Thursday, August 29, 2013
Today, 652 days after approving this action, a year and half after terminating it and a month and a half since the AG letter, it still has not been effectively determine whether compliance in returning the tens of thousands of dollars has been completed. In fact, other than a response letter from HL&P declaring the money WILL be returned, it can not even be determined if any action has been taken to accomplish this.
However, in the July warrant list (pg 6 payments) for HL&P this item is found:
This INDICATES is that HLP paid Heber City $950.64 for the two councilmen on the Board ($475.32/month/man) for "JULY BOARD STIPEND" to share with all councilmen per their internal city agreement. HL&P then paid an additional $1,901.28 for "BOARD STIPEND JULY & EXTR" as July Bonus pay (perhaps for all those extra meetings?)
It may be coincidental that these "extra" payments were listed as paid two weeks AFTER the AG letter. As the warrants do not delineate individual payments to the other board members, it can only be assumed that similar TRIPLE payments were made to the entire Board.
At this time it is unknown if similar payments have been made in the past or are planned for the future. If repayments of fake pay of, say, $10,000 were required, an extra $1,000 per month were certainly soften the blow.
In April, a smaller bonus was also given (only double pay)
601000 SALARIES ADMINISTRATIVE
601000 480 HEBER CITY CORPORATION BOARD STIPEND APR 13 EXTR 04/13 04/01/2013 950.64
601000 480 HEBER CITY CORPORATION BOARD STIPEND APR 13 04/13A 04/25/2013 950.64
Total 601000 SALARIES ADMINISTRATIVE: 1,901.28
Who knows how many more payments have been (will be) made.
(for more history on this issue click on "H L & P" in the column on the left or here for a slightly different list.)
Saturday, June 01, 2013
Wasatch County - Tuesday, November 7, 2000: The voters officially approved the proposed Change of Government for Wasatch County - The people rejoice, but the whining continues. 25 February 2002 Judge Eyre decides ". . . it is the intent of this court to give effect to the express will of the people . . ."
Read it here, comment below, if you'd like, I'd be interested to hear, what you think it says.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
A conflict of interest is “A situation in which a person’s individual interests are in opposition to the interests of his duty to others. As an example an elected public official who owns real estate may approve a ruling or a change in zoning that would increase the value of his property.” (Quoted from The Plain Language Law Dictionary)
The Planning Commission (CPPA, U of U)
The work of the planning commission influences the future of a community, and through certain planning measures can have impact upon the value of property. It is therefore important that the actions and behavior of commission members are at all times legally sanctioned and completely ethical. (pg 2-15)
Conflict of Interest:
A planning commissioner to whom some private benefit may be derived as the result of a planning commission action should not be a participant in the action. (pg 2-16)
The private benefit may be direct or indirect, create a material personal gain or provide an advantage to relatives, friends or groups and associations which hold some share of a person's loyalty. (pg 2-16)
State law requires that a public official experiencing a conflict of interest declare the conflict publicly. It is strongly recommended, however, that a planning commissioner with a conflict abstain from voting on the action in question and leave the room during consideration of the action. The commissioner should not discuss the matter privately with any other commissioner. The vote cast by a planning commissioner who has a conflict of interest, but who has not excused him or herself, shall be disallowed. (pg 2-16)
********** Wasatch County has even more specific rules:
By-Laws of the Wasatch County Planning Commission
- Sect XI: (C) No member shall act or vote on any matter which he or she has a direct financial interest, which involve a conflict of interest as found in he Utah Code, or which a member cannot fairly and impartially act or vote on any matter before the Commission.
Any member declaring a conflict of interest shall be disqualified and shall leave the room and not participate in the discussion and vote pertaining to that particular matter.
Friday, August 17, 2007
To no one’s surprise, the tax increase was passed unanimously by the school board. Many in attendance felt the School Board was as confused as the audience. The hearing began with an archaic, involved and totally irrelevant dissertation on tax, or mil, rates. Nine basic levies, certified rates, maximums, minimums, assessments, etc.; the end result being "It’s not our fault, the assessor made us do it.” People actually wanted to hear about DOLLARS, tax revenues, school expenditures, and, particularly, individual property tax payments!
An overview of the historical budget can be found here. 2004 to 2008 = 55% increase in school expenditures, with a 9% increase in students.
Continuing with the fairy tale presented by the Wave Education Writer (and District publicist) that, according to Superintendent Shoemaker, “the growth of (the) tax bill is reflective of an increase in property value;” school officials carefully tried to place the blame for higher taxes on the County Assessor and the increase in property values. Au contraire, dear school officials, the increase is due to the actions of the School Administration/Board in RAISING THE TAX RATE, which was the very reason for the hearing being held. Strike One on truth and the taxpayer.
Royce van Tassell, of the Utah Taxpayers Association publicly described the presentation as disingenuous. He may have been too kind. Through various machinations, manipulations, sleight of hand and outright chicanery, school officials concluded that “the total debt service (not just the high school) has dropped to $10.95 per hundred thousand dollars” as reported by the Wave Education Writer (does the Wave pay him for his articles?) and reiterated that idea at the meeting. Anyone with a modicum of math ability can look at their tax notice to determine the cost is closer to $100/per $100K; the increase alone from 2007 to 2008 is more than the $10.95. Strike Two against truth and the taxpayer.
