Saturday, November 29, 2008

North Salt Lake City: City Hall Open House

North Salt Lake City will be remodeling city hall and are holding an open house on Thursday, December 4th 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.

I'm told that it could be a partial remodel, or the old structure could be demolished to make way for a new building. Factors that are being considered in making this decision are.

Earthquake readiness
Additional room for the planning commission
Space for court
Security considerations
Room for the police

The planning commission is meeting elsewhere at the moment. The fire station will be moving. If there are other factors that the city council should consider, please attend on Thursday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tax Loving Republicans

Davis County Commission Race: SL Trib

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Rumors of My Coma...

Were false...

I started a new job in April that has taken me out of town, and that, combined with new responsibility of the position, and this historic presidential campaign, has left me cold to blogging on local politics. I thought I would blog on the road, but my family is kind of a muse for me. I watched the national campaign with interest as the wind left Mitt Romney's political sails, and as the zombie McCain campaign resurrected--

Don't even get me started about Obama.

I got so far out of the habit, that I had even forgotten I'd ever blogged. I got an occasional reminder of my former life when I saw a guest blog post happen across the screen. (Thank you Natalie). I even got nominated to do some citizen journalism as to what would be done about the unincorporated part of Davis County. Is it too late to refuse? My wife asked me tonight if I'd read a particular political email tonight. I realized that I had not because it had been sent to my blog email, which I had forgotten.

In the time I've been away, the idea has been floated of merging the five southern-most cities of Davis County into one town. North Salt Lake has decided to try a 4 day work week, and I'm seeing local ultra-conservatives endorsing Democrats. (More on this later)

I do think that my best days of contributing to Davis County Watch are behind me.

That being said, I'm accepting applications for more guest bloggers to keep the blog moving. I see the blog as belonging to the community and achieving a consensus of opinion will be less important than having a common forum to share those views.

To qualify for a position on the blog you must meet the following criteria.

  1. You live in Davis County.
  2. You have a blogger account.
  3. You will abide by the Scout Law
Please leave a comment if you want a shot at blogging here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

[Davis County Watch: Guest Bloggers] An important property tax fairness point...

that I forgot to mention.

The residents of the unincorporated areas currently pay $350,000 in property taxes. The sales tax revenue the county was using to offset the burden for the incorporated residents was $700,000. It reportedly costs $1,500,000 to service the area.

350+700=1,050. Where is the other $450,000 currently coming from?

I think it's coming from the portion that city residents pay to the county.

And, even if the unincorporated resident's taxes are doubled, the revenue gathered will be $700,000. Where will the other $800,000 come from?

Can someone clarify all this?

Posted By Natalie to Davis County Watch: Guest Bloggers at 9/04/2008 08:11:00 PM

[Davis County Watch: Guest Bloggers] Unincorporated residents still getting a...

I have been really bothered by something I read in the Clipper a few weeks ago.

In an article published on August 21st, entitled "Taxes may double for non-city residents," reporter Tom Busselberg states that, "The relative tax bargain that has been in place for the 2,500 people living in unincorporated Davis County likely will go away within the next year." The reason? The county has been using sales tax money to reduce the tax burden of unincorporated residents. The problem? Some of that sales tax money was supposed to go to cities instead of the county. The state has found the mistake, and is correcting it.

Apparently, it costs $1.5 million to service the unincorporated areas of the county. Currently, those areas pay $350,000 in taxes. The tax burden of unincorporated residents has always been much less than the burdens from the adjoining cities. That's why, even though state law says that these areas should incorporate, they don't want to. Who wants to pay more taxes?

The problem? The obscenely low and unfair amount that unincorporated residents are paying. The article states, "Even if the current property tax rate were doubled, it would be less than that charged to homeowners in Layton and Fruit Heights, among other communities."

How much of the tax that city residents pay to the county is currently being used to benefit the unincorporated areas?

My solution? Incorporate the unincorporated areas. Including the Chevron refinery, which is paying the low county rate instead of the fair North Salt Lake rate.

