Highlighting Our Board: American Fork City Mayor, James H. Hadfield
As a member of the Utah Lake Commission, American Fork City is sailing into the future as a leader. Mayor James H. Hadfield is the captain at the helm steering his city into greater and more productive times to come.
“American Fork residents have a great quality of life,” he said. “They have good quality schools in Alpine School District, adequate shopping with variety of stores, and amenities such as arts, recreation, transportation, a golf course, 27 parks in existence and a boat harbor.” Mayor Hadfield attributes the success and progress of American Fork to the foresight of prior leaders. “We were blessed with leaders who had a vision for American Fork.”
His city was the first to pass the Model Ordinance prepared as an example for shoreline stakeholders to utilize. The ordinance outlines guidelines for shoreline development and trails standards. They tweaked the model ordinance to comply with their city’s planning and zoning. Mayor Hadfield noted the Model Ordinance closely paralleled American Fork’s land use philosophy. The shoreline protection ordinance will control residential and commercial development. It will give another layer of defense for development. He noted American Fork loses shoreline if the lake rises.
The plans to connect the trails, including the Provo River trail to the Jordan River trail, and establishing a trail all the way around the lake was important to all of Utah County.
He said his city supports the removal of the noxious weed, phragmites, stating, “After the pilot program of phragmites removal in the Lindon area was completed, there was improved visibility of the lake. The continued eradication of phragmites and other noxious weeds will ensure better use of the lake.”
He believes that even if cities do not have any shoreline property, they should get involved and become members of Utah Lake Commission because “the lake is a jewel in the valley. It is a county resource and everyone should participate in the positive improvements for recreation and development.”
“With the good planning in process, it is inevitable the lake will become a center for recreation mainly in the summer, coupled with the mountains for winter recreating. There are a lot of opportunities for the residents of Utah County and tourists with so many natural attractions within a few minutes of home,” he said.
Another area of interest to Mayor Hadfield is the Fourth Grade Curriculum developed for the elementary schools. “The teachers will teach the students, and the students will teach the parents. The classes will change the vision and perceptions of Utah Lake.” He visited the Fourth Grade Field Trips at Utah Lake this past spring and was impressed at the number and response of the students. He noted the curriculum is another goal of the Commission.
A key interest the Commission is working on, and Mayor Hadfield is excited for, is the potential of an aquatic-themed boy scout camp and cub scout day camp for the Boy Scouts of America on along the shores of Utah Lake.
He said every municipality is involved with the lake in one way or another. He cited all communities have an interest either directly or indirectly in the lake. He gave the example of discharges of storm water into the lake. One city’s storm water affects other cities’ water downstream. The various rivers and tributaries owned by cities/county that spills into Utah Lake need to be tested for storm water drainage and water quality. Each city’s tests affect the others when it pertains to water quality with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reports. Each city should take a sampling and notify the other cities downstream of their findings. There are set standards each city should meet when testing the water. The cities upstream affect those downstream.”
Each city should embrace becoming a member of the Utah Lake Commission, because they have the right focus. “The purpose of the organization was to make the lake better with the prioritized goals and ideals. And they are making changes for the better.” Utah Lake is an asset to the entire county. Many benefit from the shining body of water. “We need to get the vision of the program and the impacts it can have. We all need to be tied together and to work towards the same goals and dreams, providing many opportunities for everyone to use the lake if it is done correctly. Each city of Utah County needs to have expectations of winning the battle to restore Utah Lake.”
About Mayor James H. Hadfield: He married Elaine Haws Hadfield. “Miss Elaine” has taught piano by a group method since 1965. American Fork was their first home after they were married in October 1965. They have lived in the same home since then and have remodeled the house several times. While he traveled and served his country, she remained at home raising the children. They are the parents of four children, two boys and two girls, and have 11 grandchildren. He was a soldier in the army and made it his career. He retired from the National Guard in 1993 as a Colonel after 34 years service.
Photo credits: Featured picture, Bonneville School of Sailing, Todd Frye; American Fork City