Saturday, September 23, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Citizenship] Ann Hardy questions Citizens for Tax Fairness

Political Subdivisions Interim Committee--September 20th, 2006

I'll post a section of the discussion from a meeting at a State Legislature Committee meeting. The entire audio can be heard here.

The topic of discussion was "Using Public Funds to Promote Political Issues", specifically, centered on the Rec Center fiasco of a couple of years ago.

It begins 1:39:20 into the discussion with a question posed to Ronald Mortensen who was testifying in front of the committee.

Ann Hardy:
I would like to ask you how you think it's fair to taxpayers, for the last two years, for you to have taken up the time of taxpayer paid, elected officials-both County Commissioners, the County Clerk, five Mayors, City Council Members, the Attorney General, and now bring it to the Legislature. If you added that up I would guess it's probably thousands of dollars of taxpayer money that's been involved in this and I want to know how you feel that that's being fair to taxpayers?

Ronald Mortensen:
I think it's fair for a citizen to exercise their right to participate in the system. I don't think that we're...if we're doing that than nobody should become involved. Or, if we're going to put a dollar value on every time we talk to somebody, or, ask a Legislator to do something. And, I think that the system is enhanced if there is a challenge. We do challenge things! We question, why is this tax going to this? Why is this tax rate like this? Why are we building this? Why should we be doing this? And, there's different, divergent, points of view on it. It's not a uniform, or a monolithic
government where government is all-knowing and government is all-right. If you don't have public discourse in the process then you are going to have abuse of the system, you are going to have corruption come into the system. And you have...There are different groups out there that have voices. And, all we're doing is we're giving a certain voice to a certain area of concern, and I hope that we're not saying that we are going to be denied the opportunity to do that because it inopportunes public officials?

Ann Hardy: Could I make a comment?

Walker: You bet!

Ann Hardy: That wasn't really my point. My point was obviously you have that right, and any citizen has that right, but at some point you have to recognize the fact, especially after the Attorney General has ruled in the manner that he did, or one of his staff, that maybe you need to move on to another issue.

Ronald Mortensen: Well, I think you could say that. I think, though, if you look at the way the Attorney General--if you go to court and you get a...and there is a decision made in a court. You have the right to appeal that decision if you think that a mistake was made on an issue of law or, on an issue of the facts. And, that's all we're doing in this situation it's not--We just asked the Attorney General to take another look at it. Did you overlook something? And uh...and that's all we asked on this issue on it. So, I don't see that there's anything wrong with doing that. And like I say, I've been gone for two months, so I'm not badgering people every day when I'm sitting in Beirut. I'm not uh, not uh, as I guess I've been portrayed as badgering public officials.

I could have gone on beyond this, but I think this, alone, speaks volumes.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Citizenship at 9/23/2006 12:16:00 AM