Friday, March 31, 2006

Clipper:SLC seeking to condemn 80 NSL acres

I'm taking a break from election talk to revisit an old issue. The North Salt Lake-Salt Lake land dispute. SLC is filinga motion to condemn all 80 acres as opposed to the 13 originally condemned. Mayor Briggs thinks that SLC's decision to condemn all 80 acres of NSL owned land would be better for SLC. However, I feel better about that decision than having the 13 acres along the County border condemned if we lose in court.

Condemning just the border land would be seen by all as a dirty trick by SLC to pay only minimal compensation and still acheive the goal of halting development. Now SLC doesn't have to answer the question in court of why they condemned only part of the total land. It's tougher for NSL to win in court, but less costly if we lose.

SLC seeking to condemn 80 NSL acres

Monday, March 27, 2006

Have you seen me?? --Citizens For Tax Fairness

Demonstrating his frugality, Ronald Mortensen has opted to use as his campaign website. 'CFTF' has never asked for contributions, and the money for the domain was put up by Ron himself, so this is more than welcome in my view. Those who may see a conspiracy in this can rest assured that CFTF will take a stand for government to cut spending on everything but the core functions of government. Indeed, this seems a primary focus of Mortensen's campaign. I will have to ask Ron if the $20 he spent on the domain name was counted as a tax-deduction, or not. So, keep an eye out for, a somewhat emaciated, Citizen Watchdog. I'm thinking of printing some stickers, with pictures of the noble pooch, to be placed the side of milk jugs everywhere. From now until May 1st contributions made to my paypal account will go for that purpose.

In the meantime, I give you the much improved Campaign website (really,

The small print: No tax deductions were had by any person due to their involvement with Citizens for Tax Fairness.

Washington Post: Up to Their Earmarks

Due to the money spent on earmarks and porkbarrel tripling over the last decade according to CRS, some legislators are asking the President to instruct his department heads to ignore the pork, instead of asking for line-item veto to do, essentially, the same thing in a more problematic way.

CRS has said that over 95% of all earmarks are not written into law but merely reported on. The President could choose to save the funds ordinarily spent and not overeach his authority.

Utah's, U.S. Senators are silent on some proposed legislation to take care of this problem, S.2265: The Pork Barrel Reduction Act.

The efficacy of the above bill and others are considered by CRS here.

Hat tip: RealClearPolitics: Robert Novak

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Litmus test for Delegates: Caught in the Middle

A similar situation to the caucuses written about in this Salt Lake Tribune article happened at my caucus on Tuesday night. I was the only nominee, that would vote for a Candidate that would support Tuition Vouchers.

It's not fun to be a dissenting voice. I was not selected as a State Delegate.

It's hard to be alone in an opinion when conspiracy theories abound. The group is wondering, 'Why is he so disagreeable?' 'Who is putting him up to this?' 'Who is funding his Candidates Campaign?'

I'm turning red from all the attention and asking myself, What is their angle? What are they worried about? They won't take my word for it that my Candidate is running on whole list of issues, and that Tuition vouchers have not come up.

They want someone without an agenda, but they have an agenda. Are the cacophony of voices just one voice-echoing, or many?

What could I have lost, if anything, in refusing to elect a candidate that didn't pass their test? Why did I stand my ground on something that is so small an issue? I suspect that something else was at stake besides school funds. Something of greater importance pressed me to resist. There is a fundamental problem in proposing a litmus test when the decision revolves around a persons character. Character is indefinable, but a litmus test demands definition. We are not all clones of one another. Something, deep within us, rebels when pressed to bend to anothers will. This is not humanities weakness, but it's greatest strength! That is not to say that mankind cannot compromise--We can leave good things behind to pursue greater things. But, our life-choices are not all-or-nothing propositions. We should not expect others to think as we do. When all voices have been heard, and reasons given, we may be left alone for a technicality.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Tonight's party caucuses

The Standard Examiner has advocated that we eliminate the traditional caucus system in favor of a "series of direct primary elections". This, because ideologues have organized in order to influence public policy at it's most basic level.

