County Watch | ParkRecord.com

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

The Summit County Council recognized September as Wasatch/Summit County Children’s Justice Center Month with a resolution passed Wednesday.

"The work you do is absolutely outstanding and absolutely necessary," Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan told Children’s Justice Center Executive Director Kenna Jones at a meeting at the Sheldon Richins Building. "And it’s difficult."

The facility in Heber City provides a comfortable environment for law-enforcement officials to interview children.

Jones said most of the cases involve sexual abuse.

Officers have utilized the Children’s Justice Center to investigate about 39 cases in Summit County so far in 2009, according to Jones.

The county contributes about $12,000 to the center each year.

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"We can’t tell you how much we appreciate that and rely on that," Jones said.

Sixty-four percent of the funding for the center comes from the Office of the Utah Attorney General, she said.

"A large part of my job is to find the other 36 percent of the funds that we need to keep the center running smoothly," Jones said.

Other regular donors include Wasatch County, the National Children’s Alliance, Park City and Heber City.

Schools, churches and Scouting organizations often call on the Children’s Justice Center to do group presentations, Jones explained.

"We really do get some positive feedback and we are really doing some great things over there," she said.

RAP Tax committee appointments

Tuesday is the last day to apply to serve on the Recreation, Arts and Parks Tax Cultural Advisory Committee.

Terms are ending for committee members Diane Walker and Dick Welsh. The two incumbents are expected to reapply.

The panel recommends each year to Summit County officials how money the RAP Tax generates should be divided among the area’s many nonprofits.

Instead of automatically reappointing Walker and Welsh, Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan insisted the county advertise the positions before filling posts.

"They may be the greatest folks in the world, but I still think the process should be followed of seeking candidates," Hanrahan said at a recent County Council meeting.

Assistant Summit County Manager Anita Lewis had recommended councilpersons vote to reappoint Walker and Welsh.

"People aren’t wanting to volunteer right now I don’t know if it’s the economy or whatever," Lewis said.

Meanwhile, having experienced board members is a plus, Lewis added.

"There is a learning curve," she said. "It takes them a while to really understand the process and the funding mechanisms."

"I think that’s just an argument for permanent incumbency," Hanrahan countered. "You need to at least see if other people are interested What if you’re the one person who was waiting to apply for this?"

Summit County Councilman David Ure agreed.

"They become stagnated and we don’t have a way of getting them off," Ure said.

Summit County Councilwoman Claudia McMullin said the county needed to advertise the positions.

Applications are available at http://www.summitcounty.org. For more information contact Summit County at (435) 615-3200 before the Sept. 22 deadline.