Anyone fortunate enough to find a copy of the debt fund budget can easily see that the (annual repayment) increased by 85% from 2007 to 2008. (See category 31- and also note that the Capital project fund increased by 25%) School officials explained that the "great reduction" resulted from lower rates and the fact they only borrowed $45 of the $60 million. They neglected to mention that the remaining $15 million will be accessed next year or that some of the excess tax revenues received in 2007 (through new growth) may have been used to pay down some debt. Nor did they mention that the Capital Project fund might be used to fund some of the school "frills" or pet projects. They also failed to mention that the first year of payment is apparently interest only (sounds like some current subprime loans)
And the wind up and the pitch . . . To massive adulation by many of the teachers present, we, the truth seekers were informed that the school district was awarding a 3.5% pay increase to the school teachers at a cost of $2.6 million to the district. State legislative officials at the meeting were unclear if the district was taking credit for the pay increase mandated and funded by the state or if the local district had funded an addition increase. However, when asked for an estimate of the total payroll, (10, 20 or 80 million??), school officials were unable to come up with an a ready estimate. The figure, according to the 2007 budget, was $10,669,428. (Page 5, item 131) 3.5 % of that is $373,000 NOT $2.6 million. Stee-rrriiicke THREE, you’re OUT of here. Truth and taxpayers lose!
There was more, of course, mostly equally embarrassing. The final question from the audience, “If you are increasing taxes by 50%, why are teachers only getting 3.5% increase?” While somewhat an apple and orange comparison the answer given by a school board member, ‘well. 39% of the 7 million is going to the salary increase.’ Presumably the aforementioned erroneous $2.6 million (sometimes mentioned as 2.7) was divided by the $7 million for THAT 39% result.
A teacher testified that the school was making vast improvements through vertical and horizontal collaboration and the recent understanding that they needed to focus on what was being learned rather than what was being taught.
(It might be noted that Wasatch scored quite poorly in math in UPASS Considering Albert Einstein's comment “Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach” judging from the mathematical prowess exhibited at this meeting, perhaps we've found the reason.)
Recently graduated student Jeremy Heftel may defy that mathematical mold; he exhibited more understanding by his comments than most of the others at the meeting seemed to have.
In the middle of the public discussion, the audience was entertained by a commercial interruption of a Boyer Co. development representative extolling the tax benefits of their proposed development.
Many from the public decried the lack of information provided at the meeting and on the website. Particularly missing was budget information and even addresses or contacts for the Board members. As witnessed by the links above in this blog, it is not difficult to provide the public with budget information. If anyone wants the full 29 pages, it could be easily posted AND at NO COST!!!
Several people attempted to determine the total cost of the new High School, but were told the information was not available yet.
Oh, by the way, in the latter part of the meeting the contracts for the School Superintendent and Business Administrator were approved, no mention of a pay increase.
Wait, there's more, but my cynicism meter has pegged out, so I conclude on a positive note. The School Board promised to include some Email addresses on the website . . . . but indicated they may not consistently read them.
All is well in Wasatch. . . . .
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
A request was made for the recording of the joint County - City meeting and a fee of $12 was required for the CD. Subsequent to that request the County Council decided that the county should recover the cost of the equipment required to record the meetings and the fee was raised to $20.
A logical question to be asked - who paid for the recording equipment? Obviously the taxpayers. With the idea toward transparency in government and providing information on all government activity, shouldn't the county residents have the information available at no or minimal cost? Or better yet why not post the recordings on the web as the Utah legislature does? People have the right to know!!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Below is a 'paraphrase' "transcript" extracts of the meeting - an interesting discussion. The numbers indicate the times from the beginning of the meeting on the recording. (No minutes of this meeting are found on the County website.) Phillips or DP = Dave Phillips, Heber City Mayor; Anderson or MA = Mark Anderson; Heber City Manager; Lange = Terry Lange, City Council; Price or JP = Jay Price County Council Chair; Davis = Mike Davis, County Manager and other members.
9:40 Philips; This is unique (working together) If Red Ledges makes sense and feels right - It’ll be a landmark . It'll benefit the county for a long time. If you are willing to consider we can take it to the next step.
11:30 Phillips: $1.2 million in property taxes to city on the whole project Red Ledges
Price: Cost to city?
Anderson; I can’t say that (have) figured it
??? Red Ledges says 40% second homes - I don’t trust those developers
12:30 MA: was 1800 ERU's down to 1400 their marketing says the number may go done more.
Davis: Could be different because it’s in the valley, most of secondary homes are out of valley
Phillips: They (RL and developers) say more secondary because not much service to secondary homes. (Italicized comments added)
Lange: some history
15:00 Phillips: We’ve shared our vision
Price; Questions from council ??
Farrell; With a joint planning impasse who has final say?
Phillips: We need a fall back plan - this is what we are going to do. We have differences on safety issues
17:20 DP; divide fees based on ERU’s Committee to work on it In the end we're living here, this is for the folks down the road. We’re not getting anything out of it.
JP; what are your fees?
(Most of the discussion seems to center on how much can be collected in fees - NOT how it affects the future)
18:20 City fees way low - Anderson: escrow actual costs.
Price: 5% for engineering 3% for water we get em for 8% Barely covering costs with that.
