Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Institute urges cities to map out family roles

This time Paul Mero might be laying it on a little thick.

While I agree with the premise of his document (that government should foster the growth of the natural family). The document was written in a way that could cause offense where it didn't have to.

Mayor Briggs said it best, ''People might read that [resolution] and say, 'Kay Briggs thinks all women should stay home and make strawberry jam' or that I'm totally against people raising a family in whatever situation gives them the most comfort and solace,'' he said. ''I didn't read that into it, and I'm not opposed to discussing it.''

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: Institute urges cities to map out family roles

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | S.L. may turn 120 acres into open space zone

Public Hearing with the SLC Council on:
Tuesday November 15th at 7:00 pm
451 South State Street, Salt Lake City
3rd floor in the City Council Chambers

Questions to ask the City Council.

If the contested 80 acres gets annexed to NSL, are you going to feel that this process was a waste of time?

When North Salt Lake has to provide emergency services to patrons of the 'natural trail' will you foot the bill?

Deseret News:S.L. may turn 120 acres into open space zone

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Should there be a changing of the Guards?

Now that the people have spoken and a number of Mayors will be stepping down it is time to change the makeup of the Recreation District Board. The members of the board were picked in a very haphazard way. According to Tom Hardy, "each of the cities will appoint a representative to the administrative control board initially." Well, each of the cities chose to send their Mayor's.

Hardy stated that the whole setup was to be temporary until a time in which a better selection process could be implemented. That time is now.

Beginning in January, or if possible sooner, the responsibility for the Rec District should go to other shoulders. Beginning next year, Mayors Deamer, Martin, and Larrabee will step down. I would like to see Mayor's-elect Ron Russell, James Behunin, and Kent M. Parry step up to replace Deamer, Martin, and Larabee with an appropriate third-party representative.

It is also time for Joe Johnson to step down as Chairman of the District to hold true to the spirit of Hardy's comment. Johnson was there to hold the position "initially". It is time to establish a selection policy that will serve all five cities represented in the Recreation District, not just Bountiful.

Current South Davis Recreation Board*

Mayor Joe Johnson, Bountiful, Chair (801) 298-6146
Mayor Michael Deamer, Centerville 801-295-3477

Mayor Kay Briggs, North Salt Lake 801-936-3877

Mayor Carl Martin, West Bountiful 801-292-4486

Mayor Jerry Larrabee, Woods Cross (801) 292-4421

Dannie McConkie, Davis County Commission (801) 451-3200

Steve Rawlings, Davis County Clerk/Auditor (801) 451-3324

Darrel Twede, Citizen Representative

*Contact information taken from Citizens For Tax Fairness

A Smattering of Election Results

Joe Johnson (I), 4373
Jeff Ovitt, 1170
(Two council seats)
John Marc Knight,
R. Fred Moss (I),
Thomas Tolman (I),
Phill Wright,

Michael Johnson, 1017
Ron Russell, 2152
(Two council seats)
Justin Allen,
Richard Hunt,
Sherri Lindstrom,
Jim Pedersen,

David M Connors (I),
Scott C. Harbertson,
(Two council seats)
Paula Alder,
David Hale (I),
Susan Tanner Holmes (I),
Darrell Lake,

North Salt Lake
Juan C. Arce-Larreta, 255
Kay W. Briggs (I), 586
(City Council — 2 seats)
Lisa Watts Baskin, 653
Brian Elkins, 254
Matt Hardy, 612
(3 of 4 districts)

West Bountiful
Carl Martin (I), 433
James Behunin, 624
(Two council seats)
Wes Argyle,
Jay Bangerter,
Debbie McKean,
Rex Turnbridge,

Woods Cross
Jerry E. Larrabee I (I), 623
Kent M. Parry, 638
(Two four-year council seats)
Tamara Dayley, 650
Jill Evans, 536
Randen J. Funk, 592
Jon W. Hadlow (I), 645
(I) = incumbent

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Procrastinating your Civic Duty

There is a lot of talk around the water cooler today about getting out to vote. This is good. I have not heard much talk about being an informed voter, though. It seems that hits to this blog have already doubled the average hit for a day. I'll have to check again when the polls close to see if anyone still cares. Better yet, I'll check tomorrow to see if people have decided it's time to learn something about the person that got their vote!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Hillside not all that divides North Salt Lake's mayoral candidates

Today, the Tribune focused on the race for Mayor in North Salt Lake. Juan Arce-Larreta says that our city leaders aren't listening. From the article.

"At a recent public meeting on parks, participants selected preserving the bench on the hill as the top priority, says Arce-Larreta, who serves on North Salt Lake's trails committee."

First, I was at that meeting. When given the choice between building a park (open-space), or building a trail(open space). The consensus will be for open space. If we had been given an alternative to open space, and we still voted for it, and Briggs had ignored the vote, then Juan may have had something. Except for one thing, Mayor Briggs does want to preserve open-space on the hillside.

Second, It was made clear at the beginning of the meeting that Arce-Larreta had the same agenda then that he has today. He has demonstrated, since that time, the same fidelity to his own ideas as the Mayor has to his. If the Mayor is guilty of not listening, then so is Arce-Larreta. Both have remained true to their original viewpoints.

Those who are grounded in reality want a balance between open-space and development. They want a cemetery, trails, parks, and also the means to pay for them. Briggs is fighting for a reasonable comprimise that should satisfy most people. He is also fighting a bully, in Rocky Anderson, that wants to impose an outsiders will on a smaller neighbor right to choose.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah

Friday, October 28, 2005

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Group says Bountiful broke promise in raising taxes for rec center

Ronald Mortenson is in the news again. This time, addressing the fact that the property tax increase, related to the Rec Center, is 33 percent higher than advertised in the voter information pamphlet.

I've made my admiration of Mortenson no secret. I have no idea how someone that spends as much time, as he does, out of the Country doing serious work in places like Iraq and Sudan (and soon Pakistan)-- can have the fortitude to do so much here.

Yet, Mayor Johnson has had the gall to challenge Mortenson's positive impact on the community.

And that Steve Rawlins should say, 'Mortenson is the only resident that has complained to him', should put the rest of us to shame.


Dispute erupts at N. Salt Lake City Council

My first thought after reading this article was, "Is this for real"? It read like some script out of Hollywood, or an episode of "Cops".

Dispute erupts at N. Salt Lake City Council

Brian Elkins: Q & A

Update: Let me first apologize to Brian Elkins for misleading him regarding the purpose of the Q&A that I sent him. I had no intention of deceiving him. I'm sorry. As an aside, I thought his answers were thoughtful and perfectly suitable for posting. I would not have posted it if I had known that he did not wish it. He sent me this email shortly after this post.


I didn't realize you were going to post the questions and answers on your

I wish to clarify that I believe all people should be treated equally
regardless of their religious, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic
status or sexual preference.

You have my permission to post this on your blog if you wish.


Brian Elkins"

I received answers to some questions that I posed to Brian Elkins who is running for City Council in North Salt Lake.


I'm curious about how you feel about Equality Utah's recent endorsement of your candidacy? Do you welcome their endorsement? Are there ways in which you may disagree with their viewpoint?

I'm honored to receive an endorsement from Equality Utah. They are the only
organization that contacted me with regard to an endorsement and I was
flattered to receive it.

They wished to provide a campaign contribution but I turned it down as I am
not accepting any campaign contributions.

You can go to the Equality Utah website and read their mission statement and
what they support. Many people incorrectly think that Equality Utah is in
support of gay marriage, that is far from the case. Their mission statement
does not even begin to address this particular issue.

I would imagine Equality Utah has some members who are in support of gay
marriage and others who are not.

