Let legislators have it
The Summit County Republican and Democratic parties will host a legislative town hall meeting on Feb. 16 to provide residents with the chance to ask questions and express concerns about upcoming bills and issues.
Utah Sen. Allen Christensen (R-Ogden), Sen. Kevin Van Tassel (R-Vernal), Rep. Joel Briscoe (D-Salt Lake City), Rep. Melvin Brown (R-Coalville), Rep. Brian King (D-Salt Lake City) and Rep. Kraig Powell (R-Heber) are all scheduled to attend and answer residents’ questions. A town hall meeting was also held last year and Henry Glasheen, head of the Summit County Republican Party, said it was a success. He is hoping to continue the tradition.
"It is a great opportunity to talk about the legislative session while it is in session," Glasheen said. "Last year, over 150 people showed up for the meeting to express their concerns and listen to what the legislative issues are that may affect Summit County residents."
With over 20 bills in the Legislature this year that deal with school funding, Glasheen said this is a good time for residents to tell their representatives how they should vote and what decisions they are, and are not, happy with.
Summit County Democratic Party Chair Glenn Wright said the legislators will be able to tell residents where the state is headed and explain any possible new laws.
"There are a lot of bills right now regarding energy and collective bargaining that may have a big impact," Wright said. "Residents can come with questions they have and get the opportunity to have all of their representatives answer it. Usually people only get the chance to do that if they go down to the capitol and find their representatives."
Wright said it was difficult to coordinate with all six legislators’ schedules and he is hoping residents take advantage of the opportunity to have all the representatives in one place.
"This year, we have seen the legislature talk about government at the lowest level but they seem to only mean that when it comes to the federal government intervening on a state level," he said. "The state seems to have no problem intervening on a county or local level. So this is our chance to tell them how we feel."
Powell and King do not currently represent Summit County but their districts will be redrawn to include portions of the county beginning in November.
The legislative town hall meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Sheldon Richins Building.
Anita Lewis, Brent Ovard and Travis English were influential in shaping how residents interact with the county.