This begs the question. Do we want a system that encourages apathy, or one that only suffers from it? To move away from our Republic towards a straight Democracy might, on the surface, look like it cures apathy because we will count more ballots, initially. However, citizens in a purely Democratic society may only be active in the voting booth. At least with the system we now have we can expect to see a few 'idealogues' make their voices heard.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner::Tonight's party caucuses

Monday, March 20, 2006

Ronald W. Mortensen for Utah House of Representatives

Imagine my delight and surprise when I saw that Ronald Mortensen is running for the Utah House. Surprise, because I've known him to be busy in other pursuits which, in the past, have taken him out of the country. Well, not so much out of this country as into many other countries that one doesn't pick as a vacation destination (i.e. Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, etc.) A decision to run for a local office would mean taking a break from his service abroad. I feel delight, because the biggest weakness I've seen in him is a profound humility that does not suit a career politician. I assume that he has no intention of making this a career, but is intent on making a difference in a way that is his habit--as a servant.

I don't want to start making campaign promises on his behalf, but I'm certain his focus would be on returning the State to fiscal sanity. I couldn't be happier that he's running.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Todd Richardson For Davis County Sheriff

Sheriff Bud Cox has some competition for the office in his Deputy. It's too early in the game to expect any real statement of goals for the next term, but Richardson has wasted no time in leveling a few criticisms.

First, Cox has campaigned in uniform in a run for office in 2002. Second, Cox has recently cut drug tests for inmates to save money, while, at the same time asking for a $1,200 contract for a weekly movie night for inmates. Third, Richardson has been critical of Cox exempting himself from the physical fitness requirement.

Todd Richardson For Davis County Sheriff

Commissioner Cook: Not yet!

This seems a little presumptuous to me.

Update: The site looks a whole lot better now.

Brian D. Cook: Davis County Commissioner

Thursday, March 02, 2006

South Davis Rec Center: Then and Now

My wife pointed out to me, yesterday, this listing in the Clipper. (Bolding added)

"The South Davis Recreation District is seeking an experienced Marketing/Office Manager for a new $23 million Recreation Center now under construction in Bountiful. The center is scheduled to be finished November 2006. Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Marketing/Office Manager would be responsible for organizing & implementing marketing strategies for all Recreation Center programs. Manage a variety of administrative & general office activities needed to organize & coordinate the successful operation of recreation programs & services. The District is offering a competitive salary & benefit package, with a salary range up to $52,000 plus retirement, medical, sick & vacation leave, & other benefits. A college degree in marketing, office management, business administration or a related field is required, with a minimum of 2 yrs of direct office management experience in a large recreation office or similar setting. To apply, submit a resume by 5pm Feb 28, 2006 to: South Davis Recreation District, C/O John Miller, 790 South 100 East, Bntfl, Ut 84010. For a full job description or other questions, call (801)298-6220."
It seems that building a Rec Center for 23 million taxpayer dollars is something, of which, to be proud?? Compare the above posting with the following quote taken from Citizens for Tax Fairness.
"January 22, 2005: “The bad news is that even before construction has started, the new South Davis rec center is $600,000 over budget. The good news is that Brent Tippets of VCBO Architectural says being overbudget at this stage isn’t unusual…. Tippets said the board shouldn’t yet consider eliminating any contingencies, however. He added that the project shouldn’t get higher than $20 million.” (Comment: Less than six months later the project was $2.7 million over budget)."

"May 12, 2005: “Faced with spiraling construction material costs, the South Davis Recreation District has reduced the size of its new center. But district board Chairman Joe Johnson emphasized the reductions were “things we felt we could reduce and not affect the quality of the facility or the programming. “The patrons when they go in will not notice the reductions,” he told the Clipper. To keep costs in line with bond funds approved by voters last August, the size of the facility will be reduced from about 160,000 square feet to 140,000 square feet.”

"July 14, 2005: “Preliminary construction work may be under way at the South Davis Recreation Center site, but final plans are still being mulled over and “fine-tuned.” That’s because, faced with a 20 percent escalation in construction material costs, funds just won’t stretch as far, said Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson….“It’s a challenge, no question about it. I’m still tremendously optimistic. We’ll end up with a good pool, good ice skating rink, exercise area. It just won’t be as spacious,” he said. After various bids were assembled within the last weeks, a shortfall of at least $2 million was calculated."
So, the person that applies for this Marketing Job should know this. The Rec Center shouldn't have gotten higher than $20 million, but did. Market that!