19:50 Anderson; we see our boundaries as being restricted this provides us with growth areas to west.
PC Zone City; 40% open space 5500 sqft lots 2 units per acre. (New) McCluskey (60 acres/120 units) nw of mcNaughtan (between McN and city)
Davis; Annex to collect city taxes? YES
Davis; You will annex Wasatch View acres. Illegal without that. Will you Annex Gary Conrad above greener Hills.
22:40 Anderson; Annexation plan dynamic. People might want to annex from twin creeks SSD
Davis; Draw a lIne ?
DP; what are you trying to say Mike - just say it.
Davis; we aren't trying to annex Twin Creek into Heber; we have a line at the city.
23:24 Phillips; Response to Jul 6 Co letter County wants TROZ (16.18) hard to do if you can't set city boundary
Phillips; what do want us to say? To annex Burns without view acrew would be a peninsula. (Illegal)
Davis; we need to know where the city will stop.
Phillips; Maybe I’m reading something into this - I apologize you are asking where do we stop.
25:45 Davis; will the city consider the next to the east
Price; Scott just bot that property and will want the same consideration
26: 15 Davis: TROZ offers higher density adjacent to city. M (meant P160) zone is 160 per home when adjacent to city becomes potentially M zone "with the density we are going to see in the Burns development" (RL & mountain Zone not in TROZ)
If it stays P160, $12 million is very expensive for 40 homes, (Actually $300K/ lot is not too exorbitant these days in the valley) If he is adjacent to city there’s a potential for m zone
Shari Lazenby; How big is the TROZ Davis; TROZ = 2 things Heber annexation and adjacent to that area (NO- not clear, seems to want to include RL as adjacent see 16.08.01)
28:49 Kohler; county trying to give comparative density next to city - you allow 4 per acre 1 acre looks good compare to what you’ve got. If the city was not annexing we would not give as much density than is being considering now. How do we get around that?
Lange; We stayed of ? annexation makes your property more profitable. (Why do we continue to worry about the profitability of empty land and not about the taxes caused on the current property owners) Why do we have to fill in Wasatch view acres they don't want in Behind there they may want to - Cove
31:52 Kohler; If the city keeps annexing up the hill how do we get open space anywhere? If we don't do something you will keep annexing.
Lange; Get a petition (for annexation) and let’s talk about it.
Kohler; The assumption is if we don’t do something, you will so we have to do something.
Farrell??; if we have successful joint planning on RL, I don’t know why you abandon it.
DP;. With PPD we can create open space, our PPD give open space - bring your 160 acres and will talk about it.
33:34 Kohler; The leverage is always there (annexation) they can always come to the city and get more. If the city continues to annex to increase revenue. We have two different ideas. (Open space vs. revenue??)
DP; I like the plan for McN because it has open space, not a grid square subdivision. The rest of the Burns property should be more open than that.
Kohler; He didn’t spend $12mill without expecting something We have to break that expectations that higher densities are available.
36:30 Anderson; philosophical differences. SLC, Summit and Wasatch are pro development. It would be nice to have areas to grow into. Avoid the competition, (between city and county) sit down and plan something for this valley rather than add a lot of density
DP; It terrible that you have to make the decision based on us. If all of the growth had gone from the city outward we wouldn’t be having this problem. 50 years from now we have x people maybe we'll say we should have done better. Maybe tonight is the beginning of the game. This may good for Burns but what problem will it create. Next people come along and change everything
Price; That’s a mistaken attitude. County hasn't gone out promoted development. People have come in and promoted development.
??? ; We haven't either.
39:45 Price; Apparently you aren't feeling the pressure that we are getting to slow development. What are Heber citizens saying?
Lange; Developers always want more development.
KC; people say shut it off
DP;: 95% say I’ve got my place - stop. they don't want more subdivision. They want their open space at someone else’s expense.
Price; Mark, you’re saying leave the open space in the county so we can expand into it. We're saying develop in the county at less density.
DP; Take that to RL and work together. They already given up some density since they started. (Actually they started out high). Then we go to the next guy west and say do you want to build something.
I‘d like to see that guy 6th south collaborate with neighbor. for open space. Maybe one acre is the best we can get.
44:00 DP; we need to work this out
Price; OK, How do we deal with the transition to county
DP; county is more open than city. Where does leave us in the city with the property owners that want to develop. If we say let’s develop everything in the county form this day forward where does that leave the city?
Davis; Is it the government responsibility to maximize the profit to someone that owns property or let them develop under guidelines that are socially compatible with the people that live here?
DP; By limiting them to one house per one or five acres we are taking away their property rights. If I’m saying something wrong, let me know.
Davis: City protested Jordanelle. If the guy wants to build on 40 and River Rd. why not let him, why not let him (under your philosophy?
DP; Because I’d like him to build a it out on 12th South.
Lange; back in the pre Davis days, Mathis came to city and asked for support for stopping commercial north of town. We agreed. I voted no on Southfield Rd annexation turned down. We turned it down many times and have been harassed.
49:15 My wife’s nephew wants to develop condos flowing north into north fields on 105 acres. I told him to stop talking. I ask Val and you what’s the density there, I’m still skeptical with the Bypass road thru that property. Because I thought you guys would protest.
