Sunday, December 31, 2006

Announcing Utah Bloghive

The people who blog at Ponder it and Hot Blava-two blogs I enjoy-have put their hat into the ring of the political blog aggregator.

I like it!

Utah Bloghive

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Years Eve, Eve

Since New Years eve falls on a Sunday this year, I'm certain that many will celebrate on Saturday night. Recognizing the large LDS population that exists in Davis County, I will assume that much of that partying will not include alcohol.

Or, people will see this as an opportunity to extend their drinking for one more day.

The Davis County Health Department is asking parents to keep their underage kids from drinking(PDF)--It should be obvious. Wear your seatbelt, and be careful out there.

Friday, December 29, 2006

2006: The Best and Worst ideas in Davis County



The jury is still out on whether a lawsuit against the school district was beneficial. I think the parents may have taken things too far with fake stories, and inflammatory comments, but it did shed some light on a government body that could do with some light.

Local officials pushing for road funds

My feeling on allotment caps, when we talk about tax revenue, is that they lead to waste. The legislature imposes caps on the amount of revenue that a particular area can utilize. Some of these sources of revenue vary, from year to year, in the amount of revenue that comes in, but the caps are fixed at an arbitrary level.

Some areas of government get too little money, and some get too much.

The Utah League of Cities and Towns(Deseret News) wants a sales tax cap removed that would allow municipalities to get more money from the State to spend on their roads.

I think it's a sound idea.

Rail Trumps Theory

Life, Liberty, and Property has a good take on evidence (graph) that light rail, or commuter rail can move more people, using less physical space.

Daniels argument could be summarized thus, 'So, what?'

Daniel counters that we don't have the population densities required, in the U.S., to fully utilize rail. Rail systems never operate at a profit.

Roads do, however, get sufficient funding from gas taxes, and tolls.

Is your car smoking?

The County has started distributing smoking vehicle car pamphlets so you can rat out your neighbor. Once reported, people are required to get emissions testing done on their vehicle. You don't need a card to report someone, simply call 546-8860, extension 12(pdf).

“Smoking Vehicle” cards can be picked up at the Kaysville Tech Center, all 15 city halls, and all Davis County Government offices, libraries, and senior activity centers. For more information, call 546-8860.
Smoking car like smoking gun in Davis

Free Citizen Lobbyist Training

Free Citizen Lobbyist Training

January 4, Bountiful Library, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To reserve your place, send an e-mail

Directions to the Bountiful Library: Address: 725 South Main: Take the 500 South exit from I-15, go East on 500 South to Main Street, Turn right on Main Street. The library will be to your left after you pass the El Matador Restaurant.

Why Become a Citizen Lobbyist?

Recently, in spite of virtually unanimous opposition during a public hearing, Davis County increased property taxes by 37%.

In retrospect, it is obvious that the decision to approve the tax increase had been made well prior to the public hearing.

This is not an isolated incident. In fact it is the general rule with only very limited exceptions.

Therefore, if citizens wish to have an impact on policy decisions at either the state or local levels, they have to work with public officials during the policy formulation and decision-making process.

Special interests, bureaucrats and citizen activist groups that carry the most clout with policy makers understand this and they make sure they are actively engaged in lobbying for policies that they want and support throughout the year.

If we want our voices to be heard, the rest of us have to become engaged in the policy process. We can do this by becoming, for lack of a better term, Citizen Lobbyists.

In order to give citizens the skills they need to influence public policy, will hold a free training session for Citizen Lobbyists on January 4 at the Bountiful City Library from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Upon completion of this training session, participants will know: 1) what it means to be a Citizen Lobbyist, 2) how to get involved (based on time available and personal skills), 3) where and when to be involved, and 4) how to professionally influence public policy.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP at

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A, Belated, Merry Christmas

Most bloggers take Christmas off. I didn't give myself a hard time to stop blogging, so I neglected to wish the handful of Davis County Watchers a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

So, there you have it. That's all you get.

