Monday, October 30, 2006

A Letter to the Editor...

Posted by: Allie


A recent news story about Rob Miller, a Democratic candidate for the Davis County Commission mentioned my endorsement of his candidacy. Since then, our County Clerk, Mr. Steve Rawlings, has asserted to various and sundry folks, based on that endorsement, that I am not really a Republican. I’m not aware that the County Clerk determines who is or isn’t a Republican, but I believe his concern about that story to be symptomatic of a larger and more serious problem which afflicts Davis County government.

It was not so long ago that our County Commission proposed an unnecessary 138 percent property tax increase, for which the head cheerleader was (and still is) – Steve Rawlings, the County Clerk. I lent my name to Rob Miller’s campaign, because that proposed 138 percent property tax increase was the product of three things: arrogance, hubris, and too many years of one-party government. That tax increase was reduced, but I note a 45 percent county tax increase announced for this year.

Most Utahns – and most Davis County voters – vote a split ticket now and then. I was a Republican legislator in the 1970s, which was a different political age. It was an age of bi-partisanship and cross-party political cordiality, and I think Utah was better-served by that mutual respect than it has been by the hard-edged, personalized, one-party variety of politics that has come to replace it. One of the Cal Rampton Democrats, whose political cordiality I valued, was Michael Miller – Rob Miller’s father. By a twist of family destiny, Rob’s grandparents were two memorably prominent Republicans – Vernon and Helen Romney.

The Republican Party for which I was the Davis County Chairman (in the Jurassic Age) stood for limited government, balanced budgets, and efficiency. That Republican Party would have been mortified at a single year’s 138 property tax increase. It would have been embarrassed at the disparity between the growth rate of commissioners’ salaries (now at $96,000 and a $7,000 vehicle allowance) and the disappearance rate of unincorporated area within the County to virtually zero.

Perhaps adding one Democrat to the County Commission would make it easier for city mayors to reach some meaningful agreements with the County Commission on elimination of duplicative services. It might invite a new assessment of the way necessary county services are provided, and it might even make the commission more concerned about whether all sides of an issue have been sufficiently worked through to assure a balanced and sensible policy decision. Certainly, the sky would not fall, and we might just get better government.

Neither political party has a monopoly on either virtue, vice, or wise policies. Decades of single-party domination tend to produce stagnation and hubris. And 138 percent tax increases.

David R. Irvine



Cossack (AKA Izdatyel) said...

Greetings, blogger.

As you are undoubtedly aware, the race for the Fourth City Council
District is an interesting one. You may have also heard that the
candidates, Nancy Saxton and Luke Garrott have agreed to appear in a
public debate, to be hosted at the Salt Lake County Library, in the main
auditorium on Friday, 2 November 2007, at 12 noon.

While that's exciting enough on its own, what's going to make this event
completely unique is that will be providing a new way
for regular people to interact with the candidates. In addition to
attending the debate in person, you can also watch the event live online
from anywhere you have an internet connection, submit questions for the
candidates, and vote on which questions to ask the candidates. At, you can also rate and comment on each candidate's

You can find this debate on our Events page, and once you've registered
on the website, you can begin posting and voting on questions of your

To register, you can use either an OpenID or create a username and
password for the site. The process is quick and standard, and begins by
clicking on the "Create Account" link in the top right corner of the

If you have any questions about our involvement in this upcoming event,
please contact our Operations Manager, Brady Uselman at

We look forward to seeing you at the event, either at the library, or
online at

Rob Weidmann