50:54 DP; it's property owners right to annex, city makes decision whether to accept. (City has the right and responsibility to set the annexation zone and protect the welfare of the community)
52:26 Davis; we have no say in annexation.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Prior to the 2001 General Plan a survey was done for the county by BYU.
The current survey is quite consistent with the BYU survey's results. Excerpts:
When residents were asked to rate their satisfaction with their community - 45% highly and 28% satisfied. When asked for "Preference for Community Change" 61.6% said it was "absolutely essential" to keep "The Way It Is." (76.5 % serious+)
Other serious "Preference for Community Change" were 89% Protect Air and Water quality, 82% Enforce Zoning & Land Use, 82% protect wetlands, 72% agricultural community,
"In general, the majority of respondents favor keeping at least 75% of the unincorporated areas of the county as open space." "There is very little sentiment favoring large scale developments of any of the areas." (defined as County, North Fields, South Fields, Provo River, Snake Creek, Round Valley, Woodland, Lake Creek)
In 2000, respondents were asked about "Problem Areas Five Years From Now." The number one problem - "Excessive Residential Development" 80% said it would be a serious problem; 80% also listed Traffic. Over 60% were concerned about excessive COMMERCIAL development. Have we solved those problem or fulfilled the prediction?
"The majority prefer that both the Master Plan and the zoning ordinance be changed in minor way to refine them. A large majority (over 30%) would like to have them both revised extensively to make the more restrictive."
How have we done in abiding by the desires of the residents? For any wishing to read the entire report, I'm sure you can find it on some dusty shelf or archive in a government office.
Monday, April 03, 2006
It is now one month before the convention on April 29. Feel free to contact me by phone or email or comment here with your questions or comments. I’d love to get your input. I would also invite you to visit my blog for some of my ideas and comments on Wasatch County issues.
Some of you may remember me from my letters and columns in the Wasatch Wave; others may remember my advocacy for the change to a Council form of County Government. Wasatch County was changed to a better form of government, we now need representatives who will be more responsive to the people of the County and embrace the change to more citizen involvement. In the court case over the change issue, Judge Eyre said, ". . . it is the intent of this court to give effect to the express will of the people . . ."
My issues in this campaign are basically threefold:
Growth: Wasatch County growth continues at an accelerating rate. While a moratorium was established, the enacted solution has failed to solve the problem of proper management of growth issues. We need to do more to protect our "small-town," rural valley from becoming Wasatch City. Zoning regulations are for the purpose of protecting the welfare of the community as a whole.
Two questions need to be asked and answered:
1 "Has anything substantially changed to manage growth in the last four years?
2 "What will the Heber Valley look like in ten or twenty years with the current growth philosophy and laws?
Openness in government: We need to do more to solicit community input and provide information to our citizens. The mere placing of a public notice that meets strict legal requirements may not be sufficient to keep people aware of future plans. I will work towards enhancing and enlarging available information to the citizenry. Informed people will result in a better government.
With the introduction of a new form government, the intent was to encourage more citizen involvement in local government and to create more open communications to and from the County government.
1 Have you been encouraged to become more involved?
2 Is your opinion being sought? Are you being heard?
3 Are you getting more and better information about proposals and decisions being made?
Lower Taxes: Every "politician" quotes that mantra. I have a record of being a tax watchdog and actively participate in attempting to save the taxpayers money. Residential development generally has a great negative fiscal impact on the taxpayers of the County and growth must be properly managed. Economy in fiscal management must be the watchword in County operation.
My past experience includes a long record of service in the Republican Party as:
- County Chairman,
- State Central Committee member,
- Many terms as state and county delegate,
- Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
- Author and Sponsor of the Resolution on determining cost of Illegal aliens to the taxpayers of Utah which was passed overwhelmingly by the delegates in 2005.
My other experience that might be considered is varied:
- a longtime student of governmental principles and practices,
- accomplished as a researcher and analyst,
- trained as an engineer,
- owner and manager of a local retail business and
- retired from my primary occupation as a Captain for a major airline.
- For the last three years, I have served on the County Planning Commission and agree with the statement in the Development Moratorium (Ordinance 05-11) "zoning regulations in the RA-1 zone are currently inadequate to protect this valuable asset (rural atmosphere, open space and agricultural feel)" from the "unprecedented growth pressure in the form of multiple large scale subdivisions applications and corresponding loss of agricultural use, open space and rural atmosphere."
- winner of the Wasatch County portion of primary for Utah State Representative, but regrettably lost to current Rep. Gordon Snow when Duschesne County turned out more voters.
My name is Robert Wren, and I am asking for your support as the nominee of the Republican Party for the Wasatch County Council at-large seat A. I am a strong supporter of the Republican Party principles and Platform and a firm believer in the idea of limited government, lower taxes and individual responsibility.
I believe in the triplet:
- Make good rules,
- Follow the rules,
- If the rules aren't good - change them.
In accordance with Wasatch County bylaw 7.2, I declare that:
I have read the Utah State and County Republican Party Platforms. I support those Platforms and accept them as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be judged.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Heber North Seat, C
County East Seat, F
Neil G. Anderton
Glen C. Burgener
Thomas L. Low
Brent R. Titcomb
Liz (Parcell) Palmier
Ken Van Wagoner
James C. Kaiserman Sr.
Helen M. Robinson
James F. Allen M.D.