I was asked privately at "Meet the Candidates Night" if I was concerned that
the endorsement might harm my chances at being elected. My response was that
I honestly did not know but if it did end up making the difference between my
being elected or not I will graciously accept defeat but I will retain my
honor and integrity.

I asked this person if the endorsement meant that I would not have his vote
and he replied in the affirmative. I'm disappointed that I will not have his
vote but I certainly understand his reasons. I honestly enjoyed talking with
this person and I wished we had more time to speak. We were both very
cordial and listened to each other's opinion and I believe he respected my
opinion and I certainly respected his.

He feels marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. Unfortunately it did
not occur to me at the time to mention that Equality Utah did not have a
position on gay marriage.

As far as their mission statement is concerned I fully support it. I feel it
is important in our society that the strong support the weak and oppressed.

One thing I think I need to mention is that I am straight and I am married to
a lovely woman!

What position do you take on the recent land dispute between North Salt Lake and Salt Lake City? Do you support Mayor Briggs' actions in this regard?

The most recent proposed plan I have seen from the city calls for a ten acre
cemetery, twenty acres for development and 50 acres of open space which would
include natural open space, parks and soccer fields. I fully support this

Needless to say I support Mayor Briggs' position.

Where do you stand on the Rec Center Debate? In particular, what do you think about the escalating costs associated with the facility?

I honestly do not know enough about the Rec Center debate to voice an opinion.
If you know of a website that would enable me to learn more about it I would
certainly appreciate you passing it on.

What do you feel is the greatest challenge that NSL faces in the next few years?

I think the greatest challenge facing NSL will be the ability to provide
adequate services (in particular water, emergency services and educational
facilities) to the burgeoning population. I recently heard that NSL is the
second fastest growing city in Utah (of course that is fairly easy to
accomplish since we have a small population at this point).

Regardless of how the election turns out, will you continue to blog after November?

Yes, but I don't know if it will be about politics.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Local Candidates vs. Local Bloggers

I wonder if any of the candidates running for municipal office are concerned that the local blogs feature more prominently in search engines than the official campaign websites? Campaigns come and go. Bloggers are forever.

This begs the question. Do bloggers rank well with voters?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mayor Kay Briggs Homepage

I've considered sparing my readers, (all five of them), the funny story about how this website came to my attention. But I can't resist-in part. Needless to say, I happen to be friends with someone close to Briggs' Campaign. I'm pretty tight lipped, offline, about my blogging and they were so obviously involved that I steered clear of the subject matter. Now that they've found me out, they've sent this link my way.

Mayor Kay Briggs Homepage

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

NSL Campaign: Brian Elkins Blogging

I recieved an email from City Council Candidate, Brian Elkins informing me of his new blog. I offered to link to him if he'd agree to answer some questions--Well, why wait! I really like blogging during an election cycle because political awareness is heightened. (Here's a little hint to anyone interested in running for office in the future-start blogging now. And, no, that isn't why I'm blogging--I don't fit the public-servant mold.) Here's hoping that this brave new world we call 'Blogosphere' will continue to do some good. Time is short and the election cometh.

Brian for NSL City Council

Kay Briggs: Campaign website

I hear whisperings of a campaign website for Kay Briggs.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Citizens For Tax Fairness

Citizens for Tax Fairness has updated their website with some questions for the Candidates.

Citizens For Tax Fairness

Kaysville: Patrick Buchanan

I'm breaking my own rule in mentioning Kaysville. Earlier I tried to limit the focus of this blog to six cities on the south end of the County and Kaysville was not included. But, my attention has been drawn up to Buchanan's campaign website in which he repeats an allegation originally levelled at Kaysville governement in 2003. Kaysville is moving funds from the power company to the General Fund. This is the same charge as one other city I blogged about earlier-Bountiful.

What other cities in Utah participate in this sham? These citizens should band together and lobby for a change in Utah law to make this practice illegal.

Kudos to Candidate Buchanan.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sitemeter Search of the Day: "Farrer for Mayor"

No joke. Somewhere, someone sharing my name is running for Mayor. I'd vote for 'em!

Google: "Farrer for Mayor" | Engage in local politics — early and often

A recent comment on this blog accused Kay Briggs of being disengaged from the citizens. Of course the only time these kind of comments come are during the election cycle when somebody has something to gain from the accusation. So, you'll forgive me if I think the charge is a little hollow-a little forced.

This editorial by Marjorie Cortez struck a chord with me.

"There's a jillion ways to be involved without ever leaving one's home. Seemingly every elected official in Utah has a telephone and e-mail address. Most, if not all, governmental bodies have their agendas available online. Some meetings are broadcast on cable and Web casts. Engagement is but a mouse click away."

So what if Mayor Briggs doesn't have a website. You can be sure that won't be sticking around after this election. The Mayor gets out, in his way, and tries to make a difference. (Besides, I like being among the top results in a search for his name ;) ) He should not be faulted for taking a stand on the 80 acres owned by NSL. After all, It is our land, not SLC's!

What do you think?

Engage in local politics — early and often

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Time to have my vision checked: Farmington City Council won't pay for cable program

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Farmington city council has shown that they can be trusted with a budget. Way to go Farmington!

City to meet candidates, but not on cable

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Rumors of my death...

My voice has been notably silent during the recent primaries and I've been fighting the urge to feel guilt about it. If it weren't for the solitary voice of Centerville Citizen goading me onto greater activity I might not be explaining myself now. The fact is that my job is demanding more of my time than before and blogging takes more energy than I've had. That doesn't mean that I haven't remained a political junkie-I simply haven't broadcast my views for a while.

I received an interesting email from a Phill Wright, a candidate for Bountiful City Council, that informs this post. I'm no longer a resident of Bountiful, but am not immune from the politics of the city. I've felt comfortable enough with Mr. Wright to encourage my family members to vote for him. Although, they are neighbors with another prominent candidate and may vote another way. Although he supports the Rec Center he has expressed dismay that costs have escalated. I believe that he is the kind of person that could prevent further cost increases. He has proposed the novel concept of selling Bountiful Utilities, or at least, lowering the rates to remain competitive with Utah Power. In my estimation he could have taken a harder stance on the Rec Center but his is the most reasonable response I've seen to the whole debacle.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Rec center's planners ride the tides of budget changes

Quote of the day:

"They could have mentioned it's only 3 feet deep"
--Bountiful resident Carolyn Jorgensen

We are told in the article that the Rec Center will contain more than the voters asked for. Does it bother anyone else that so many of our taxdollars are being shovelled into an already bloated project?

""It's going to be what the people voted on and more," says Bountiful City Manager Tom Hardy, noting that the county's cash infusion allowed planners to add four lanes to the competition pool. "

Rec center's planners ride the tides of budget changes

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah/Standard Examiner

Bountiful is loaning $2 Million Dollars to the South Davis Rec District, to be paid back by the County, in order to fund all the extras on the Rec Center. The quote of the day comes from Tom Hardy, supporter of the deal, "I'm just praying we don't have an earthquake."

The whole deal depends on the State Legislature not changing the law to remove the tourism tax.

"Construction costs are an inherent part of these projects, and this is just one more example of why the cities and the county should not be in the business of risking tax dollars to build rec centers in the first place," said Mike German of the Utah Taxpayers Association.

Why couldn't the Rec District just scale back the facility?

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah

And the Standard Examiner

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Utahn's for Immigration Reform and Enforcement

"I think he ought to consider his views and decide whether they're consistent with the Republican Party," Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, said of the Colorado congressman" (Tancredo)

The above quote comes from which is dedicated to immigration reform. What does Cannon think Tancredo is doing that is out of line? It seems to me that the GOP Platform is all for enforcing legal immigration? What am I missing?