Onto some other observations regarding government. After the expiring Commission voted in another ghastly tax hike, I noticed the Davis County government website went down. Now that it's back, I'm trying to see what has changed.

  • A list of delinquent property tax payers. A fine "Merry Christmas" from Davis County government.
  • An Animal Control Kennel Roster which tells us that somebody lost their goat. Also, this quote, "Davis County Animal Services management and staff reserve the right to make final decisions on the adoptability of animals, irregardless of how they are marked on this page." (Note: bolding is mine. Irregardless is not a word).
  • They continue to list the most popular links, but there needs to be a "What's New" link so they can say, "Here's your tax hike!"
  • There are some new pictures with snow in them.
I'm glad that government screeches to a halt on holidays. I wonder how much money is saved when they shut down operations?

Friday, December 22, 2006

SLTrib: NSL purchases land for open space

Naysayers of NSL's plans to develop land that falls within Salt Lake County boundaries, have implied that the city has no desire to create, or preserve, open spaces.

Recent actions of the city would counter that argument. The city recently purchased nearly 100 acres on which will be more trail head.

Several organizations have been credited with making some sizable charitable donations to allow the purchase of the land. Namely, Eaglepoint Development, Pace-Platt Investment Co., Plumb Development, B & E Pace Investment and Cordova Limited Partnership.

With land purchase, North S.L. moves dream closer to reality

Commuter Rail Plans-Bus Rapid Transit

Here(pdf) is the proposed rail line, and stations, for the Commuter rail that will weave its way through Davis County. Right now it consists of a thick black line with no specific route. When details get fleshed out, we'll have to see where the track gets laid.

Woods Cross is currently the first station(pdf) in Davis County, on the South, with a ten acre spot at 500 South, and 800 West. Its west of the I-15 ramp.

The next station to the north will be Farmington(pdf). It's twenty acres, and west of I-15, and South of Park Lane.

Another map of the corridor is here(gif), and here(gif).

Two lanes will be added to I-15 at 600 North in Salt Lake, and at Highway 89 in Farmington.

Also, Bus Rapid Transit "Light Rail on rubber tires" will go through South Davis County.

More sunshine for the Clipper

Another reason to cast some sunshine on the Clipper is this article on the 37% tax hike. The Clipper included no arguments against the tax.

Contrast the Clipper article with this in the Deseret News, and you'll see why the Clipper isn't getting any larger.

Centerville clears up Main Street confusion

Standard practice for the Clipper is to publish only a single perspective per article. They seldom query more than one individual or body when considering the facts.

Case in point, my appearance in the Clipper when their online poll was revealed to be accurate. I was never contact, but the Clipper copied wholesale from my blog in writing the story.

All this being said, makes me hesitant to even link to the Clipper at all, save that sunlight will only reveal the chinks, and defects in the paper.

The Clipper today considers the merits of creating a mass-transit corridor in Centerville's downtown and quote extensively from its proponents.

I wonder what Centerville Citizen blog thinks?

Davis residents groan over 37% tax hike

An article in the Deseret News has some free advertising for this blog, with a couple of quotes from yours truly.

(shameless self-promotion over)

""I don't know what good it did us to go out in pounding rain, when they paid no attention," Gulbransen said.

Gulbransen, a widow on a fixed income, said the tax increase, which amounts to $60 per year on the average home valued at $171,000, will make her rethink how she spends money. Since she lives in a home worth more than $171,000, her tax increase will be more than the average, she said.
"It just means that I will have to pay it, and I'll have to let something else go," she said.
That something might be some of the money she usually gives her grandchildren for Christmas, she said."
Davis residents groan over 37% tax hike

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lessons learned from the School District

I visited with Superintendent Bryan Bowles of the Davis County School District on Tuesday, and I walked away with a couple of impressions.

First the facts.