218 W. 5250 N., Vernal, UT 84078
Laird Fetzer Hamblin
Route 1 Box 1524, Roosevelt, UT 84066
79 N. Johnson Mill Rd., Midway, UT 84049
Gordon A. Peterson
396 Cottage Creek Ct., Midway, UT 84049
200 S. 1500 W., Vernal, UT 84078
661 S. Lambert Ln, Kamas, UT 84036
65 N. Wendell Ln., Roosevelt, UT 84066
Kevin T. VanTassell
3424 W. 1500 N., Vernal, UT 84078
Utah Representative, District 26 (mis-filing or mystery filing??)
Michael L. Kohler
990 N. River Rd., Midway, UT 84049
Utah Representative, District 53
2700 Homestead Rd. Suite 1200A, Park City, UT 84098
P.O. Box 697, Coalville, UT 84017
R. Dee Putnam
1404 S. 1000 W., Kamas, UT 84036
James E. Shea Jr.
P.O. Box 681367, Park City, UT 84068
4126 W. Saddleback Rd., Park City, UT 84098
Libertarian www.voteshumway.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Utah Representative, District 54
602 E. 550 S., Heber, UT 84032
Gordon E. Snow
1046 W. 290 S., Roosevelt, UT 84066
Friday, July 15, 2005
Section 2.02.16 Appointment to County Boards
(1) Wasatch County Board members will be appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Council. The County Manager will submit the names of all interested individual applicants, with his recommended preferences.
(2) All County Board positions will be filled within 90 days of vacancy.
(3) Board Members shall not serve concurrently on the Planning Commission and the Board of
1 The current system being used gives too much power to the County Manager, allowing him to submit a single name for approval or disapproval; the Council is not necessarily provided the names of other interested individuals, who might be preferred by the Council members. This will expand the Council's input into the selection process.
2 There is currently no (?) time limit on filling vacancies, a procedure should be developed (see 3.04 (6)) to identify vacancies and interested individuals and fill vacancies as soon as practical. A file of interested applicants and their qualifications for various boards could be kept for future vacancies.
3 As the BoA sometimes acts on appeals to Planning Commission decisions, it seems inconsistent to allow one member to act as an appeal judge to a decision in which he may have participated.
4 This is consistent with Optional plan sect 3.04 and Ut Code: Section 3.04. . . . The specific enumeration of powers herein shall not be construed to limit or expand the executive powers of the County Manager as provided for in Section 17.52.505(2) and (4) of the state code. Except as limited by an ordinance by the county council pursuant to Section 17-52-505(2) (a), the County Manager's powers include, the power to: 6. Appoint, suspend and remove the members of appointed County commissions and boards, with Council advice and consent. In the exercise of this power, the Manager shall have the power to establish standards, qualifications, criteria and procedures to govern these appointments, in accordance with state statute and county ordinance.
UT code 17-52-505 (2) The county manager shall be the administrative head of the county government and shall have the powers, functions, and duties of a county executive, except:(a) as the county legislative body otherwise provides by ordinance; (4) In the council-manager form of county government, the legislative powers of the county shall be vested in the county council, and the executive powers of the county shall be vested in the county manager.
Proposed Ordinance #2 (modification)
Section 2.02.08 Planning Commission
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a county-wide Planning Commission consisting of seven regular members. Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body.
DELETE: The remaining member of the Commission shall be a member of the County Legislative Body and shall be appointed by majority vote of the County Legislative Body.
(3) Term of Office. DELETE: Except for the member of the Commission who is a member of the County Legislative Body, Each regular member of the Planning Commission shall be appointed for a three-year term. Alternate members of the Commission shall be appointed for two-year terms. The terms of at least two regular members shall expire each year.
(4) Removal and Vacancies. Denote the last sentence as (a)
ADD at end of paragraph: (b) Attendance requirement: Two (2) unexcused absences or three (3) excused absences within a twelve (12) month period will be cause for removal from the Board.
1 As many decisions are recommendations to the Council, one member should not be making decisions in both groups.
2 Continuing regular attendance is desirable to maintain familiarity with continuing issues.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
"it is the intent of this Plan to establish the Council as a citizen body whose members serve on a part-time basis in a legislative, policy-making role, and membership on the Council is not intended to be a full-time position involving day-to-day oversight of County operations and functions."
One of the other main intentions of the change of government was to promote more citizen involvement - involving more citizens. Wasatch seems to be regressing toward a "commission" form of government, with Council members serving on many boards (some of which may require a Council person). Consequently, their time is divided and seems to be more than "part time" service.
To alleviate this, I would suggest encouraging more citizen involvement on the various boards - If everyone does a little, we can all do a lot. Call up and volunteer!!!!
Wasatch County Code related to Boards: http://www.co.wasatch.ut.us/code/Wasatch_County_Code/Title_2/02/index.html
You may also download the Board Application Form: application (PDF)
Current Board info:
Section 2.02.01 Accident Review Board
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established an Accident Review Board for Wasatch County. The Board shall consist of five members, one member representing the Wasatch County Attorney's Office, one member representing the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the Wasatch County Public Works Director, and one member of the County Legislative Body.
Section 2.02.02 Board of Adjustment
(1) (a) Regular Members. The Board shall consist of five members appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body.
