Letters to the editor
November 5, 2006
to handle growth
Summit County is a fantastic place to live, but we have many issues facing us. From 1990 to 2000, Summit County grew 91.6 percent. In 2002, we were the fastest growing county in all of the United States. And we’re expected to double in size again over the next 20 years. With this tremendous, continuing growth, we need a government that can handle this growth and make it smart growth. Moving to a five-member council with a manager will help Summit County deal with this growth and create smart growth.
We have great commissioners now, but they are overworked and overburdened. We need to give them the right tools to deal with growth and all the other issues that come from growth, such as traffic and crime. Changing the form of government will give them the tools they need and give them time to focus on planning for the future of Summit County. I chose to live in Summit County, rather than any other place in the world, and I want to raise my family here. We need to vote YES on 1 to handle growth and keep this such a wonderful place to live.
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Vote for KathyDopp for clerk
For more than two years, Kathy Dopp has worked tirelessly to inform Utah decision-makers about the problems and limitations of the diabolical Diebold electronic voting machines (to use Tom Clyde’s apt phrase).
Election officials from around the country have complained about the lack of reliability of these machines and about the extreme difficulty (if not impossibility) of conducting audits and independent recounts. Computer scientists who have gained access to them have shown how insecure they are and how easy it is for someone to permanently and undetectably corrupt them.
Despite the efforts of Kathy and others, Utah chose to sign an agreement with the company whose president vowed to do everything in his power to help Republicans win the White House in 2004. To make matters even more worrisome, the key parts of their machines aren’t even manufactured in the U.S. These facts certainly don’t give one confidence in the company entrusted with one of our most precious rights.
I encourage you to vote for Kathy Dopp for Summit County Clerk. She has committed to doing everything in her power to ensure that appropriate vote audits are preformed and that our voting machines are equipped with a reliable paper backup that will allow an accurate independent recount.
Dave Hanscom, Professor Emeritus
University of Utah School of Computing
It’s what we want in the world. Do we have it in Summit County? Those of us who live outside cities — about 22,000 of the total 35,000 county residents — have an obligation/opportunity to fulfill that guarantee in two ways. First, vote for Bob Richer. If he’s not re-elected, we 22,000 will have no representation in Coalville, our only government.
That is the short-term decision.
Second, for the long term, we need to update our form of county government. Increasing the size of the commission from three to five elected members, a proposal no one argues with, will help ensure representation for the 22,000 majority.
Vote for Proposition 1 to take us into the future. Those opposed to both Bob and Proposition 1 are a small minority but historically turn out to vote.
We are the majority. Don’t be silent. Vote for Bob and Proposition 1. It’s your future.
‘Less is More’
The election next Tuesday for county commissioner is a referendum on the county’s growth management system for the Snyderville Basin. This election will determine whether we stay the course of less density and higher quality development, or cave into pressures to increase density and minimize developer responsibility to the community. Our quality of life and the vibrancy of our resort economy may well hang in the balance.
The "less is more" approach is a win/win for both the community and landowners. With less density and the provision of community amenities such as parks and trails, land values have soared, but a few landowners don’t "get it" and have chosen to buck the system and have gone to court seeking to overturn the very standards that have created the higher values. Commissioner Bob Richer has been instrumental in creating and defending the "less is more" approach to growth management. A vote for Bob is a vote for preserving and enhancing our quality of life.
Don’t be apathetic — go to the polls next Tuesday and vote for "less is more." Vote for Bob Richer for County Commissioner!
Basin Planning Commissioner 1995-2004
Being an avid lifelong swimmer, I vehemently OPPOSE the Basin Rec $12 million proposition on Nov. 7. Most of that bond will be for a leisure pool for three- to seven-year-old patrons. We already have three wonderful existing pools in the area — the Racquet Club, Silver Mountain, and Ecker Hill — and two are taxpayer supported. The population of this area cannot support another pool, especially since they almost never generate revenue.
I attended the open house on Oct. 23 at the Basin field house and was told by their board members and supporters, "Ecker Hill is not open during the day." I correctly stated their hours and that babies and young children can come during the day, at night and on weekends. I was also told, "this pool would be a big money maker," and it was compared to the Kearns facility. I have been to Kearns, this is nothing like it in size or population. I am no expert, but I know this pool will cost more than it will take in (probably around $300,000 per year). Talk with any pool director anywhere — it will be a huge money pit. So Basin Rec voters (in zip code 84098), don’t be fooled into voting for a bond that will not give everyone something we can all use. Tell the board you want a gym or a climbing wall or trails — not a pool. After age seven, your youngsters will not be utilizing it and the operating costs are just too ridiculous to keep up year after year. Vote "NO" for their bond. We can get a better facility at half the cost.