Posted By Natalie to Davis County Watch: Guest Bloggers at 9/04/2008 03:19:00 PM

Monday, June 23, 2008

[Davis County Watch: Guest Bloggers] How I am voting tomorrow

By Natalie

Not a lot of surprises here...

State Treasurer: Richard Ellis. He's got the experience, he knows how to do the job, I know him and trust him. Walker seems intent on expanding the role of State Treasurer. We don't need that - we just need someone that knows how to invest money. Ellis does, Walker doesn't.

State Senate: I will be voting for Dan Liljenquist. This letter explains my concerns with Ron Mortensen. The tone is harsh, but it is all true.

State House: Becky Edwards. South Davis County needs a representative that is a leader; someone that will fight for our schools, our children and our families. Our current representative has not led out on these issues. I trust Becky. We get to choose between business as usual or something new. Business as usual isn't working for anyone except Greg Curtis. And, people keep talking about how responsive our current representative is. I was a state delegate. I never heard from him. Not a letter, not a phone call. Yeah, I get his email updates, but he doesn't answer my letters, or the letters from my friends. I'm ready for a change.

Davis School Board District 1: This is an easy one now, but a hard one in November. We get to vote for two candidates to advance. I am supporting Barbara Smith and Polly Tribe. Both are honest, hard working, intelligent women who want the best for our schools.

Posted By Natalie to Davis County Watch: Guest Bloggers at 6/23/2008 03:56:00 PM

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who is Running a Frugal Campaign?

Dan Liljenquist is into overkill. He appears to have outspent Ron Mortensen more than 12:1 on his campaign for things like $400 for Google Earth Pro. Purpose: Voter mapping software. So, Dan took advantage of Google Earth Pro's ability to import spreadsheet data in order to visualize and target the right demographic. While I'm certain that the result he got from the software was stunning, there are cheap as in free ways of doing the same things that I've used myself using Google Maps. Clearly not as cool, but just as effective.

Is Liljenquist going to be as liberal with taxpayer dollars as he is in his campaign expenditures? Also, note the $11,000 loan he gave to his own campaign.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family Empowerment?

I received the pink flier from Edwards campaign some time ago and have come to some conclusions on where I differ from her. If I had to vote just on this one piece of literature, here is why I choose Neuenschwander.

The section subtitled 'Family Empowerment' lists bills that if decided the way Edwards wanted would have done nothing to empower families. The first graph in this section says:

"SB 53 - Initiative and Referendum Petition Amendments. Most of the time, local elected officials get it right. But when they don't, initiative and referendum are the citizens' recourse for undoing unpopular decisions by their government (example: the voucher referendum last Fall). This bill took away the rights of citizens to challenge land use and zoning decisions that might have huge impact on their families' way of life. Whether the issue is big-box stores or other developer-driven issues, the public's control over their established neighborhoods has been lost."
I ask, what does this have to do with families specifically? The campaign seems to be painting with some broad strokes, or they expect that people won't read far past the words, "Family Empowerment" before they decide Edwards-good, incumbent-bad. The mention of vouchers, where vouchers don't appear to apply to the overall bill is just code for this sort of thing.

The second paragraph:
"HB 17 - Child Support Bond. A big problem when marriages fail is delinquent child support. This bill would have given the court the power to order a parent, chronically delinquent in child support monies, to post a bond for up to 36 months of child support. Where agreements to pay child support are made as a condition of granting a divorce, taxpayers have a substantial interest in their enforcement, because otherwise children suffer and costs of welfare go up."
It looks like Edwards should have created a category called "Court Empowerment", because that is exactly what the flier claims this bill would do. Again, no "Family Empowerment" here.

The remaining three examples of bills would have created more government programs, government training for court personnel, and additional categories of conduct--all to do things that individuals, and in particular, families are capable of doing themselves.

If Edwards really wanted to empower families, and more specifically, parents then she would support things like home schooling, or school choice based more upon "a parents say-so" than government red-tape. However, she considers the activity of parents moving their kids between Woods Cross and Bountiful to be "..."gaming" of school residency requirements".