The School board said that the Davis Parents Association lawsuit would have a chilling effect on transparency. (Note: we did not discuss the boundary dispute on Tuesday, but spent our time on the indictment of the Rosses and subsequent auditing measures)

Bowles told me that the two Davis employee's were indicted the same day that he, and the press, heard about the indictment. He did not, at the press conference, offer any hint to the press that the district had taken steps to prevent future fraud two years earlier.

I was assured on Tuesday that a list of security measures taken would be prepared on Wednesday morning.

Now onto the principle.

Transparency isn't just about having press conferences, open meetings, and involving parents in decisions. Transparency is about pro actively addressing obvious concerns to the public.

Obvious concerns like the citizens trusting the School District with the next 4 million.

Concerns about whether this consultant, who is part of the 'old boys network', will provide a better solution than the solution prompting a lawsuit.

Bowles should be commended for visiting with the Legislature, and others who are interested in the Districts well-being( i.e. myself and others). However, the Superintendent should have handed the press a timely notice of changes that had been implemented since they discovered a problem.

That has yet to happen.

Wanna lobby?

Citizens For Tax Fairness is offering to teach laypeople to lobby the legislature in a 'Citizen Lobbyist Training' sometime in January. If you want to participate, please email

Davis County: Utah County's cousin

In terms of size and population Davis County is right in line with Utah County, yet when the County wishes to advertise its fiscal situation we are inevitably compared with a large, demographically distinct, Weber County.

The Salt Lake Tribune has compared a recent Jail expansion initiative in Utah County with what occurred in Davis County.

"But unlike their counterpart to the north - where commissioners voted Tuesday to raise taxes 37 percent to help fund the jail - Utah County isn't eyeing a tax hike.
"I'm not interested in having to be the Davis County Commission and raising taxes to open a jail," Commissioner Steve White said earlier this month after approving the 2007 Utah County budget. "The big winner is the taxpayer because we are able to do all this without raising property taxes.""
Utah County: No new taxes for this jail expansion

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Relocation of NSL's city hall

The gravel pit development that is visible when exiting I-15 from SL may be home to NSL's new City Hall.

The North Salt Lake Star (i.e. the city newsletter) also says that certain streets will be closed for "Commuter Rail" soon.

Main Street, January 15-29
1100 North, February
Center Street, February

I've got to check with the city. I'm not sure if they intend a rail line to run along Main Street, or Highway 89? I don't think Main street has the capacity at present. I'm aware of where the rail is supposed to be in Centerville, but Bountiful and North Salt Lake are still a mystery.

I haven't figured out how I'm going to get home between the 15th and the 29th, regardless.

Boundary change announcement afoot

The consultant hired to revisit the Davis School Districts boundary changes may be weeks away from a proposal.

Davis school boundary decision may be near

What does the Triumvirate teach us?

Moral: If you can't get away with 138% tax hike, then try one 24%, one 37%, and one jail expansion. Milk cities, and school districts for any additional funds.

Some are core functions, some aren't, but they are all excuses for higher taxes.

Death by a thousand cuts.



Deseret News

Quote of the Day: Dannie McConkie

"I enjoy the protection of the the county government just like every other citizen in the county."

Davis Property taxes to rise 37%

Triple-threat Tax increase

Yesterday, the County Commission voted to approve the 2007 budget. Included in the budget is a roughly $60 per $171,000 household tax increase. This, after tabling the vote at the public hearing where the commissioners heard a number of senior citizens and business owners decrying the tax.

The 37% tax increase went in when almost nobody was looking, Tuesday morning. Perhaps people thought that the Commissioners were going to reduce the tax, or defer it until the incoming group could consider its merits.

Not this commission!

I wonder what Commissioner McConkie meant at the Convention when he said, "I've learned my lesson"?

I wonder what Alan Hansen was thinking when he voted for the tax that will become his legacy?

Supply is demand, is supply, and our seniors who haven't 'needed' the aging services may now see a reason to start.

At the public hearing last week the Director of the Davis County Health Department said that the County could not meet the demand for these services. What is wrong with that? Many of these services are provided by the private sector, or volunteers, or are already funded by the Federal government. Many are of no cost to the County at all.