Republican Platform

Thursday, August 25, 2005 | No amnesty, critic says

Representative Tom Tancredo will be speaking at the auditorium of the Redwood-Salt Lake Community College tonight at 7:00 PM. He is taking a hard-line stance against immigration puting the onus on employers rather than the government. Immigration becomes an important issue for Davis County to address considering the large illegal inmate population in our jails. Tancredo would have more illegals sent to jail. What sort of effect could this have on our Counties bottom line? | No amnesty, critic says

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Centerville Citizen: Eight candidates, eight letters, and hopefully eight responses

At the risk of sounding like a running advertisement for Centerville we should expect some response from most/all mayoral candidates for that city to appear on Citizens blog. Stay tuned...

Centerville Citizen: Eight Letters...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Clippertoday:Centerville rated best in state, county

Some good news about one town in Davis County.

Centerville rated best in state, county

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Candidates for municipal offices

Below are the candidates that relate to this blog. As far as I'm concerned, I would like to see Joe Johnson of Bountiful gone. Kay Briggs of North Salt Lake to remain. I think that Arce-Larreta, Briggs' opponent, was recently fired by Salt Lake City-he's only running to reverse the position of NSL on the land dispute, anyway. Is it true that Michael Johnson, of Centerville, is only 22?!

Which candidates do you like? Are there any incumbents that you would like to see replaced?

(redacted by yours-truly)"DAVIS COUNTY Bountiful (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Joe Johnson (i), Jeff Ovitt At-large: John Marc Knight, Fred Moss (i), Shawn O'Hara, Thomas Tolman (i), Phill Wright Centerville (mayor and three council seats) Mayor: Michael Johnson, Ron Russell At-large: Justin Allen, George Fisher, Delise Herem, Richard Hunt, Sherri Lindstrom, Jim Pedersen Clearfield (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Thomas Waggoner (i), Mark Shepherd At-large: Ivan Anderson (i), James Barlow (i),Kathryn Murray, Don Ormsby, Vern Phipps Clinton (mayor and three council seats) Mayor: Mitch Adams (i) Four-year: Dale King (i), Lori Miller (i), Barbara Patterson, Frank Russell Two-year: Jeff Comrie, Chris Martinez, Nathan Schow, Cheri Reed, Tony Thompson Farmington (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Dave Connors (i), Scott Harbertson, Cory Ritz At-large: Paula Alder, David Hale (i), Susan Holmes (i), Trinity Jordan, Robert Kohutek, Darrell Lake, John Montgomery, Art Parmley Fruit Heights (Sept. 13 caucus) Kaysville (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Brian Cook (i), Neka Roundy At-large: Patrick Jon Buchanan, Mark Johnson, Gil Miller (i) Layton (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Steve Curtis, Stephen Handy, Renny Knowlton At-large: Carl Thompson, Michael Bouwhuis, Scott Freitag, Michael Courtney, Kathy Hyde, Loran Hubbard North Salt Lake (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Kay Briggs (i), Juan Arce-Larreta At-large: Brian Elkins, Matt Hardy, Lisa Watts-Baskin South Weber (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Joseph Gertge (i), Guy Saucer At-large: Tom Graydon, Gayle Kennington, John Massengale (i), Scott Peterson, Farrell Poll Sunset (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Janice Galbraith (i), Timothy Isom, Dan Von Almen, Brad Weller At-large: Randy Boothe, Ricky Carlson, Fred Childs (i), Norman Sant Syracuse (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Amy Butters, Fred Panucci (i), Bill Williams At-large: Joshua Hughes, Lurlen Knight (i), Michael Lawton, Stuart Montgomery, Jeffery Orn, Phillip Orton, Doug Peterson, Marc Webb, Wesley White West Bountiful (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: James Behunin, Carl Martin (i) At-large: James Ahlstrom, Wes Argyle, J.R Bangerter, Alan Malan, Tom Madsen, Debbie McKean, Julie Millard, Rex Tunbridge West Point (mayor and two council seats) Mayor : Jerry Chatterton, John Petroff (i) At-large: Sheri Anderson, Lee Barrett, Eric Craythorne (i), Andy Dawson, Barbara Langston Woods Cross (mayor and two council seats) Mayor: Jerry Larrabee (i), Kent Parry At-large: Daniel Bradford, Tamara Dayley, Jennifer Decker (i), Jill Evans, Randen Funk, John Hadlow (i)"

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Candidates for municipal offices

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Standard Examiner:S. Davis rec center loses pool, features

The Rec Center will be scaled back with the following features missing:

Climbing Wall
Outdoor Pool
Some Stadium Seating
Some Sound Panels
Some Bike Racks
Some Carpeting

Officials have said that they may have to reuse parts of the old facility, (which is what they could have done in the first place). Why does it take a crisis like this before officials decide to try to cut costs?

Standard Examiner:S. Davis rec center loses pool, features

Monday, August 08, 2005

DesNews:Budget cuts loom for rec center

Today is the day to make your voice heard. Those who can attend the Recreation District meeting at 4:00 PM, please do.

Bountiful City Hall
790 South 100 East

Update: I don't like the title of this Deseret News article. It seems to imply that the Rec Center will end up costing us less than was originally planned when it is anticipated to cost 2.7 million more! A meeting, open to the public, will be held on August 15th at 6pm which all should attend that aren't going to today's meeting!
For more information see Citizens for Tax

DesNews:Budget cuts loom for rec center

Friday, July 29, 2005

Weber County Forum:A Tale of Two Rec Centers

RudiZink at Weber County Forum wonders whether Weber Counties Rec Center will share the same, sad, fate as the Davis County Rec Center.

Centerville Citizen commented on the post, "...I'll tell you what though, those people at who were so opposed to the rec center project are probably feeling very justified after the revelations about the setbacks with the project."

Mr. Citizen, yes they are.

And the source of Weber County Forum's trepidation is this, scathing, Standard Examiner editorial.

Weber County Forum:A Tale of Two Rec Centers

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:North Salt Lake water supply can't keep up with growth

We all now realize that for a city with no secondary water, the costs of flouridation can be excessive. I did not know that the east benches have more porous soil, and therefore, require more water to have the same effect as those watering elsewhere. Eaglewood Golfcourse, on the east end of NSL, is leeching a great deal of water from our reserves.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:North Salt Lake water supply can't keep up with growth

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


It has been a while since has been updated, but I have been checking it religiously for information since January. Today, I noticed that a much neglected topic of power rate hikes were being addressed. Ron Mortenson had mentioned this to me months ago as a topic on which I might blog and, to be frank, I couldn't dig up enough dirt myself to justify a post. (However, the dirt was there.) Fortunately, I've been saved the trouble of having to do some detective work of my own. Shame on me for not trying hard enough.

Wrap your mind around this concept. Other tax policy organizations have addressed the problems inherent in hiding a tax via clever bookkeeping practices. Bountiful is doing just that. By moving money from the Power fund into the General fund, on a regular basis, they create a shortfall of funds needed to generate and maintain power within the city. As a result, a need is, artificially, created for more money to be put into the Power fund. Power rates get increased, and a hidden tax is born. This money in the General fund,(this is sometimes called laundering), goes to other unrelated projects.

Who gets hurt by this practice? Broad answer: Anyone that stands to lose from an unaccountable government. In short: Everyone.