Section 2.02.03 Board of Equalization
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Wasatch County Board of Equalization consisting of the members of the County Legislative Body.
Section 2.02.04 Boundary Commission
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Wasatch County Boundary Commission consisting of: (1) two members who are elected county officers appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body;
Section 2.02.05 Constitutional Takings Review Board
(4) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established the Wasatch County Constitutional Takings Review Board. The County Legislative Body shall act as the Wasatch County Constitutional Takings Review Board.
Section 2.02.07 Library Board
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Wasatch County Library Board consisting of five members , at least one of which shall be a member of the County Legislative Body , appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Council.
Section 2.02.08 Planning Commission
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a county-wide Planning Commission consisting of seven regular members. Six of the regular members of the Commission shall be appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body. The remaining member of the Commission shall be a member of the County Legislative Body and shall be appointed by majority vote of the County Legislative Body.
(3) Term of Office. Except for the member of the Commission who is a member of the County Legislative Body, each regular member of the Planning Commission shall be appointed for a three-year term. The member of the County Legislative Body appointed to the Commission shall be appointed for a two-year term. Alternate members of the Commission shall be appointed for two-year terms. The terms of two regular members shall expire each year.
Section 2.02.09 Daniels Township Planning Commission
(1) Establishment and Membership.
(a) Establishment. Pursuant to Laws of Utah 1996, Chapter 308, at a special election in August 1996, voters approved the creation of the Daniels Township. Pursuant to Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 389, Section 56, and Second Special Session, Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 3, Section 15, the Daniels Township was dissolved. Pursuant to section 17-27-200.5(2)(e) and Wasatch County Ordinance 99-04, the Daniels Township was reconstituted as the Daniels Township Planning Commission.
(b) Membership. The Daniels Township Planning Commission shall consist of seven regular members. Registered voters residing within the Township shall elect three regular members. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the County Manager, with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body, shall appoint four regular members.
Section 2.02.10 Emergency Medical Services and Local Emergency Planning Council
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby created the Wasatch County Emergency Medical Services and Local Emergency Planning Council, hereinafter, (EMS/LEPC).
Section 2.02.12 Weed Board
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Wasatch County Weed Board consisting of five regular members, and one ex-officio member who shall be a member of the County Legislative Body. The County Manager may appoint, with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body, such additional ex officio, non-voting members as the Manager may deem necessary and appropriate.
Section 2.02.13 Tourism Tax Advisory Board
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Tourism Tax Advisory Board consisting of five regular members from the County.
(a) Regular Members. The Board shall consist of five members appointed by the County Manager with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body. Members shall be residents of the County and shall be representatives of any of the following local industries: restaurants, hotels or lodging facilities, recreational facilities, convention facilities, museums, cultural attractions or other tourism related industries.
(b) Non-voting Members. The County Manager may appoint, with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body, such additional non-voting members as the manager may deem necessary and appropriate.
Section 2.02.14 Wasatch County Fair Board
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Wasatch County Fair Board consisting of five regular members, one of which shall be a member of the County Legislative Body. The County Manager may appoint, with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body, such additional non-voting members, as the Manager may deem necessary and appropriate. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation, except for reimbursement of actual expenses incurred, upon presentation of proper receipts and vouchers.
Section 2.02.15 Fair Rodeo Board
(1) Establishment and Membership. There is hereby established a Rodeo Board consisting of four regular members, and one ex-officio member who shall be a member of the County Legislative Body, who shall have the same right to vote as the other members of the Board. The County Manager may appoint, with the advice and consent of the County Legislative Body, such additional ex-officio, non-voting members as the Manager may deem necessary and appropriate. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation except for reimbursement of actual expenses incurred, upon presentation of proper receipts and vouchers.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Commission Minutes 3/25/02
APPROVAL OF SPECIAL EVENTS CENTER
Commissioner Provost indicated that a public hearing is not necessary in this matter is because the building is allowed in that zone and a public hearing was held when the zone went into effect. Mike Davis, speaking for Tom Bonner, addressed the commissioners and indicated that there is a real need for this facility and this location was best suited for the building. Mike Davis also indicated that other facilities throughout the state were visited so that Wasatch County could get a comparison and ideas and indicated that this will be the largest indoor arena in the State of Utah of its kind.
Commissioner Provost then asked if there is anyone that has a problem with this matter please come forward and state your name. Commissioner Kohler indicated that he has visited with Dwayne Meeks , a neighbor to this project who has a problem with the location and the noise. He indicated that he will monitor it to see how it affects the neighborhood.