Steve Rawlings told me that the County had land, acquired to prevent flood issues that they could sell to get revenue.

Now we have a flood-tax increase, urged by Mr. Rawlings himself!

Citizens for Fax Fairness urged the County to slim the budget to make maintenance of the expanded Jail feasible without a tax increase.

The vote for the Jail was not a blank check for an additional tax.

This, lame-duck, Commission wants to go out with a bang.

Change to BETA Blogger

You may have noticed a change in the blog since last night. I made the jump to the new Blogger format, and in so doing, I've lost my old comments.

I used a different engine, Haloscan, for my comments than the average Blogspot user. I liked them, but I'm not sure if anyone else did. So, I'm doing a little poll. Vote and let me know if you prefer the vanilla comments, or if you want me to put in the bells and whistles?

Friday, December 15, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Creative Solutions] Politics is not that important

It's often bemoaned that so few people are interested in politics, or that so few participate in it. I've often felt that I would rather that many people were not attuned to politics, and that the engine that drives political action would not require constant vigilance.

Some people get a buzz from politics, a thrill from implementing change, or being part of the progress that is our government.

I do not feel this way.

I surprise people when I say this. After all I operate a political blog, and from time to time, I spend my own time at meetings. I speak to, and correspond with politicians. How could I not, also, derive some pleasure from it?

Years ago, it was all that I could do to get the latest writings and thoughts from *Hugh Nibley (more liberal politically than myself). He once identified a distinction between goods of the first, and second intent. The distinction he gave is this: goods of the first intent are things that are desirable intrinsically, but goods of the second intent only have value in that they may enable one to achieve those things that are inherently good.

Politics is not that important, or rather, it should not be that important. Or, put another way, the engine of government is best that operates with little or no attention.

Now, I've covered Bastiat a lot lately, and I won't make this post the exception. He said that there are two types of plunder-- legal, and illegal. He had little worry about the illegal variety in that it is obviously wrong. Legal plunder, however, is accomplished by the law itself. It is a perversion of the law, and can be operated by a majority. For, when people see what is gained by those in power through the act of plunder, they have two reactions. They, either, seek to join those who plunder, or they seek to stop the plunder from occurring. Bastiat felt that legal plunder led to an exaggerated emphasis on politics.

So, when I go to these public meetings, and hear an elected official, or a citizen complain that so few are present, I recognize in them the desire that more people would flock to stand behind their own special interest. They may be interested in stopping plunder, or they may be interested in furthering plunder for their group.

I wish that fewer would show an interest in politics that do. I wish that politics were relegated to the order, in the large picture, that it belongs. Politics belongs behind family, second to progress, and under economy. Those who have given sacrifice to this country have not done so to its politics, but to its right government.

Politics and government are not equivalent.

When we focus on goods of the first intent, we do not need to justify our expenditure on a ledger, or explain it to ourselves. It is simply good. Others may not understand why, but it is only our feeling that has any merit.

We should remember the difference between first and second.

*The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 9: Approaching Zion

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Creative Solutions at 12/15/2006 03:00:00 PM

Thursday, December 14, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Citizenship] Commission to table the tax increase

I made it to the Public Meeting last night. I was able to arrange for the Scouting activity that night to be the meeting. I spoke, and so did about fifteen others. Most were Seniors and most opposed the tax increase because it would place a burden on them.

The Commission tabled the vote on the budget. They said they wanted to think about it.

That may be half of a victory. The fact still remains that they seemed to be very much in favor of the tax, and they may just vote it in in the next commission meeting when they don't have an audience.

Thanks to the citizens who came! This would have breezed by without the dissent.

More about the meeting can be found in the Deseret News and Standard Examiner.

Update: One more article in the Salt Lake Tribune with more comments of the public.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Citizenship at 12/14/2006 07:41:00 AM

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Taxes] The Spectrum: A prescription for saving money

An article published today confirms my statement of yesterday that the prescription drug program does not cost the county money and, therefore, does not belong in the column justifying a tax increase.

