The Heart of the Matter

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A letter from Mayor Robert Hale

Mayor Hale

The Heart of the Matter

Thank you, Midvale, for your vote of confidence!  I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the citizens of Midvale as your elected Mayor.

I’d like to start these monthly communications by sharing a few stories about me and my family. This is probably the best way to explain who I am and what has formed my experiences and outlook on life.

My father was the fifth of ten children born to a farming and ranching family in Oakley, Cassia, Idaho. He pursued a teaching degree after high school, served two years each on a mission for the LDS Church and in the US Navy as World War II came to an end.  My mother was the youngest of five children in a sod-busting farm family in Heyburn, Minidoka County on the north side of the Snake River from Burley, Idaho. She also received her teaching degree. While she was teaching in Minidoka County, my aunt (also a teacher) set up a date for my mother to come to my grandparent’s home to meet my father. They dated and married in 1944 while Dad was home briefly on furlough. After the war, they settled in Oakley.

In 1955-56, my father decided small-town farming was not his future. He loved to work with his hands and went into carpentry, which eventually led him to relocate his young family to Murray, Utah.

I and my five younger siblings were educated in Murray School District. I met my future wife, Susan Green, during our sophomore year at a “get-to-know-you” social at the home of a mutual friend. We dated for two years, graduated from Murray High and began our college educations. I clunked through one quarter at the University of Utah, then was called to serve in the LDS Brazilian South Mission. That taught me a new language, Portuguese, and much about goal-setting and humility.

When I returned home to Murray, Susan and I started our relationship all over and in five months were married. We have had a Midvale address since the beginning. Susan worked as a stockbroker while I attended the University for four more years. I worked for the United States Post Office in the afternoons in Salt Lake City collecting outgoing mail from blue street boxes.  

I graduated in 1973 cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design and a minor in Spanish. We moved to our current address that same year and purchased our home from Susan’s extended family. One year later, a son was born, the first of two sons and four daughters, each now with four children of their own. (It keeps the math straight in our heads when we’re asked how many grandchildren we have – 6 x 4!) They live near Tucson, Arizona, San Antonio, Texas, near Portland, Oregon, and three families here in Utah.

In 1986, after eleven years of postal employment as a carrier and management, I took an opportunity to teach management for three years in the William F. Bolger Postal Academy in Potomac MD. We lived in Northern Virginia, in the Washington DC metropolitan area. This was a terrific opportunity to expose my family to the great history of this Nation and its seats of government, museums, arts, and the microcosm of the world’s peoples we lived among. I was able to earn a Master’s Degree from American University in Organizational Training and Human Resource Development. We returned to our home in Union at the conclusion of the not-to-exceed three-year term and raised all our children with the help of the Jordan School District.

I have been serving in civic duties since about 1989, beginning with the Union Community Council under tutelage of Salt Lake County government. Our Council was especially involved in the first master plan for Union, reviewing zoning change requests, and building application reviews.  

With no boundary protection of our community, we saw Union being devoured from the south and north. We tried an ill-fated attempt at incorporation of Union, losing by only two percent. Mayor JoAnn Seghini knew of our plight and made a bold invitation: annexation into Midvale City to preserve the remainder of Union as a cohesive community. We jumped at the chance. The majority of voting citizenry agreed and, as this Century began, we were part of a city that doubled with our entrance. We have never looked back!

I served six years on the Planning and Zoning Commission, two terms representing District 1 on the City Council and nearly ten years as a Trustee for the Midvalley Improvement District. In 2014, Susan and I served a 23-month mission to Brazil introducing the Self-Reliance Initiative of the LDS First Presidency in metropolitan São Paulo.

We love this city “In the Middle of Everything”. The people, the history, diversity, arts, languages, and cultures are rich and promising. Let us build it together.