Monday, July 25, 2005 | S.L., North S.L. clash on venue

NSL and SLC are jockeying over the venue for the lawsuits--Davis County or Salt Lake County. | S.L., North S.L. clash on venue

Friday, July 22, 2005

Handcart Days: One year ago

Last year, at the Bountiful, Handcart Days Parade, the Citizens for Tax Fairness were told not to distribute fliers during the event or risk arrest. At the same time, the city distributed their own leaflets. When a complaint was submitted through the State Attorney Generals office, nothing was done. Today, we celebrate with a parade, the same freedoms that were trampled on by local officials one year ago.

Utah News 7.28.04(PDF)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Davis County Watch:One glaring ommission

After nearly four months of blogging on issues affecting the south end of Davis County, a chink in my topical armor has been exposed. Read enough of my blog and you will see that I have mainly covered topics directly related to Bountiful and North Salt Lake. I've dabbled in other cities and ommitted others completely (a couple readers have mentioned Farmington).

It is time that I settle on the cities of interest to this blog. I decided, when I started the blog, that I wouldn't be talking about the Northernmost part of Davis County. It is just too much geography to cover. I must draw the line at the northern border of Farmington. Here are the cities, once and for all. Farmington, Centerville, West Bountiful, Bountiful, Woods Cross, and North Salt Lake.

Does anyone want to suggest a topic I have missed?

Monday, July 18, 2005

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Tax group waiting for response to Aug. 2004 complaint

Thom Roberts has taken the blame for letting a year pass without responding to allegations of a tainted election in Davis County. He has not said what his response may be. We can guess. If I may be allowed to paraphrase my prediction.


Thank you for your letter...however, we see no evidence of wrongdoing as your election happened almost a year ago...We've talked to Bountiful City officials and they assure us that nothing is amiss. Oh, and Tom Hardy asked me to tell you not to send him any more letters.

Good luck in your efforts to re-elect Joe Johnson!"

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Tax group waiting for response to Aug. 2004 complaint

Friday, July 15, 2005


Beginning today, candidates can file for office. The following cities have the Mayoral seats up for grabs.

  • Bountiful
  • Centerville
  • Clearfield
  • Clinton
  • Farmington
  • Fruit Heights
  • Kaysville
  • North Salt Lake
  • South Weber
  • Sunset
  • Syracuse
  • West Bountiful
  • West Point
  • Woods Cross
I'll only comment on the two cities about which I know something. Bountiful- Mayor Johnson appears to have less influence than the City Manager, Tom Hardy. Hardy is at the root of the problems we've been having with the Rec' Center fiasco, and subsequent misinformation picked up by the press.It's time for the campaign to begin to boot out Hardy. That will, likely, entail getting rid of Johnson as well. North Salt Lake-I think Kay Briggs deserves another run. He's been a staunch defender of his city against our bigger, and meddlesome neighbors.


KSL News: Another Viewpoint – A Line in the Sand

As promised here is Kay Briggs response to a recent editorial on the NSL/SL Land dispute. Apparently there is a more complete version of Mayor Briggs' response available but I can't find it.

KSL News: Another Viewpoint – A Line in the Sand

Update: The page has been updated by KSL with Mayor Briggs complete response.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Rec center cost up $2.7 million

And we wonder why the private sector won't build these facilities?

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Rec center cost up $2.7 million

DAVIS BEAT - North Salt Lake petition drive fizzles

A petition to put the decision to develop land in North Salt Lake to a ballot has not had enough signatures. Not surprising.

DAVIS BEAT - North Salt Lake petition drive fizzles

Friday, July 08, 2005

W. Bountiful questions hike for rec center

The Recreation Center, to be built in Bountiful, is costing one million over the amount of the Bond. Bountiful has offered to pay the million now if the other cities will pay them back. (Where in Bountiful's budget do they have that much money lying around-unallocated?) West Bountiful has questioned why the additional 5-6 percent cost is there? A full board was not present at the last meeting so a decision on the matter has been postponed. When will the Recreation District ratchet up the price-tag again?

W. Bountiful questions hike for rec center

Thursday, July 07, 2005

KSL News: Meth Related Crimes on the Rise

Utah is tied for number one!

KSL News: Meth Related Crimes on the Rise

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Davis County, Utah :: Official Website :: Hiking

Take advantage of the, low cost, recreational activities that are available in Davis County. Hiking, walking, biking, etc. The Davis County Government website shows 11 trailheads within the boundaries of the County. Why am I posting on this when I could be on the subject of politics? Because many think that obesity, health, and promoting family togetherness fall solely under the purview of the government. Utah, especially, has a massive wilderness and close proximity to nature. Our tax dollars are paying for these parks and trails. Let's use them.

Davis County, Utah :: Official Website :: Hiking

KSL News: Homes Condemned to Make Way For New Highway

Remember the stink that Rocky Anderson made about the Legacy Highway's harm to the environment? Well, now that the highway is about to be built, another possible motive for Rocky's action may be surfacing. 260-410 homes and businesses may need to be torn down in Salt Lake City to make room for the highway. What does that come to in lost tax revenue for Salt Lake City?

KSL News: Homes Condemned to Make Way For New Highway

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Meth is 'biggest' US drug problem

'Meth' addiction is the biggest contributor to crime in the U.S. Crimes directly related to the drug include domestic abuse, burglaries, and assaults. The problem of escalating crime is particularly relevant on the County level.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Meth is 'biggest' US drug problem

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

KSL: "Another Viewpoint" Editorial

KSL will air Mayor Brigg's response to a recent editorial by Duane Cardall on the land dispute in the next couple of weeks.


Assuming that Salt Lake City succeeds in condemning the 12 acres of land owned by North Salt Lake how do they justify the cost that North Salt Lake would pay to service to the land? Salt Lake City has no access roads to the land. North Salt Lake would be saddled with the burden of providing emergency services to that area. I believe that this would constitute an arbitrary taxation on North Salt Lake on top of the taxation from invoking eminent domain in the first place.

On another note, North Salt Lake waiting the maximum 30 days before filing the appeal regarding Salt Lake City's decision, giving the negotiations a chance to work.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::City files appeal on decision by Salt Lake City

Thursday, June 30, 2005

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Davis County donates unbuildable land for trail

Am I beating dead horse by talking so much about the land dispute between NSL and SLC? Yes, but I didn't kill the horse. I want to focus, this time, on some positive results that could come if NSL is allowed to do what they want with their land. Davis County has just turned over some land that would be used to build a trailhead giving Utahn's access to the National Forest to our east in Wasatch/Cache National Forest. Will we have this trailhead if all 80 acres in SL County becomes Open Space? No, it would be impossible to build a trailhead on land that is zoned as Open Space.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Davis County donates unbuildable land for trail

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah

More on the land dispute of 80 acres can be found in these two Tribune articles.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: Open-space spat a feisty display of mayor's style
Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: North Salt Lake to sue for disputed land

Monday, June 27, 2005

KSL News: A Line in the Sand

Duane Cardall suggests, in a recent editorial, that the benches of North Salt Lake are the final frontier on which, if development were to occur, irreparable harm would be done to the last of Utah's open spaces. He implies that North Salt Lake has succumbed to the "pressure to go higher and denser". What he fails to mention, or realize, is that only thirty out of one-hundred acres would be developed. Ten of those acres would be cemetery which, under the old definition, would have counted as 'open space'. The land in question is no more of an encroachment on open space than an adjacent community known as the 'Avenues'. Certainly, Mr Cardall isn't suggesting that the planners of the Avenues were a bane to 'open space'? And what is beyond the hundred acres in question but more open space, forever protected as Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Utah has more National Parks than any other state in the Union and our National Forests are on par with other states. A legacy we will pass to our children. Salt Lake Cities approach on open space could be better tolerated if they would enforce it everywhere. But they have, arbitrarily, targeted one property owner.