"There's absolutely no cost to the taxpayers at all."
--Alan Gardner
I'm just saying that when you look at all the small pieces of the proposed tax increase they do not justify an increase. Again, Federal programs, Volunteer work, and duplicate services do not justify a tax increase.

When you take a broader view of the proposal it is socialistic, and unnecessary.

The Spectrum: A prescription for saving money

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Taxes at 12/13/2006 10:35:00 AM

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Taxes] The shirt off our backs

I was having a conversation with some folks last night who were trying to describe the charitable character of their father (now deceased).

"He would have given you the shirt off your back."

That slip of the tongue caused some laughter, but on second inspection it is a universally true aspect of socialism.

The socialist will take from one party and give to another. They would argue that to have the everyday man do such a thing would be a crime, but to have the same act perpetrated by the government is not. Why?

Because those in the government cannot commit crime? Because of the rubber-stamp that is embossed with the word "law"?

This is a perversion of the law.

Those arguing in favor of the Senior Citizen tax are raising the socialist banner.

There is an alternative. Proponents of the tax increase would say that there is no other way. The director of the Davis County Health Department, Lewis Garrett says there is a "shortage" in these services. Here a a few examples where that statement is wrong, yet these are touted(pdf) as areas that will be covered by the tax increase.

  • Prescription Drug Cards --Our cost for participation in this program is paid out of existing funds. Does the cost for these cards increase with our population? No. This program was piloted in Davis County under the direction of Dannie McConkie, and he has assured us that it is free, except for our membership dues to the National Association of Counties. Why should our membership dues increase with a natural growth in our aged population?
  • Senior Employment --No assessment has been made to determine whether more funds are required for this activity. Which of the growing Senior population will desire employment. Which will need it?
  • Aging Waiver is a program administered to those who meet existing Medicare guidelines. --This means it is federally funded. No local tax increase is required.
  • Title V --Again is Federally funded as per the CARE Act. No local dollars are required.
  • Volunteer Opportunities --They must be joking. Volunteers will continue to not be paid despite the growth of the aging population.
I could go on, but why should I? The argument that I'm making is sound, and is fully illustrated by these examples.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Taxes at 12/12/2006 01:40:00 PM

[Davis County Watch: Announcements] Proposed Tax increase: Public Meeting

Public Notice of Special Meeting of the Davis County Commission, Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.

At the Event Center (Fair Park), Building 2, 151 S. 1100 W, Farmington, Utah

The Commission thinks that this meeting will be well attended which is why they have chosen a venue that will hold a lot of people.

I cannot attend on Wednesday. Wednesday nights are difficult for those who participate in Scouting or Mutual activities that night.

Please attend and oppose the tax increase! Here is why.

Davis County continues to grow. Property values in the County continue to increase. The very people who would qualify for the relief in question (Senior Citizens) are, often, also property owners and pay the tax. Were these people not to have the burden of an additional tax, their money would be well spent on themselves. Growth can take care of itself based upon current tax levels. Those who do not qualify for relief volunteer in high numbers. The County assesses the value at $500,000 for the year of volunteer service between June 2005, and June 2006. These same people will not be equitably served to also pay an increase in addition to their volunteer service.

Bastiat calls this activity legal plunder.

"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."
This tax has been lumped in with a Jail maintenance, and flood control tax. These taxes should be considered on their own merits, not on the merits of the others. Again, the tax base grew this last year, and continues to grow. Revenues into Davis County have increased. New revenue could be put towards real needs.

Two-thirds of the Commissioners who represent our County, and will vote on this increase, are lame-ducks and will be out by the end of the year. One of these Commissioners(McConkie) was voted out because of his participation in a scheme to raise taxes on the County in a way that was seen as unnecessary by the electorate. The remaining, lame-duck, commissioner(Page), also supported this heavy tax increase. It is reasonable to assume that if Page were not retiring that she too would have lost on this basis. This kind of, weighty, decision should be left to the incoming group to decide.

