Mayor’s Message

Mother hated horses. As a little girl, the buckboard she rode in flipped while fording the Spanish Fork River when the horse startled, catapulting her into the current.

I still hear the mandate:

Michael, you are forbidden to be anywhere near a horse!”

How does a nine-year-old boy, living in 1950’s Syracuse honor his mother?

It was a beautiful summer day in 1959. Mom whisked my brother Craig and I out the door and off to Cub Scouts on bikes. Nora Payne was our den leader. She loved the boys, and we loved her. She lived on 4500 West just north of Antelope Drive. We lived at 900 South and 2000 West, which meant that we would have to pass in front of the Syracuse Elementary School.

Sitting bareback atop a haltered horse our friend, Russ Simpson, beckoned to us. Craig and I were to ditch our bikes behind the shrubbery of the old school and join him on his family’s mare. After all, he was headed to scouts, too. It all seemed quite innocent.

Russ’ family lived at the corner of 4500 W and Antelope Drive. All had gone well until the mare smelled home pasture and began to lope. Russ was in the driver’s seat with halter in hand. My brother Craig was behind him, in front of me. They both had places to wrap their legs. Sitting on the rump end of the horse, I did not.

On a sudden lurch I found myself flung from the horse, my back colliding with her left rear hoof just before I landed square on my back. I had the wind knocked out of me! So there I lay, flat on my back in the middle of Antelope Drive [Syracuse Road, then] at 4000 West.

Mrs. Bambrough, working in her garden, had witnessed the whole affair. Running to my side she asked me question after question. I couldn’t answer. In exasperated panic she said:

Oh honey, I’ll call your mother!”

Syracuse residents had only party-lines in those days. There was a pretty good chance the line might be busy. I couldn’t take that chance! Recovering a bit and terrified that my mother would know that I’d been on horseback, I squeezed out:

Oh Mrs. Bambrough, if you have to call her, please say to her I was hit by a truck!

Now, being hit by a truck in the 1950’s on the Syracuse Road would have been quite a stretch. In those days, you could take your afternoon nap in the middle of that road, that far west!

Following a Syracuse Chamber of Commerce meeting a couple of weeks ago at the Glen Eagle clubhouse, I waited for over 15 minutes to make a left-hand turn onto Antelope Drive at 2:00 PM naptime! Something has changed!

Change is rough. We all fear it a little. With the arrival of the West Davis Corridor there will be much of change.

Leading change insures that the future harmonizes with community values, both old and new. May I invite you to become involved in helping to lead change. Make the effort to attend City Council or Planning Commission meetings, participate in public hearings. It is so important that those bodies hear you. Learn how you might assist others in the event of emergency by becoming CERT trained. Volunteer to help with a City project.

Mother eventually realized the futility of sheltering boys from her fears. She sought the help of others in preparing her boys to be safe on horseback. It was a good change.

Michael Gailey,

Mayor of Syracuse City

City Council Bids Farewell to Mayor Palmer

At the January Council meeting, Mayor Gailey and the City Council recognized Terry Palmer, along with his wife Diane, for their service to the City over the last four years. On behalf of the Mayor and Council, Corinne Bolduc and Andrea Anderson presented Mr. Palmer with a framed retired City Flag that flew over City Hall during Mayor Palmer’s term. City Manager Brody Bovero presented a commemorative clock to Mr. Palmer on behalf of the City. Jayne Gailey, incoming “First Lady of Syracuse,” presented Diane with some cozy blankets for Terry and Diane to snuggle up with for a popcorn and movie night with all their newfound free time.

City Logo, Syracuse City, Syracuse Connection Magazine, Go Davis


*Posted with permission from

From the Mayor

I was a Syracuse boy. When attending reunions or other City functions, I loved the activities planned for youth. But as I grew, I developed a fascination of sitting with the older folks to hear the stories people tell. I’d like to share a story from boyhood.

Syracuse boys knew nothing of video games or other electronic devices. Our first toys were rocks! We built with them. We threw them, hit them with slats from tomato boxes, shot them in flippers and slingshots. We flung them at birds, dogs, cats and on occasion at each other. At eight years, most graduated to BB guns.