Snyderville Basin resident
Basin Rec Bond
The Basin Rec District is asking Basin voters to approve a $12 million bond Nov. 7 but they haven’t told us exactly what we’re voting for, other than higher taxes. It’s generally for parks, trails and the Field House Phase 2. When asked (at the Open House on Oct. 23 and 24), they couldn’t tell us specifically what they planned to do with the trails or parks components. They don’t know exactly what Phase 2 is. Is it a leisure pool plus a gym? A leisure pool plus a lap pool? Is it something else? At the Open House, they displayed three possibilities and then said it might be one of those or it might be something else. Well, if you absolutely want a gym but not another pool, voting "Yes" doesn’t mean you’ll get a gym. You might get two pools! If you absolutely want a leisure pool but not a gym, voting "Yes" doesn’t mean you’ll get a pool. You might get two gyms and/or a climbing wall! If you want a lap pool, voting "Yes" doesn’t mean you’ll get one. You might get a leisure pool plus a climbing wall! Get the picture?
What we know for sure is that voting "Yes" will get Basin residents, the 84098 zip codes, higher taxes. But, in keeping with the thread of uncertainty, we don’t know how much higher because the bond is for building the facility only. We have no idea (at least Basin Rec hasn’t told us) how much it will cost to run whatever it is they build. Wet facilities are more expensive to operate than dry ones.
Where is the detailed cost analysis? Who has conducted a feasibility study? What clientele and markets are to be targeted by this "mystery" facility, thereby, justifying its building costs? Has anyone addressed operating and administrative costs in addition to the construction costs?
If you’d prefer to "know before you spend," where your tax dollars are going, then you should vote No and encourage Basin Rec to present a complete proposal for voter consideration in a subsequent election.
Yes on Prop. 1
As a resident of Summit County, I care deeply about Proposition 1. It has a tremendous impact on our future.
I was involved in city and county government since the l970s when I chaired the Salt Lake City/County Government Committee of the Salt Lake Chamber, worked on change in form of government for Salt Lake City and county, and later served as mayor of Salt Lake City. I had experience working with both commission and council/manager forms of government, and have reached several conclusions.
First, it’s critical to have separation of powers. It’s a conflict of interest to have the same people write the laws and also administer them. That’s a basic principle of our federal and state governments, and of most local governments.
Second, as our county grows, the time for professional management is upon us. A professional county manager, as in Wasatch County, can spend full time doing day-to-day management so that the council is free to spend time looking forward to what vision we should have for the future — as well as addressing constituent needs.
A professional manager can bring together various departments and independently elected officials for the common good, and find budget savings and greater efficiencies in the process that more than make up for any additional cost they might incur.
Third, as to a county manager might having too much power — nonsense. The manager serves at the will of the council — they can hire and fire.
Fourth, having five council members vs. three commissioners will provide better representation of thought, dialogue and opinion. Currently, with three commissioners, all it takes is for one commissioner to get one other commissioner to make a decision — that is too much power in too few people.
Our present commission does a good job in light of the limitations they have due to the present form of government. We’ve outgrown our present form, and it’s time to grow with the times.
A vote for Proposition 1 is critical if we are to move forward!
Fiscal impact of
change in government
I am responding to the recent editorial submitted by Ken Woolstenhulme regarding the possible fiscal impact of the proposed change in government for Summit County. As a member of the study committee, I would like to add a few thoughts.
Commissioner Woolstenhulme is very plain spoken. I have known him my entire life and have always appreciated his candor and integrity. At our first committee meeting in February 2005, Ken stated he wasn’t happy that our committee existed and he would oppose any recommendation brought before him. He has been true to his word from the beginning.
He referred to the final recommendation of the committee. The public should know that our committee was charged to submit an initial recommendation to the commission, review comment, then submit a final recommendation and implementation plan. The initial recommendation DID include compensation levels for council and manager. We set the initial council salary at $17,083 without benefits, and the manager salary at $88,333 plus benefits for a total compensation of $115,563 in 2004 dollars. Salary and benefits for the sitting three-person commission totaled $213,444 in 2004. Our initial recommendation for the new form was cost neutral to the current form.
On Oct. 3, 2005, our committee received comment in a letter signed by all three commissioners. We were admonished to remove salary recommendations from our report since the authority to set salaries lies solely with the commission. However, we were mandated by state statute to include an initial salary for the council in our final recommendation. Our committee chose to set the initial council salary at $1, with actual compensation to be set by the sitting council in the public domain.