Fred Schloss addressed the commissioners and indicated that he does not live by where the new facility will be built but was here speaking for the people who lived in that area and was concerned about how it would affect the people in the neighborhood, noise, traffic, influx of people in their neighborhood, parking, etc., and would like to see the facility put in another location in Wasatch County. The commissioners indicated that money is an issue and that is why it can’t be built in another location. The commissioners indicated that the facility will be paid by an revenue bond that will be paid back with impact fees and restaurant tax money. Commissioner Duke made a motion that we go out for bids for the building on the Wasatch County Special Events Center. Commissioner Kohler seconded the motion and the motion carries with the following vote:
PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
OPEN STEEL BIDS FOR EVENT CENTER
Tom Bonner, Wasatch County Recreational Director, addressed the commissioners and indicated that he has received four bids. A.D. Construction for $438,400.00. Brownies Excavation $665,335.00. C0 Building Systems, $317,491.00. Atkinson Welding, $300,000.00. Commissioner Kohler made a motion that we approve them and to get Paul Wilson to help him review them. Commissioner Duke seconded the motion and the motion carries with the following vote: http://www.co.wasatch.ut.us/ma/commission/2002/04082002cc.htm
CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING PARAMETERS WITH RESPECT TO SALES TAX REVENUE BONDS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF NOT MORE THAN $4,200,000 AND SETTING A PUBLIC HEARING DATE AND RELATED MATTERS (Resolution #02-10a)
Jon Bronson from Zions Bank addressed the commissioners and indicated that he is here regarding
a Parameters Resolution which lays out the proposed sales of bonds and in this particular case sales tax revenue bonds. John also indicated that this resolution is the first step in getting started for the issuance of a bond and the bonds would not be paid back with sales tax revenue. John also indicated that the Wasatch County Sales Tax is only being used for the collateral security for the bond issue. John indicated that this will just be the restaurant tax and impact fees, but not the TRRT tax. John also indicated that the collateral can be separated from the source of repayment. Commissioner Duke made the motion that we approve Resolution 02-10a, a resolution establishing parameters with respect to sales tax revenue bonds in the total amount of not more than $4,2000. Commissioner Kohler seconded the motion and the motion carries with the following vote:
A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of Not More Than $4,200,000 Aggregate Principal Amount of Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2002 of Wasatch County, Utah for the Purpose of (1) Refunding the Outstanding Municipal Building Authority of Wasatch County, Utah Lease Revenue Bonds, Series 1998 and (2) Financing the Acquisition and Construction of a County Events Center and Related Improvements; Calling a Public Hearing and Establishing a Time, Place and Location for Said Public Hearing; Providing for Publication of a Notice of Public Hearing and Bonds to be Issued; Providing for a Pledge of Sales Tax Revenues for Repayment of the Bonds; Fixing the Maximum Aggregate Principal Amount of the Bonds, the Maximum Number of Years Over Which the Bonds May Mature, the Maximum Interest Rate Which the Bonds May Bear, and the Maximum Discount From Par at Which the Bonds May be Sold; Providing for the Running of a Contest Period; Expressing an Intent to Reimburse; and Related Matters
PUBLIC INPUT FOR CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING PARAMETERS WITH RESPECT TO SALES TAX REVENUE BONDS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF NOT MORE THAN $4,200,000
Jon Bronson addressed the commissioners and indicated that there was an error in the document last time and this revision just adds both the elements of the sales tax in the document that was adopted last meeting. We can now go ahead and advertise for the sales tax issue. Commissioner Provost then asked if there was any public comment regarding the matter. Commissioner Kohler made a resolution that we adopt Resolution No. 02-03. Commissioner Provost seconded the motion and the motion carries with the following vote:
AWARD ARCHITECT AND ENGINEERING FOR EVENT CENTER
County Attorney Derek Pullan indicated that the following three firms submitted bids for the architect and engineer for the event center:
Lythgoe Design Group, Inc.
George E. Bennett, Jr. Architectural Development
Attorney Pullan stated that Lythgoe Design Group, Inc. was the low bidder, but their proposal included language of a cost plus arrangement which is unlawful. He indicated that the language would have to be eliminated and an exact proposed cost would have to be prepared. Commissioner Kohler made a motion to award the architect and engineering for the event center to low bidder Lythgoe Design Group, Inc. subject to making the language changes in the proposal as discussed above. Commissioner Duke seconded the motion and the motion carries with the following vote:
TO RECEIVE PUBLIC INPUT FOR CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING PARAMETERS WITH RESPECT TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE SALES TAX REVENUE BONDS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF NOT MORE THAN $4,200,000.
Jon Bronson from Zion’s Bank addressed the commissioners and indicated that this hearing is for the Commissioners to take any public comment and take it into consideration and no action is required other than to allow public comment on the bond issue. Jon indicated that the bond is being issued for two purposes, first is to refund a Series 1999 MBA Lease Revenue Bond on the issue to build a fire station and the other is to provide new money to build the new Events Center at the fairgrounds. Jon indicated that the bond is to be paid over 20 years. Jon indicated that the interest rate is in the neighborhood of 4.8 to 4.85 percent if the bonds were issued today. John indicated that the repayment will come from Transient Room Tax and basically the restaurant tax. Commissioner Provost then asked for any public comment.
Tish Dahmen from the Wasatch Wave commented that she understood that the Jordanelle Fire Station isn’t profitable, isn’t working at a profit and inquired about the bonds. Bronson indicated that the refunding of the bonds up at the Jordanelle Fire Station is to take advantage of lower interest rates. Bob Wren inquired about why put the two bonds together instead of having them separate. Jon Bronson indicated that it is better marketing advantage to put the two bonds together and also to obtain bond insurance and to a get a good rating on the bonds which right now they have a triple "A" rating. Tish Dahmen inquired if there was any donations made at this point. Commissioner Provost indicated that he wasn’t sure, but has been told that there has been some donations. He indicated he will probably be able to answer that in a day or two. Tish inquired about the bonding capacity of Wasatch County and what Wasatch County is in debt at the present time. Jon Bronson indicated that the county could issue approximately another 26 million dollars in general obligation debt. Jon indicated that the current debt of Wasatch County is 3.89 million and that is on the jail. Bob Wren inquired about whether the bond has to be paid off first before another bond can be issued. Jon indicated that the Non-Impairment Clause in the State of Utah takes care of the matter when the sales tax secures the repayment of the bonds. Bob Wren then inquired about putting the matter up for a bond election to find out what the people of Wasatch County wants to do. Commissioner Provost indicated that one of the reasons for not having a bond election is that the commissioners didn’t want to use property tax money because the bond was being run through sandwich tax money.