KSL News: A Line in the Sand

Friday, June 24, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:Utah not to be affected by property ruling

It appears that the eminent domain case that made it to the Supreme Court has no effect in Utah. The ruling only applies to instances where a local government might seize land in order to sell it for a profit--that is illegal in Utah.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: Utah not to be affected by property ruling

Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Salt Lake County offers open-space funds if cities play nice

Let's take a look into the tactics employed by Rocky in preventing North Salt Lake from developing any of it's 80 acres within Salt Lake County. Would he go so far as to condemn all 80 acres? No. That would look bad and it would be costly since the city still has to pay 'fair market value' for the land that is condemned. Rather he's going to condemn 12 acres, on North Salt Lakes border, rendering the other 68 acres useless. The net effect for North Salt Lake is the same as if Rocky had taken the whole thing and Rocky can say, 'we only took 12 acres'.

North Salt Lake has already applied for preservation funds so that open space can be preserved. Rocky can't, justly, argue that North Salt Lake won't preserve the scene on the hilltop. North Salt Lakes driving interest is to preserve open space or they would have made a bid to develop more than one-third of the land. | Salt Lake County offers open-space funds if cities play nice

The Sutherland Institute

The Sutherland Institute has made some cosmetic changes and substantive additions to their website-for the better. One of their policy statements revolve around the core function of government.

"A careful audit should be made of each and every state function. If work performed is also being done, or if at a point in time it has been handled by the private sector (businesses, service clubs, charities, etc.), then the state should return this work to the private sector. Many examples abound as testaments to government out of bounds. One such example is when local governments build massive, publicly subsidized recreation centers that compete with the private fitness industry? Why? "
The role of government in attracting business is also discussed.
"Our state government’s role in helping to attract new business to Utah should be limited to its core function of tax and regulatory policy. Specifically, it should work to reduce both taxes and regulations on business."
They say the following on Rainy Day Funds.
"Despite pledges to control spending, government officials seem unable to do so. When revenue exceeds budgetary requirements, then, there is often a call to use that excess revenue to support future spending (by creating a “rainy day” fund). While a “rainy day” fund of state revenues sounds like a tempting option, mirroring as it does the commendable practice of savings practiced by individuals and families, it is not appropriate. The key principle is the fact that state revenues are (unlike family or personal earnings) public monies. They are meant to be used for public business and, if they are not being used for this purpose, ought legitimately to be returned to taxpayers."
For a complete list of topics of concern to the Sutherland Institute.

The Sutherland Institute-Persuasion at Work

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Clippertoday:‘It was an ambush’ says irate mayor

North Salt Lake's budget to do legal battle with Salt Lake City is limited-5 million dollars. However, Mayor Briggs is prepared to go to court to get the full market value of our land. In the end we would lose more money by just yielding to Salt Lake, than would be spent defending our position.

“I think Mr. Anderson has forced us to go to court. We’ll have to be the people to fight his condemnation. If we sat back today and did nothing he’d win. That would be socially, morally and fiscally irresponsible for us to do that.”
This article is, almost entirely, direct quotes of Mayor Briggs. It gives a good view of the Mayors real position-that of an open-space advocate.
Clippertoday:'It was an ambush' says irate mayor

Monday, June 20, 2005

AP Wire | 06/20/2005 | Supreme Court sides with city in land case

An analogue to the land debate between North Salt Lake and Salt Lake has recently made it to the Supreme Court. According to the article it may be harder now to argue the unconstitutionality of seizing land through eminent domain as Rocky is trying to do.

AP Wire | 06/20/2005 | Supreme Court sides with city in land case | Mayor fights for North S.L. land in S.L.

Mayor Kay Briggs has a profile in today's Deseret News. Briggs has proven himself to be a formidable opponent to, Salt Lake city neighbor, Rocky Anderson. | Mayor fights for North S.L. land in S.L.

SLJPP: Testimony on Tax Reform.

The Sutherland Institute president, Paul T. Mero, has testified before the Tax commission and proposed that any tax reform we have should have the family as it's core value. He proposed that there are five things that can be seen as the center point on which any public policy is built.

"Every public policy has a center point, or core, toward which a policy’s application is
directed by certain underlying assumptions. Historically, competition for this center or core
has been among five institutions: the individual, the family, the corporation, the church,
and the state…These [five] center points are at the heart of all public policies."
Mero says Governor Walkers 'balanced system' is centered in the State. Without saying so explicitly he alluded that Governor Huntsman has chosen to place the corporation at the center. Libertarians will place the individual at the center.

He goes on to say that, by placing the family at the center, all of these other values are benefited. Public policy has a tendency to focus on dysfunction in families, rather than what works. It can suffer from a myopic view that misses the broad scope and the long picture. A public policy centered on families should place it's focus on rewarding the ideal family, not the imperfect family. He suggests that taxes should be taken from income, and moved to tax consumption. Exceptions for food could be made so that a family is not made to go hungry.

He also suggests that we move education funding to sales tax.
"By linking the state income tax to public schools, as we have for nearly sixty years, we have created ugly
and unfortunate policy trade-offs. I believe this well-intended, but short-sighted, legacy has done more
than any other single policy to antiquate our tax code. Moreover, we are forced to choose between
education funding and any incentives that require an income tax credit, deduction, or exemption. It is
unnecessary and avoidable."

Tax reform(PDF)

Friday, June 17, 2005

KSL News: Meth Users' Rotten Teeth Hike Dental Bills in Jails, Prisons

The number one way in which the state of Utah would rob Davis County jails is that they don't want to reimburse for medical, dental, and transportation expenses. A disgusting feature of 'meth' use, which runs rampant in Utah, is 'meth mouth'. The drug destroys teeth causing soaring costs for Utah jails. I've posted on the current problem of under-reimbursement here.

KSL News: Meth Users' Rotten Teeth Hike Dental Bills in Jails, Prisons

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Utah Planners' Corner

Wilf Sommerkorn is offering his opinion on Rocky's, rocky, rally. (cute, huh?)

Utah Planner's Corner:rhetoric-heats-up-in-north-salt-lake

Americans for Prosperity - Taxes: Analysis of TABOR

I've posted on this idea to limit government that is on a ballot in Colorado here. Dr. Barry Poulson at has written a good explanation of it's benefits.

Americans for Prosperity - Taxes

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:S. Davis mayors discuss recreation consolidation

I'm wary of any idea proposed by Joe Johnson. He wants to move, several, Davis County City recreation programs under one head.
StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:S. Davis mayors discuss recreation consolidation | Rocky, North Salt Lake clash over foothill land

Yesterdays clash over the land owned by NSL has been reported on by the Deseret News. It seems that Rocky is trying to be a NIMNBY (Not-in-my-neighbors-back-yard) over the land; an innovative kind of activist that doesn't care as much about what happens in his backyard as he does in his neighbors. He didn't have the support of the Salt Lake City Council when he proposed condeming a portion of the land which would make it impossible for NSL to develop.

"'It's my back yard, and I'll tell you one thing — we will do our best to preserve it,' Briggs said. 'We won't turn it into what they have turned (the Avenues) into. That's our promise. Our promise is open space. We will deal with it, and we will justifiably make it beautiful.'" | Rocky, North Salt Lake clash over foothill land

Update: KUTV has more on the story. Apparently Rocky's offer for the 13 acres of land he wants condemned is $51,188.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

KSL Blog: Crashing Rocky's Rally...