One afternoon as I departed on my daily bird hunt, I spotted a feral chicken roosting in the old coal shed behind our home. To my boy mind, the hen was simply a bird, but a bigger, grander trophy. I shot her dead! Mother would be proud. It would be my favorite tonight for supper, chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes!

When I lifted my dead prize from her roost, I discovered a clutch of six chicks she’d been guarding. Suddenly, I felt sick. My boyish mind didn’t know what to do. I did the only thing I trusted in. I found Mother and showed her what I’d done. I knew she’d know the right thing to do.

We did have chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes. But I was charged with building a brooder and watching over six chicks until they were self-sufficient. Mom made me the dead hen’s surrogate.

My mother taught me a life-lesson that day. Her teaching is contained in a statement by US Chief Justice, Potter Stewart:

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.”

It’s arguable, that I had done nothing wrong! The hen belonged to no one. Feral chickens were common in the day. Perhaps I had a right, after all her sacrifice did feed our family.

After listening to Mother’s counsel, I learned the truth. Given the circumstances, what I did that day was not the right thing to do. I love this quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” I had not been kind.

I am delighted to serve with a City Council that each loves this city and seeks the best interest of its populace. I have great respect for them. Each brings strength to that body. It’s also clear they subscribe to Mother’s teachings.

It has been my pleasure to serve the community the last four years as a member of the City Council. I’m now deeply honored to serve as Mayor. Thank you for your confidence. The next four years are going to be critical in what Syracuse becomes as the West Davis Corridor changes Syracuse from the cul-de-sac community it’s been, to the crossroads it will become.

I loved my mother’s preserves, especially apricot. Gone are the days when I could sample them. Luckily, she preserved more than fruit. In my mind, preserved forever, are stories that smack of what used to be. You old-timers: help others acquire the taste of our community. They will only know what was via the stories you will tell.

Michael Gailey,

Mayor of Syracuse City

*Posted with permission from

Key Community Contacts


Terry Palmer:



Council Members

Mike Gailey


*New Councilmember Doug Peterson Jan 2018


Corinne Bolduc:



Andrea Anderson:



Dave Maughan:



Jordan Savage:



*Posted with permission from

Mayor’s Message

This will be my final letter. Thank you for giving me the privilege to serve you. Having had no experience in government, I needed to work hard in two areas: using my experience as a business owner to apply common sense leadership, and then spending extra time at the city learning from the professionals.

I learned from working with the different departments in the city and with mayors of other cities that we have the finest employees in Davis County. In every department, from top to bottom, we excel for the benefit of our citizens. I got out of the way and allowed the professionals to do their jobs.

I learned that there are those who seek power, even at the local level, and in every instance, people are hurt and teamwork is destroyed. We want a government with enough power to protect our rights, but not too much power so that we lose our rights.

I learned that taxes, when used properly, create a better life. Taxes provide safety through our police and firefighters. Taxes bring clean water into our homes and take the dirty water and sewage out of our homes. Taxes provide roads that help us commute to our work, schools, and recreation. Taxes create parks, recreation, and planned neighborhoods.

We have the best city council. Their desire is to serve the citizens and to make the city a better place to live and work.

When I first came in as mayor, I set up the Disaster Preparedness Committee with the idea that at some point in time we could have a major disaster and we should be prepared as individuals and as a city. This committee is functioning well and working with different sections of the city, such as businesses, religious organizations, and ham radio operators.

I set up a new program called “Lunch with the Mayor.” Each month a school with students in Syracuse sent 12 students to city hall to have lunch with me and some of the department heads. They learned how the city is a part of their life every day because of taxes. The students played the roles of mayor, city council members, and leadership staff. I enjoyed this experience that I had with your smart and talented children.

I came into the role of mayor believing that the purest government is the government closest to the citizens. When our founding fathers set up the balance of power between the federal government and the local government, they recognized that power on the federal level must be limited and the rest of the power should be given to the states and the people. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you as mayor on that important local level.

Terry Palmer,

Mayor of Syracuse City

*Posted with permission from