Edwards does not cite a single instance in which she supports empowering parents over empowering the nanny-state.

Is Becky Edwards a Democrat?

There's a bit of controversy stirring over whether Becky Edwards is or was ever a Democrat. Check the comments on a recent post of mine for a reference.

Well, this could be settled if Becky would just come out and lay out her past votes, and party affiliations.


Child Identity Theft

KSL has a story on the risks of child identity theft. I neglected to announce the Identity Theft evening on this blog, so as penance here is KSL's take on it.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pyramid Schemes in Gubenatorial Politics

I'll be attending the Republican State Convention in May, and my choice for Governor is already clear. Needless to say, if Huntsman doesn't make it out of convention, I'll be voting for Super Dell.

If you favor "high speed movies" and "virtual robots", however, then don't vote for Huntsman.

Message from Charles "Chuck" Smith, Candidate for Governor

Stay tuned for a flow chart. It is on its way. Now for economic development.

The basic materials needed to create wealth are finely scattered over the whole earth giving us many places from which we can build. The only thing that keeps us back from multiplying our wealth many times is a step by step example of how to do it. With the powerful tools of technology we can create this example, first in a virtual world. The virtual tools gives us the ability to cheaply trial and error through to perfection a risk free path. Then we can follow that path to great real success and wealth.

Everyone wants to know how we can increase peoples incomes in the State of Utah. So, here is the step by step overview of what I am already building.

First we start a club and invite all who want to 4 times their income in the next 4 years to join it. The club is free of charge.

In the club each person takes pictures every week of the things they would buy or do if they had 4 times their income. Those pictures are accumulated and made into a high speed movie, one for each week for all to view via the Internet.

From this data of what we want and need, we create robotic systems to produce these goods and services in a virtual world setting.

As the design for robotic manufacturing starts to develop we use engineering software tools to create the details necessary to build these robots in the real world.

As the specifications come from engineering we look for materials to build the robotics. The goal is to acquire all materials through efficient energy and material recycling.

Once we have acquired materials we will build robots using the virtual designs and engineering to control the building process.

With robots in place we will then start producing the goods and services that we want as per the initial picture collection. Club members will get these products and services as payment for their participation in the club. The value of the goods and services for each club member should exceed 4 times their income in the fourth year of club participation.

This is a simple explanation of the steps; the actual doing of this plan will bring out many unforeseen opportunities to expand and multiply our talents. Every step will be looked at with the idea that what we do should be able to be done by others in other parts of the the world so that eventually all peoples in all nations can follow our step by step process to advance there wealth production abilities.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Acid Voucher Reflux

It is so easy to criticize the thousand votes of an incumbent, and to forget that their opponent has not been so scrutinized, nor can be.

In a race between Representative Paul Neuenschwander, and Becky Edwards, Edwards might as well be wonder woman. She has, however, no record of which to speak, which speaks to why some have questioned just where she is rooted. I disavow those who question her Republican bonifides. I renounce those who will not accept her as a fellow Republican. But I will not ignore her experience gap, or the fact that I do not know, save on one dead issue, her viewpoints.

She's running against the incumbent because he along with the majority of legislators in this state voted for vouchers twice!

Of course, even voucher opponents in the house voted for vouchers once when the voted for the amendments to the original bill.

The voucher debate victors are exorcised in the manner of Captain Ahab only because they won. Now they want to further divide the state by raising a battle cry against an opponent that is not there. Legislative leadership has said that they have no plans to resurrect the voucher debate, and former voucher supporters have vowed to not vote for the legislation if it were to manifest.

So, what is the problem?

Controversial Legislative Votes

In my last post Natalie questioned whether Rep. Neuenschwander had voted for amendments that became the dreaded Omnibus bill, and whether he had voted for the REAL soccer funding bill that was so controversial.

Appropriate to this occasion is this article where Speaker Curtis is taken to task for pushing the omnibus bill.