One month is all I ask.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Announcements at 12/12/2006 07:56:00 AM

Friday, December 08, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Citizenship] The Special interests Modality

A call to a more vigilant citizenry.

"Special interest, as the history of tariffs reminds us, can think of the most ingenious reasons why they should be the objects of special solicitude. Their spokesmen present a plan in their favor; and it seems at first so absurd that disinterested writers do not trouble to expose it. But the special interests keep on insisting on the scheme. Its enactment would make so much difference to their own immediate welfare that they can afford to hire trained economists and "public relations experts" to propagate it in their behalf. The public hears the argument so often repeated, and accompanied by such a wealth of imposing statistics, charts, curves, and pie-slices, that it is soon taken in. When at last disinterested writers recognize that the danger of the scheme's enactment is real, they are usually too late. They cannot in a few weeks acquaint themselves with the subject as thoroughly as the hired brains who have been devoting their full time to it for years; they are accused of being uninformed, and they have the air of men who presume to dispute axioms."

--Henry Hazlitt, 1946

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Citizenship at 12/08/2006 03:49:00 PM

[Davis County Watch: Creative Solutions] More reading by Classic Economists

I'm reading Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. First published in 1946, its principles are still, largely, true today.

One example is a discussion that Hazlitt has on why public policy should be based on production and not employment.

"It would be far better, if that were the choice--which it isn't--to have maximum production with part of the population supported in idleness by undisguised relief than to provide "full employment" by so many forms of disguised make-work that production is disorganized. The progress of civilization has meant the reduction of employment, not its increase. It is because we have become increasingly wealthy as a nation that we have been able virtually to eliminate child labor, to remove the necessity of work for many of the aged and to make it unnecessary for millions of women to take jobs."
Another I like is Bastiat's, Economic Sophisms. A pamphlet written to discuss the fallacies that have led to restrictive trade policies.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Creative Solutions at 12/08/2006 02:34:00 PM

Thursday, December 07, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Citizenship] Utah Policy: Not all things to all "political junkies"

Anyone that is considered a "political junkie", and that lives in Davis County, should realize that not all local issues figure into the calculus of those that publish Utah Just like any subjective media they get their pet issues and run with them.

For example, I almost never get a mention on Utah Policy--Blog Watch. I'm not hurt by it, but I have paid attention to the fact that Davis County has been all over the two largest papers in the State, with two School District controversies going on simultaneously, and yet we haven't heard a peep from Utah Policy.

I should give some background, as much as I know. The Exoro group actually runs Utah They are a group of political consultants whose main objective is to market themselves as "communicators". In fact, they tout their ability to " anyone become an effective communicator."

So, if you're a blogger, and want a mention on Utah Policy, then your objective will be to pickup one of those pet issues that Utah Policy is currently running, and blog it to death.

Blog the issue until it's dead in the ground and then blog about it some more. Utah Policy will love you!

I should mention that writing about dead issues is something for which bloggers always get high marks.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Citizenship at 12/07/2006 11:10:00 AM

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Creative Solutions] The Law: Bastiat-What is the Law?

This solution harks from 1850. Yes, it can still count as creative, though it is over 150 years old.

It was pointed out to me in a conversation last night, that Ronald Reagan drew much of his inspiration from an economist by the name of Frederick Bastiat.

Bastiat was the Deputy to the Legislative Assembly in France and took it upon himself to expose each fallacy being perpetrated by socialist factions within the government.

Recommended by Reagan. Portending the danger of Socialism to France and to the world. The pamphlet.

The Law

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Creative Solutions at 12/05/2006 07:25:00 PM

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Announcements] Fake news story riles Davis District

The newly formed Davis Parents Association have done their best to create a three-ring circus on their new website

Hat tip to the Deseret News, although they did their best to obscure the actual location of DPA's website. (i.e. they followed the common news media practice of not publishing it.)