KSL Blog is talking about Rocky Andersons Rally, held today, that I've talked about previously. Apparently, Mayor Briggs, and his supporters, crashed the party, and some arguments insued. Rocky spoke about condeming some of the land within Salt Lake City boundaries eliciting heckling from, none other, than Kay Briggs himself. Rocky is losing his grip on reality.

KSL Blog: Crashing Rocky's Rally...

Committee eyes changes to jail funding :: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah

The Daily Herald is reporting that a legislative budget committee is planning to better reimburse counties that house state inmates. However, they want to stop reimbursing for medical and transportation costs. How they are able to spin this an increase in funding is a mystery to me. Although they would add a 10% cushion to the county fund, they are cutting enough funding as to make the increase negligible. According to Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, "I don't understand how you ask services be rendered and then just decide you're not going to pay for part of it."

Committee eyes changes to jail funding :: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:New tax approved to fund south Davis rec center operations

As covered on this blog previously Tom Hardy, 'unpaid consultant' for the Recreational District, wanted to charge for maintainance of the Rec Center before it is built. The Recreational District just approved a tax increase that will do just that! The tax goes into effect a full year before the facility will open.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:New tax approved to fund south Davis rec center operations

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:County board to offer to help buy N. Salt Lake land

Salt Lake Counties Open Spaces board wants to offer a meager $300,000 to North Salt Lake for the 80 acres of land to insure that it remains open space. North Salt Lake says the price tag is closer to $16 million. On the other hand Rocky has tommorow's rally planned in which he will reveal one of his fingers--again. Guess which one?

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah:County board to offer to help buy N. Salt Lake land

Clipper:Rec pool may still make a bigger splash

The Recreation District has reduced the size of the Bountiful pool in order to deal with escalating costs, covered in a previous post, but some members of the board would like to increase funding in order to accomodate a pool of the original size. It would take an investment of $1 million divided between the five cities. I've anticipated that costs would escalate given the creative accounting ideas suggested by Tom Hardy.
Clipper:Rec pool may still make a bigger splash

The Tax Foundation - Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR): The Cure for "Ratchet Up"

TABOR is an interesting concept. I don't think any reasonable person thinks we ought to completely eliminate governement revenue but, TABOR says, that any increase greater than the population increase plus inflation is too much.

The Tax Foundation - Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR): The Cure for "Ratchet Up"

Monday, June 13, 2005 | Rocky calls rally to protest plan for housing on North S.L. bench

I am tired of Rocky Anderson trying to sway public opinion in his fickle favor when his interest in the dispute is entirely political. In this case political interests do not equal moral, or ethical interests. What North Salt Lake does with their land is not up to the citizens of Salt Lake City. There are enough legal reasons that SLC ought not to be involved in how the land is used that this issue should be decided by the officials and electorate of North Salt Lake City. | Rocky calls rally to protest plan for housing on North S.L. bench

Friday, June 10, 2005

Utah Planners' Corner: Can they do that?

Wilf Sommerkorn has an excellent piece on the controversy surrounding the 80 acres of land that North Salt Lake would like to develop. Sommerkorn questions the legality of Salt Lake City zoning the land as 'open space', essentially, taking the property.

Utah Planners' Corner

WX passes '06 budget

Woods Cross City is setting the example for it's surrounding cities on how to set a budget. This years budget is a 9.56 percent decrease over last year. They are anticipating lower revenues over previous years. It reminds me of, yesterday, watching Chairman Greenspan testifying before Congress. He said that every entity that recieves funding from the Government should be subject to review by Congress. He said even if the Federal Reserve, the entity he chairs, could not justify it's existence then it should be dismantled. What was that? The Federal Reserve Chairman is okay with losing his job if it means a balanced budget! What works for the Federal Government should work for State, County, and City levels.

WX passes '06 budget

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Davis School District approves pay wage increase

Davis County School district has found a novel way to increase it's reserve fund--by increasing spending on the overall budget through a pay raise, and an administrative spending increase. The article cites an increase in spending for salaries by 4.42% from last year. Most employees will benefit from a 3% increase in pay. Pay raises aside, I think the real story is buried in the reserve fund. The law says the reserve fund can be 5% of it's overall budget so the district has opted for a bigger budget as stated above. They are not asking for any new tax increases now, which would have to go to a vote. They never do ask for a tax increase until the pork barrel is bursting.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

slSites: Local listings for the Salt Lake Valley

Davis County Watch has been added to a directory of the 'best' websites in Salt Lake Valley. According to the site, "Salt Lake Sites is the largest open directory for Salt Lake City, Utah and surrounding communities. It has over 4200 listings in over 264 categories." I'm excited about all the new local sites that are finding their roots in Utah.

slSites | Crowding weighs on jail workers, inmates

I went on a tour of the county jail just before the jail expansion bond went before the voters, and while I don't think that jail-time ought to be a pleasant experience, the expansion is needed so those who should be behind bars, aren't sent away. At the Davis County website, you can see the jail roster. An intersting exercise is to see how many inmates are there, and the arresting agency that got them. Currently, there are 518 total inmates for a jail with a capacity of 496. A handful of these were arrested by I.N.S. and the U.S. Marshalls. How many of these are actually being housed for the Utah State prison? How can we get the State to pay the 75% required, for these inmates, rather than the 50% they are paying? | Crowding weighs on jail workers, inmates

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dynamic Range

John Dougall has a new blog called Dynamic Range that I like a great deal. In particular, note his recent post on recomendations given to the Tax reform commitee that was recently formed by the Legislature.

Thursday, June 02, 2005 | Land-use debate grows in North S.L.

I think it may be time for me to work up a petition for Mayor Briggs, and the NSL city council to ask them to develop what land they can in the 80 acres of land in SLC boundaries. According to Stan Porter, of the Planning Commision, "It would go better if we had public support," Porter said in an interview Wednesday. "We don't know what the public support is." Unlike Porter, I think that Mayor Briggs, and the Council have been very communicative with the community. I attended the focus group, and I believe the entire Planning Commission were there to answer questions.

I'm ready to weigh in my support for the development of 30 acres of the total 100 covering both NSL and SLC boundaries. | Land-use debate grows in North S.L.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

SLC Trib:SLC votes to keep open space on bench at northern border

The fate of eighty acres of land, twenty of which NSL City is ready to sell for development, may have to be decided in court. I am one that hopes that the land is developed. It will recover revenue for North Salt Lake City that can go to pay for our Golf Course, a firestation, as well as more parks, and trails. This will preserve the character of NSL as a pristine , healthy, city. As it stands right now, is trespassing allowed on that land? If so, there are quite a few Salt Lake City Council Members that need to be told to stay off the land.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah

The Tax Foundation - Flat Tax Debate Rages in Utah

The Tax Foundation has their eyes on Utah, and included the LDS church's statement on tax reform in their piece.

"The state tax system should continue to provide tax deductions for charitable giving—including religious contributions. Charitable contributions help provide for society's poor and needy, education and the arts, and other important social needs."

The Tax Foundation - Flat Tax Debate Rages in Utah

Friday, May 27, 2005

NSL Cities Water Conservation Plan

How is North Salt Lake City planning on handling the problem of water conservation, and the added cost of flouridation? Especially, since they are considering the development of more Parks? One quote from their plan interested me greatly. (Hat tip to Steve Rawlings for pointing this issue out to me.)

"Maximizing the amount of secondary water used for outdoor water use within the City has multiple benefits. These benefits include smaller increases in required volumes of culinary water in future years and reduced cost in developing new culinary sources.