The Tribune specifies that there were no attempts by legislative leadership to twist arms to pass the bill. Neuenschwander went along with the majority and voted for this bill. It should be no surprise that a certain Bountiful legislator, I won't mention Rep. Sheryl Allen's name except in passing, is leading the charge against the Speaker with a certain School Board member, again no mention of Kim Burningham, towing the same line.

As to the REAL stadium, I will remind our reader that this issue came to a head in 2006 and that funding was in place for the stadium before Neuenschwander was elected and could vote.

So, just as I support the Bountiful Rec Center now that it is built, it seems that Neuenschwander now supports the REAL stadium.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Rep. Neuenschwander's Nay Votes

I've been looking at the voting record for Paul Neuenschwander for this last session, particularly his 'Nay' votes on bills that passed into law. I wanted to get an idea of times that he took an unpopular position to see if I agreed or disagreed with his stances. I've included his absent 'vote', because he may have wished not to vote in favor of the bill, but didn't want to come out in opposition. (That's highly unlikely considering the strong stances he's taken elsewhere, but nonetheless I've put it up for your consideration)

  • HB0015 Control and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted--Nay
    • This bill mandates that Health Departments statewide provide literature to Physicians and the general public to educate on the risks of STD's--Cost: $175,000
    • My assessment: Plenty of educational materials already exist that accomplishes this same goal. I hardly a reason to appropriate money for this purpose. Here are the latest statistics on STD's in Utah.
  • HB0104 Urban Trails Appropriation--Absent
    • This bill appropriated up to $500,000 dollars from the General Fund to build the Bonneville Trail.
  • HB0122 Driver License - Application of Minor Amendments--Nay
    • This bill says that Foster parents can co-sign on an application for a learners permit or driver license. It appears to make Foster parents less liable for damages, in some cases, than a parent, or other legal guardian would face were the minor to be in an accident.
  • HB0294S01 Appropriation Limit Amendments - Fire Suppression--Nay
  • HB0332S01 Use of Public Schools by Community Organizations--Nay
    • This bill modifies provisions of the State System of Public Education code relating to the use of public school buildings and grounds as a civic center. It appears to limit the school boards ability to restrict access to school property. Formerly, they did not need to have a reason other than the use is "inadvisable". Under this bill it has to interfere with a school function or purpose to not be allowed.
  • HB0410 Restricted Accounts Amendments--Nay
    • This bill moves interest from certain accounts into the General Fund to the tune of about $1.66 million dollars in 2009 and again in 2010.
  • HB0466 Title Insurance Recovery, Education, Amended In Committee--Nay
  • HJR004 Joint Resolution Urging School Closings to Recognize Veterans Day--Nay
Overall, I'd say I agree with his positions, where I understand the particulars. Keep in mind, these bills all passed and will be law, like it or not. He took fiscally conservative positions where applicable. In one case he took a position that would have given local school boards greater latitude to do their jobs.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

2008 County Convention Results

The County Convention today has left us with a primary race between Ronald Mortensen and Dan Liljenquist(no website). That's two down from eight candidates that entered the convention at Woods Cross High this morning.

The chance to narrow the choices of the electorate is why we go.

John Petroff won the nomination of the party and will represent Republicans in a race for the County Commission.

I'll stand behind Petroff in his race, and will campaign for Ronald Mortensen (no surprise to my regulars) in his Senate Race.

More later.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Senate District 23: Rat Race

I attended with my wife a meet the candidates night for Senate District 23. We have eight republican candidates running. Here they are in order as they appear on the State website.

  1. Lisa Watts Baskin
  2. Beth Beck
  3. Ernie Cox
  4. Dan Liljenquist
  5. Ronald Mortensen
  6. Jim Nielson
  7. Kent M Parry
  8. Lamont R. Peterson
My top three picks in descending order are Ronald Mortensen, Ernie Cox, and there is a tie between Lisa Watts Baskin and Jim Nielson. I don't think that Liljenquist Parry or Peterson have the political chops to make it based on their comments last night. The rest are experienced and skilled campaigners.