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Announcements at 12/05/2006 09:10:00 PM

[Davis County Watch: Taxes] Is Tax deferral wise?

The suggestion is floating around the legislature that Senior Citizens over the age of 65 should be 'allowed' to defer their property taxes until they move or die. When paid, the taxes would have interest added.

Citizens for Tax has made an effort to expose the fallacies inherent in the deferred-tax proposal. It reminds me of an experiment, often perpetuated on children, in which they are offered fifty cents now, or five dollars later.

The children, unwisely, choose the fifty cents.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Taxes at 12/05/2006 05:28:00 PM

[Davis County Watch: Taxes] Flood control foresight

I remember a conversation that I had in May, 2005 with Steve Rawlings. He intimated that the County owned land, purchased subsequent to the 1983 floods, to allow for natural run-off. If Rawlings were to have his way much of this land would be sold, to developers, for revenue for the County.

I don't know how much land has been sold, and what pressure has been placed on the flood-control infrastructure? Where have the revenues gone from these sales? Should they have gone towards the repairs that now require 1.5 Million per year?

Now we're faced with the prospect of a tax increase for flood control, and I wonder if Rawlings was wise to encourage the sale of land, while ignoring the protection against flooding that these lands represent.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Taxes at 12/05/2006 05:10:00 PM

Monday, December 04, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Spending and Waste] Desnews: Is Davis District liable for funds?

Davis School District may need to repay some, or all, of the 4 million dollars that were misused by the Rosses.

The Federal government is known to have recouped amounts of thousands from other Districts in Utah, but we've never seen the refund amount to millions.

This could be a first.

This is so unprecedented that we shouldn't jump into oncoming traffic yet.

Let's wait and see if the District is able to recover money from frozen accounts. Let's wait for the final price tag.

Is Davis District liable for funds?

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Spending and Waste at 12/04/2006 10:56:00 AM

Sunday, December 03, 2006

[Davis County Watch:Taxes] Selling a tax increase: Behind the curtain

The Davis County Commission is concerned about the proposed tax increase. They're worried that we might not like it. They're probably worried that we don't trust them.

I have some good evidence to support this claim.

Could it be because two out of three commissioners are out-a-here come January?

Not really, although that is true.

Now, this next part is going to sound pedantic at first. Stay with me.

Davis County's website it touting one page among its most "popular" links. That is supposed to mean, I think, that a lot of people have clicked on this link. Frankly, the County wanted this particular link to be popular. It was strategically placed so to influence a decision that will be ours to make. It's sitting out, in full view, in the middle of the page. You know, so people will click on it.

Let's break down this page into its most basic elements.

Its title is: " Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (PDF)

That sounds innocuous enough. Impressive, actually.

Now the rub.

The URL, (that's the location of the file), for the page exposes the Commissions real intent. Here it is.

Did you see that? (I tried to make it obvious by making it bold) It's in a folder called "tax_increase". Someone must think that this particular document will influence the citizens of this county to vote for a tax increase.

The reality is that this certificate has nothing to do with whether this particular tax increase is
good or bad. It has everything to do with how good Steve Rawlings is at his job.

Where would our Commissioners be without Rawlings?

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Taxes at 12/03/2006 9:19:00 PM

Friday, December 01, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Spending and Waste]Clippertoday: Skate park gets the ax once again

Mayor Joe Johnson is upset that people show up to later meetings in droves, but the initial meetings have low to no attendance. This is a long-standing belief that the Mayor has expressed that citizens who come late should not have a say in government. He expressed this when opposition was raised to the Recreation Center.

"The reason you’re not informed is your fault."

Okay, Mayor, I think people can accept your theorem, but not the corollary.

"We do know what makes a successful park."

The Mayor has demonstrated time and again that he is impervious to public input. Fortunately, this time, the city council chose, another way, to vote against the skate park at Tolman (Rocket part).

Skate park gets the ax once again.