In order to maximize the use of secondary water, there are several steps that should be completed:

  • Require all new developments to include secondary water where available.
  • Enforce watering restrictions during the hottest part of the day by issuing tickets with fines that increase if the offense is repeated.
  • Provide educational materials that discuss how to determine the amount of water necessary for a healthy lawn.
  • Determine the amount of water necessary for healthy landscaping at City Parks and the golf course. It is typical for such locations to be overwatered by anywhere from 25% to 50%. Correcting any overwatering done by the City will reduce the demand on the irrigation system and reduce waste.

Conclusion: Secondary water saves an enormous amount of culinary water from being used in outdoor watering. This resource needs to be maximized by being made available to as much of the City as possible, and by using this resource in a manner that is educated and non-wasteful."

Meeting with Steve Rawlings

I met with Steve Rawlings this morning, and it was a pleasant experience. I learned some things that I will summarize below.

  • The State of Utah is paying, roughly, half of what it should to Davis County for housing the 100-150 Prison inmates at Davis County Jail. They've committed to pay 75% of the total cost.
  • The County plans on using many of the Jail inmates to landscape the new Jail extension to save money.
  • Davis County pays about $10,000 a year into Cable 17.
  • Davis Counties population will be at 500,000 in about 30 years (not 5).
  • Those parts of the County that only have culinary water are paying extra, thanks to the added cost of flouride. (North Salt Lake has especially high cost in taxes because the Golf Course is watered in this fashion) North Salt Lake residents pay an extra $40 average, whereas other areas with secondary water can pay as low as $1 extra.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Clipper:Legislatures in 'hot water' over jail

Utah's legislature became the subject of a stiff rebuke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Davis County Jail. Davis County houses between 100-150 prison inmates, and is supposed to be reimbursed for them. Apparently, we aren't getting enough, since we are not reimbursed for capital expenses, according to County Auditor, Steve Rawlings. “It leaves us way short. We’re talking $1.5 million to $2 million a year” when all expenses are considered, Rawlings said.

Note: Money was offered to other Counties, besides Davis, if they would expand their Jails, and they, wisely, said no. They didn't trust the State Legislature, and it appears they were right. Welcome to the money pit.

Legislatures in hot water over jail

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Why Limit Government? [Bluegrass Institute]

Why Limit Government? [Bluegrass Institute]: "At the heart of our core body of principles with regard to government are these unassailable truths: Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

CAGW: Pig Book Criteria

All items published in the Citizens Against Government Waste: Pig Book meet at least one of the following criteria. Most meet at least two. Were a local Piglet book to be published for Davis County, what would meet these criteria? (Where applicable, substitute the word Mayor for President, and public for congressional)

  • Requested by only one chamber of Congress;
  • Not specifically authorized;
  • Not competitively awarded;
  • Not requested by the President;
  • Greatly exceeds the President’s budget request or the previous year’s funding;
  • Not the subject of congressional hearings; or
  • Serves only a local or special interest.(i.e. Rec Center built, in part, Bountiful with County funds)

Monday, May 23, 2005

What are Davis County's greatest challenges?

During last weeks Townhall meeting, the Commissioners were asked what they thought the greatest challenges Davis County faces over the next three years. Dannie McConkie, replied that the population in the county is anticipated to boom to 500,000 by 2010(figure supplied by Steve Rawlings is 30 years from now). The previous estimate on the County website estimates 310,000 by 2010. As a result of the boom, Commissioner McConkie promised more tax increases for education. McConkie's flawed logic assumes that the tax base will remain the same, while the population will double. Doubling the population in five years, increases the tax base, and will actually bring in more money, not less. (Considering that the original dates were wrong, I'll have to ask McConkie whether he plans on raising taxes while he is in office. He certainly anticipates the County raising them in the next 30 years, but that won't be on his watch.)

Commissioner Page had previously noted that the citizens have always approved tax increases for education, seemingly, signaling her intention to ask for further increases. Is education really the black hole for funding that Page says it is? When I think of my personal finances, I cannot think of a single item in my budget that does not have an upper limit. I even have limits on what I can spend on my healthcare. The false assumption is that by paying even more money into public education, the quality of the education will improve. The opposite approach; taking money from public education, would actually place more responsibility for education on the parents. Public funds cannot replace the love of a parent for their child. With the majority of our taxes going to education, and the increased revenue generated from a growing population, a tax increase cannot be justified.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Cable 17: Sponsorship questioned

In attending the Townhall meeting for the County this week, I raised the issue of the Government sponsorship of Cable 17. I was surprised to hear, in response, that Davis County does not sponsor the station. Surprised, because the County website declares, "Davis County Government is proud to sponsor Davis Cable Channel 17..." I pushed on that issue, and it ultimately was admitted, by Commmisioner McConkie, that the County does make a monetary contribution. My point is this, I've learned not to take anything at face value. If pressed, most people will reveal their true feelings on an issue, so press them. Be vocal and respectful.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Davis County: Townhall meeting results

I went to the Townhall meeting last night and spoke plenty of my mind. I would hope I did not disappoint those whose cause is the same, but knowledge is greater, and methodology is different. I was not cautious in my statements, and trust that my comments were recieved in good spirits. The atmosphere was decidedly more friendly that other political forums in which I have participated. Unfortunately, there were only about a dozen citizens(non-elected, non-appointed, non-officials) there. Some immediate good did come from this for me, in that I will be sitting down with the County Auditor, Steve Rawlings to go over the budget in the next week. Thus begins my education in County Government. How can more people be influenced to get involved in local and national issues? Post a comment on your experiences in politics.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Town Hall Meeting Today!

Just a reminder! The South Davis County Townhall Meeting is 2 hours away. Details here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

slcspin: Tom Dolan and the Art of Backstabbing

Sometimes the politics of neighboring cities can affect us here locally. We'll see how this play's out. The situation, here, is that Salt Lake City has, unofficially, asked North Salt Lake to contribute, to the tune of millions, to build a soccer facility close to North Salt Lake's boundaries. I don't know how sweet Mayor Briggs is on that deal? For a small community of 10,000 that is too much money. Now, elsewhere, I hear about a soccer stadium that could be built either downtown Salt Lake, Sandy, or Murray. I'm almost positive these to facilities are not the same. It would be too ambitious for Salt Lake City to pursue two soccer facilities, unless they were leaving their options open, until the right deal could be reached. More information is on SLCSPIN.

slcspin: Tom Dolan and the Art of Backstabbing

Monday, May 16, 2005

China, Cuba, Davis County, Iran

What do the China, Cuba, Davis County, and Iran all have in common? No, it isn't that they have, or want nuclear weapons. Free tickets to a Television Pilot screening to the first person that answers this question correctly.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Clipper: Rec Center Plans were too grand

This belongs to a category, the fleecing of Davis County. The Recreation District has exceeded their budget, prompting some, like "unpaid consultant", Tom Hardy to ask that they begin taxing us for 'maintainance' of the facility, though it has not been built. Even still, the facility is going to be made smaller, but at the same cost as before. When a contractor goes over budget like this, they should be made to cover the extra cost. There has not been enough outrage about this issue.

Clipper:Rec Center

Friday, May 13, 2005

The State of the Beehive:SL County could be in trouble for having too much money

The State of the Beehive has an excellent explanation of the excess funds that Salt Lake County has on hand, and what they can do with it. On May 18th, be sure to ask the Davis County Commissioners about their stewardship over the General fund? Based on the amount of money Davis County has in it's General Fund, the County should have no problem funding the Jail expansion, and paying Salaries, without increasing taxes.

Davis County School District sponsors special interests

This would fall into the category of old news if it had ever been reported by any news outlet. Did you know that Davis County School District was a backer of special interest? Back on February 24th, at an awards dinner that was held by the National Conference of Community and Justice, Davis County School District was listed as a sponsor. NCCJ lobbies to establish public policy affirmitively for issues such as Hate Crimes legislation, Employment Discrimination, and Native American Mascots. More information is available on Citizens for Tax Fairness. Does a public school have any business backing a group such as this?