It should be an interesting show.

Update: Parry was a no-show--well, he showed up as it was concluding so he never had a chance to speak. Both Peterson, and Liljenquist expressed an interest in issues that I don't think will sway delegates. Utopia and Health care reform. They spoke almost the entire time about their pet issues and had nothing new to offer on education, taxes, or immigration of which last nights group seemed most interested. In the realm of 'knowing your audience', I'd give them a C-.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Announcing 2008 Republican Precinct Caucuses(neighborhood meetings)

The location of your Republican Precinct Caucus can be found here if you reside in Davis County. They will be held next Tuesday, March 25th at 7:00 PM.

Please attend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two Candidates for Davis County Commission

Two Republican candidates are aiming their sights upon the seat being vacated by Alan Hansen. Here are the candidates.

Randy Minson of West Point.

Barbara S. Riddle of Fruit Heights.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Check out for your community if you dare!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Commissioner Hansen Not To Run For Reelection

Commissioner Hansen has telegraphed his intention to return to the private sector. His leaving opens the question of what we want most in our County Commission, but let us not forget the good job he tried to do as we look forward.

Commissioner Hansen distinguished himself from the old-guard by donating a good portion of his income to charity, making the point that his job paid too well. I, for one, would have preferred charity for charities sake, rather than giving only to make a political point.

His energy to change attitudes towards taxation seemed diminished after he had been on the job for a while. Maybe he realized that much of his rhetoric fell on deaf ears when it was aimed at his cohorts? Maybe he thought his campaign rhetoric had been wrong? Let's say that he demonstrated a willingness to listen to ways to save money at the county, but he lacked the strength that comes from being an outsider. I wonder how well a blue-dog Democrat would do in his position? I've been told that they would meet criteria that a Republican cannot. They are notable outsiders in Davis County. They are difficult to "fool"--at least they claim as much. I mean, who would join a losing party and then turn around and act the lemming? Is there really a difference between Republican and Democrat in Davis County except that one party wins, while the other languishes?

Commissioner Hansen has been responsible for the on-the-job training that both Downs and Millburn have received. How much their attitudes towards fiscal responsibility have changed since they were elected?

I haven't forgotten the time that the Utah Restaurant Association proposed that Counties pitch in for the cost of advertising for Utah restaurants. I quickly emailed the commission, and had an almost instant reply from Commissioner Hansen expressing his concern that the county not be forced to comply in this regard. That made it into a bill that was considered by the legislature. How fortunate were we that A) Our county paid enough attention so as not to volunteer to subsidize the advertisements, and B) they put forward the right kind of lobbying effort to stop a bill that would force the subsidy, and C) the legislature did not fall into the trap and pass the bill. In this regard, Alan Hansen did very well in my eyes, and I'll be sad to see him go.

Salt Lake Trib: Davis Commissioner Hansen won't seek re-election

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Citizen Lobbyist Training Redux

If you would like to learn how to make your voice heard at the state and local level, please attend one of these citizen lobbyist training sessions.
Thursday, January 24, 2008 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 26, 2008 10 a.m.
Location: Bountiful American Legion Hall, 52 West 200 South
Please invite others to attend.

Friday, January 18, 2008

NSL Judge Resigns

North Salt Lake Judge Michael Crippen has resigned. He says that his parting with the city is amicable. More power to him in his private practice. I still remember the time last year that my wife appeared before him for a parking violation. The exchange went like this.

Judge Crippen: How do you plead?
My Wife: (gulp) not guilty
Judge: (eyes grow wide) Did you park your car in the road?
My wife: Yes.
Me: Hi, can I say something?
Judge: Who are you? Are you the muscle?
Me: I'm her husband. Where we live, the street bows out in the middle, and is on our property. She was parked on our land.
Bailiff Bailey: Oh yes, ...that is their property...That's their property.
Judge: Well since Officer Bailey vouches for you, I guess you must be not guilty.

I'm sure we were the only folks who walked out of that courtroom smiling that day.