Mayor Message

As a schoolboy, I labeled Pop a counterfeiter! Asking him each morning where he was going, I got the same reply: “I’m off to make money!” Now, I’d been to his shop. I’d seen metal laying around and it was totally logical in my boy-mind that my dad minted money. Perhaps you’ve jumped to conclusions. Dad was an educator, instructing students in machine-tool design at Weber State College. He was the consummate teacher; I was often the target.

No self-respecting Syracuse farm boy would admit to not knowing how to use a shovel! No self-respecting Syracuse father would fail to train a son in the proper use of a shovel! It was so with me. His instruction was always expanded for my benefit!

“Michael, a shovel is a simple lever. Levers can be separated into three separate classes,” he’d say. “The various classes of levers are determined by the relationship between the placement of the effort, the load and fulcrum. Mostly we use a shovel as a class I lever.”

Pop continued my education with a discussion of mechanical advantage offered by a simple lever in both altered direction and increased ease in lifting heavy loads.

The principles of lever-action first described by the 4th century BC philosopher, Archimedes, were delivered coincidently in ancient Syracuse, in Doric Greek.

“Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world!”

My accumulated knowledge of effort, load and fulcruming laid dormant for decades and then suddenly it all exploded into reality in dental school. These principles are all part of the delicate surgery performed inside your mouth. Those in the dental world are taught, painstakingly, about fulcrumming to gain strength and precision in surgical movements. Perhaps you might ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate.

Now, would you humor an old man and take a look at your index finger. Joined at the first knuckle of your hand, with that knuckle acting as the fulcrum, it is a Class II lever! Now would you find the mouse to your computer (also a Class II lever) and softly grip it for use. The pad of your index finger is now in the position of the effort; the load is offered by the spring in the mouse wanting to be compressed. You are now in a position to help Syracuse; not the ancient Greek one! Residents provide a fulcrum for those charged with city management, a stationary point for direction and movement. That fulcrum is your opinion on many challenges your city faces. City management stands ready to provide the effort, but we need your input. Together, we can lift heavy loads.

With as little as one minute per month, you can use your lever to create force on the direction of your city. The city is utilizing a service called FlashVote, which allows residents to respond to one-minute surveys on important issues, such as roads, parks, snowplowing, or growth. To receive these surveys, simply sign up at You may also use your smartphone camera to scan the QR code at right and it will take you to the online sign up page.

Michael Gailey, Mayor

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