Aside: The former leader of NCCJ, recently made a statement characterizing the yet, unfinished movie, The Passion of the Christ, as Anti-semitic for filming scenes that follow the thread of the Gospels, rather than playing down any Jewish involvement in the crucifixion, as some would like. Of course, actual reviewers of the movie, including Orthodox Jew, Michael Medved, fully endorsed the film.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

North Salt Lake: Recreation Meeting

Last night, I attended the Focus Group held by the Planning Commission to discuss the building and preservation of Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces for the City. As is often the case in these meetings, some of those that attended had the most unrealistic of desires for the city. I was impressed, however, with how responsible the Planning Commission, and the Mayor, themselves were. They seemed to understand that, to be fiscally sound, the City should not get into greater debt. Below, I summarize, what seemed to be the frightening consensus of those in the Focus Group.

  • North Salt Lake should contribute to the building of the Multi-million dollar Soccer Facility proposed by Salt Lake City (SLC is asking for seven million dollars from NSL).
  • The hundred acres, eighty of which rests in Salt Lake County boundaries, should be left as open space, and not developed(although, developing this land could provide ample revenue to provide for some parks and trails).
  • A park, the same scale of the North Canyon Park, should be built down the street from the former park.
  • The Focus Group would like a pool, and basketball courts within city limits (despite the fact that NSL voted against the 23 million dollar Recreation Center that is to be built anyway in 2006).
  • In addition to the above, the Focus group would like all 25 miles of proposed trail to be built, with ample parking at the head of the major trails.
I think a common misconception about communities that build their own large facilities is that they will earn a profit and pay for themselves. If that were the case, then private industry would lead in building the Mega-facilities, and Government would stay out of the business of recreation. I hope North Salt Lake will act moderately, in providing the community with their Parks and Trails.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Town Hall Meeting:: Update: May 18th

Yesterday, on the County website, details were finally posted about the Town Hall meeting (PDF) that I blogged about last week.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be in Room 230 at the Davis County
Memorial Courthouse, 28 East State Street, Farmington.

Tax Foundation: Tax Policy Blog

Check out the Tax Policy Blog. They also have an RSS feed, and links to well written analysis of Tax Policies across the country. Research areas include Social Security Reform, State Taxes and spending, and Utah


The Standard-Examiner is going to be doing Midday Updates. StandardNET/Standard-Examiner: "The Midday Update offers a quick glance at breaking news. It runs Monday-Friday on StandardNET."

Friday, May 06, 2005

North Salt Lake City: Recreation Planning Workshop

If you live where 'everybody is somebody' please attend the Planning Workshop. The evening is going to be catered. Remember the following bullet-points.

  • We don't need another park
  • We don't need another park
  • A cemetery might be nice
Date: Wednesday, May 11th
Time: 6:30-9:00 P.M.
Place: Eagleridge Golf Course Clubhouse

Questions? Call Natalie Gordon, NSL Planning Commission 397-2145
Please RSVP to: NSL City Offices 936-3877 x100

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Water Resources

Charley Foster, at The State of the Beehive, linked to Davis County Watch, so I took a second look at his profile and was pleased to find this blog to which he is a contributer. It makes economic, not just environmental, sense for Utahn's to conserve water.

Water Resources (Water policy, law, science, engineering, use,...)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Are Blogs the New Journalism

For those who want to know the impetus behind my starting a blog on Davis County read this article. Blogs have become a powerful medium to drive change, and I want what has happened nationally, to occur locally.

Are Blogs the New Journalism?

The Hidden Costs of Subsidies

IN OUR VIEW Drop the water subsidies :: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah: "Water is vital to Utah. If it weren't for water, and the discipline to
use it wisely, Utah's pioneers would never have been able to survive in
the Great Basin."

This is the kind of thinking that Davis County needs to adopt as well. This would be a great issue to raise with the County Commissioners at the Townhall meeting on May 18th. When you go, be sure to hold Dannie McConkie's feet to the fire. He sits on both the Utah Water Users Association, and the Weber Basin Water Quality Management Council.

I found this article originally referenced on The State of the Beehive, and I would recommend it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Utah Policymaker: South Davis Recreation Center Board

I've discovered a blog whose contributers are elected officials in Utah. I will provide a permanent link to it on my sidebar. Utah Policymaker

One post of interest is as follows.

"I feel that we as City Council Members from the participating cities of this district have been misled. We were led to believe from the beginning that our input on the design of the building was not only wanted but, welcomed. Now that the bonding has been approved by the voters, it seems the Board (which is made up of the Mayor's of the cities, Commissioner Dan McConkie as well as two other members) doesn't want anymore input on the what the facility is to look like and include.

In a Davis County Clipper article from Sept. 28th 2004 about the Recreation District Meeting, Tom Hardy was quoted as saying "we selected VCBO to do the study and to do the preliminary design and master plan." He goes on to say "The Board had two choices. Do you want to scrap everything you've done or get going as quickly as possible?" This seems a bit extreme. I don't think a majority of the citizens want to scrap everything. However, I do believe that a majority of the people who voted in favor of the bonding want to change the current "preliminary design" slightly. I have a commitment from Mayor Larrabee to get together with some residents of our city to discuss the preliminary designs. His biggest caveat is he wants them to have a sincere interest in the facility. If I'm helping to pay for a facility (through my property taxes) isn't that sincere interest?

Posted by Thad Van Ry # 10/12/2004 02:56:13 PM"
I can tell you, one of the "two other members" is Darrel Twede, who, along with Dannie McConkie used to be one of my neighbors. I have much respect for Daryl, and he was right to accept the invitation to serve, but the process by which he was selected was flawed. No process was in place to qualify the candidates for the Board. And, the fact that the Board does not have the benefit of a diverse membership bodes ill for the project.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Nay: Phrase not found!

I just searched all the Davis County Commission Public meeting minutes back to January for the word Nay, and came up with nothing. Do any of the Commissioners ever disagree? Or, do we have a severe case of Political Groupthink. I've seen complete agreement to exist in other settings besides County government. I suspect dissent is rare, or extinct among most of the 15 cities within Davis County, and the thought frightens me. I want the wheels of progress to keep turning, but not at the expense of intelligent thought. When the public show up at a Truth-in Taxation hearing and express concern, only to be brushed aside by a unanimous vote, we feel betrayed!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

County Townhall Meeting: May 18th

Mark your Calendars for May 18th at 7:00 P.M to be at the Davis County Memorial Courthouse, 28 E. State. The County will be hosting the first Townhall meeting for the County. Some have, rightly expressed some skepticism that this meeting will be well attended. I would agree, because it has not been well advertised by the County. Has anyone heard this advertised on Channel 17? The County website hasn't mentioned it. I've found the meeting mentioned in the Standard Examiner, and the Clipper only. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

The chance of having another meeting like this hangs on how many attend this first one. One issue that will be discussed is the County Jail expansion, but this time belongs to the Citizens, and any questions will be answered(we are told). In preparation to play 'Stump the Commissioner', on May 18th, comment to this post with your best questions? If you know you can attend, let us know in your comment?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Citizens for Tax Fairness

I created this blog as a way to publicize issues, pertinent to residents of South Davis County, that have been swept under the rug. The opinions expressed, are my own, but the site is open to public comment. So, if you reside in my County, weigh in!

I'm providing a link to an organization, of which I play a small, fly on the wall, part. They've actually saved the County substantial amounts of money.

Citizens For Tax Fairness