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County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

A trail planner in the Summit County Community Development Department was laid off in August as officials trimmed budgets in a recession.

Trish Murphy had worked with Summit County as an independent contractor for several years. She worked at the County Courthouse about two days per week and received about $15,000 annually from the county.

"She was disappointed and wishes she could have stayed," Summit County Community Development Director Don Sargent said.

To balance this year’s budget the Summit County Council ordered department heads to eliminate as many independent contractors as possible, Sargent explained.

"As we looked in our department, we have several of those," Sargent said about employees who are not full-time staffers. "We had some temporary people we eliminated and we decided that [Murphy] was one that we probably should eliminate."

He insists a team of county planners will continue the work Murphy started on a trails master plan for the East Side of Summit County. Murphy was not immediately available to comment.

Fair Boundaries meeting

Officials from the Fair Boundaries group will meet Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Santy Auditorium in Park City to explain why they believe Utah needs an independent redistricting commission.

The issue could wind up on the 2010 ballot if roughly 95,000 signatures are collected. Signatures are needed from most of Utah’s 29 counties before Utah voters could decide whether to form an independent redistricting commission.

Fair Boundaries suggests forming an 11-member, nonpartisan redistricting panel with no more than four members from the same political party.

The Legislature redraws boundaries for state and federal elections after every census. Fair Boundaries has until April to gather the signatures needed to place the initiative before voters in November 2010.

The Santy Auditorium is located at 1255 Park Avenue.


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