they approve the plat.

“I’m saying that this project has a lot of questionable parts to it,” Haight said. “And I am begging you not to rush ahead and pass it.”

During the voting stage, Councilman John Black asked Bittmenn if there was anything legal that would even permit the council to delay the process of approval for the Windmill Plaza subdivision final plat, stating that he felt very comfortable with the information he has reviewed up to this point about the project.

The council has the ability to table a matter they are not ready to vote on, Bittmenn said, but there is no legally binding reason that the project should be held up, the developers have met all of their obligations with the city.

I think they’ve complied with our subdivision ordinance,” Bittmenn said. “They’ve went through all the engineering, they’ve went through all the bonding, I don’t see anything that would (stop us from proceeding).”

The first motion to approve the final plat was made by Councilman Paul Cozzens who was followed with unanimous ayes from the rest of the panel.

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  • beentheredonethat August 27, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Since its recovery time, how about ALL the good mormons abstain from pain killers and anti depressants for just one week? Ok….one day?

    • abby August 27, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      We will certainly take that into consideration been there done drugs. You certainly get around. God bless your soul.

      • Dexter August 29, 2015 at 12:03 am

        All 3 comments were written by me. ABBEY.. DEXTER is just one of the names I Use

  • Chiefs Fan August 29, 2015 at 9:14 am

    September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, how about we all wear gold in support of the children battling a disease they had no choice in? Drugs and alcohol are choices!!

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