6/10/02 Unofficial Notes of Public Hearing on Bond issuance: Per Mike Kohler, the firepalace is being refinanced because Jordanelle Property Owners (JPO) were not keeping up with the 'promised' payments - of the 3 large payees, one paying slower, one went bankrupt (?) Jon Bronson (Zion's Bank Underwriter) responded to most of the questions. Refinancing will put the payments more in line with what is actually being rcvd. and get a lower interest rate (4.85%).
Q Is there a provision in the new bond saying JPO is responsible for repayment. A NO (If JPO fails to pay, responsibility falls to County (read taxpayers).
Q Why not hold an election on the bond? A We don't want to have to depend on the "whims" of the voters, and/or It costs money to hold an election.
Q There's an election on the library bond 6 Aug, why not vote then (no cost)? A They kind of skipped over that one.
Q Why not split the two issues (fire and convention)? A One bond issuance has lower underwriting costs or lenders do not want to deal with 'small' loans (<$ 4 to 5 million) or lower interest rates.
(Therefore we need to borrow more to save money.)
Q What is Wasatch current bonding capacity and debt? A $26 mill and $3.8 mill
Q Will the issuance of the bonds restrict future gov from using the Sales tax for something else? A NO, it only will require not canceling the sales tax.
Here's the law, what do you think it says? Are we protecting the taxpayers or the bank?:
UT code 11-14-17.5 (d) When any bonds payable from excise tax revenues have been issued, the resolution or other enactment of the governing body imposing the excise tax and pursuant to which the tax is being collected, the obligation of the governing body to continue to levy, collect, and allocate the excise tax, and to apply the revenues derived therefrom in accordance with the provisions of the authorizing resolution or other enactment, shall be irrevocable until the bonds have been paid in full as to both principal and interest, and is not subject to amendment in any manner which would impair the rights of the holders of those bonds or which would in any way jeopardize the timely payment of principal or interest when due.
Q Have there been any donations as suggested earlier for payment? A We think there's been some, we're not sure.
Q Where will the money for operating the convention center come from, general tax revenues or center revenues? A Parks and Recreation Budget
Q That's general taxes, right? A Yes
Q What is the operating budget and projected revenue? A We've already had public meetings on that, this is a hearing about the bond issuance.
Q You do have some figures though? A Yes
Wouldn't it be nice to have them presented publicly (newspaper, website, etc.) Later, Bronson said, 'these operations always cost the government money.'
The Board of County Commissioners met in a special session at 5:00 p.m. at the Wasatch County Administration Building, Heber City, Utah and the following business was transacted.
PRESENT: Commissioner LaRen Provost
Commissioner Ralph L. Duke
Commissioner Michael L. Kohler
Brent Titcomb, Clerk/Auditor
Jon Bronson, Zions First National Bank
AWARD BONDS AND ADOPT BOND RESOLUTION FOR EVENT CENTER (#02-16)
Jon Bronson from Zion Bank reported to the Commission the terms and repayment of the bond. The bond amount is $3,855,000.00. The money will build the event center and refinance the Jordanelle Fire Station. (See the Wasatch County, Utah $3,855,000.00 Sales Tax and Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 2002 in the supplemental file). The commission acknowledged eighty-eight signatures of protest from citizens of the county. Commissioner Provost asked for a motion. Commissioner Duke made a motion to approve and adoption Resolution 02-16 that will approve the bonding of series 2002. Commissioner Kohler seconded the motion
June 17, 2002 To the Honorable Brent Titcomb, County Clerk
WE, the undersigned persons in interest, residents and/or taxpayers of Wasatch County hereby contest the resolution or proceeding published in the Wasatch Wave on May 15 and 22, 2002 entitled "NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING AND BONDS TO BE ISSUED" hereby reserve our right to any cause of action to contest the regularity, formality, or legality thereof for any cause.
This resolution and debt issuance:
apparently removes, or minimizes, the obligation of property owners in the fire protection SSD which was provided in, or with, the previous bond.
removes, or substantially reduces, guarantees by the County Commission that the debt responsibility will not fall to the general taxpayers of Wasatch County.
inappropriately pledges Sales Tax allocation at a time of changing form and composition of county government, which will restrict their actions in issuance of further bonds and their choices of allocation of the excise tax. There is no apparent need for action prior to the institution of that new government.
does not offer any substantial savings to the taxpayers of Wasatch County.
is inappropriately tied to construction of Convention Center. Said issue is important enough, on its own, for more extensive study and public input.
We call for this debt issue to be postponed until the seating of the new government or, at a minimum, brought before the voters at the general election in November of 2002. The delineation of these items of contest does not exclude other deficiencies that might be found.