Ken notes that, "the actual cost to the county is unknown." Costs are "unknown" solely at the request of the sitting commission of which Commissioner Woolstenhulme is a part and because of a letter signed by all three commissioners, including Ken. The cost of the new form will be set by a council that includes Mr. Woolstenhulme, so he will certainly have a say in how much it costs.
for school board
We support Michael Boyle for the Park City School Board. As do most parents, we have high expectations of our children and our schools. Our school board must create a school system that will meet and exceed our high expectations, while successfully rising to the challenge of increasingly complex state and federal mandates, a rapidly growing English- and non-English-speaking population, difficult staffing and personnel issues, and rising costs. We believe that Michael Boyle has the training, experience, commitment, ability and passion to serve on the Park City School Board.
Bill and Julia Loughlin
I have found it very interesting to read some of the hatred spewed forth from the opponents to Sheriff Dave Edmunds re-election. Most of them are complaints about trivial things like the color of the Sheriff’s Office vehicles, or the style and color of their uniforms, but what I find most ironic is the complaints from those who have made choices that were in direct contrast to our laws, and then criticize the Sheriff’s Office for the consequences they face. Perhaps we would do well to remember that a sheriff is charged with enforcing the law and not winning a popularity contest.
Sheriff Edmunds is a good man and I am proud to support his re-election. He has been and remains dedicated to keeping our communities safe and establishing that Summit County is not the place to go if you are interested in committing crime.
I have heard and read much recently about the pros and cons of the Recreation Bond measure, details of what is to be built, related costs, impacts on other recreational facilities and the school district — it is enough to make anyone lose track of the bottom line: Recreation is fundamental to our community and the Parkite lifestyle.
Year-round recreation is one of the many reasons my family and I moved here. Time spent at the ski resorts, parks, trails and even in the field house allowed us to meet new people and to quickly feel included in the community. Recreation also attracts our family and friends to visit. It is part of our everyday life.
Funding additional recreational amenities will be money well spent, especially in new facilities like the Recreation Center expansion with a leisure pool. It will increase our recreational options during the winter. Business hours will be more convenient than pools and other indoor facilities currently operating around school schedules. Plus the location will be more accessible – I am not the only parent that is tired of driving 20 miles to Kamas! Knowing every last detail of how the Recreation District will develop this facility isn’t critical. They have developed wonderful facilities in the past and I expect the same wonderful results assuming the bond passes.
Recreation distinguishes Park City and the Snyderville Basin from other communities across the country. It identifies our lifestyle. It brings residents together, promotes health and fitness. It also appeals to visitors and tourists who fuel our economy. The Recreation Bond is an investment — an investment for us, and an investment in us (the community).
Recreational improvements paid for by the bond will enhance the lifestyle opportunities for residents, tourists and most importantly, our children, for generations to come. Remember the bottom line& recreation defines our community! Vote YES for recreation on Nov. 7!
Snyderville Basin mom
for school board
In Precinct 5, we urge voters to choose Michael Boyle for school board. Michael is a strategic thinker. He is a graduate of the Leadership Park City program and has been involved in the community professionally and personally for over 15 years. He has done his homework, attending school board meetings, meeting with principals and teachers and talking with other parents. A vote for Michael is a step toward achieving our school district’s goal of becoming one of the top ten school systems in the nation.
David and Lisa Actor
I served on the Basin Recreation Board for four years, from 2001 to 2005. I am writing to inform voters about the history of the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District (SBSRD) and past bonds approved for recreation.
SBSRD started in 1996. They passed bonds in 1995, 2001 and 2004. Funding contributed to Ecker pool and fields, construction of Trailside and Willow Creek parks, construction of 100-plus miles of trails and trailheads, recreational open space purchases, contributions to the ice rink and construction of the Recreation Field House.
Each bond approval followed a process. Needs were identified. Money was secured through a bond. Community needs were assessed. Public feedback helped define decisions. Design and construction proceeded.
The 2001 bond identified approximately $4 million to be spent on a "future recreation facility." Voters didn’t know exactly what they were getting. SBSRD thought it would be a pool. A 2002 needs assessment identified a field house as the No. 1 demanded amenity. SBSRD delivered. Open-space bonds are similar. Parcels are identified and purchased after the bond passes. Decisions are made in the public’s best interest, yielding the most value. SBSRD is no different.
SBSRD knows what will be built if the $12 million bond passes: Pool, trails and park improvements, plus additional indoor activity areas. Needs assessments will be conducted. Public input will be gathered. Decisions will be made based on public feedback. New facilities will be provided, BUT ONLY IF THE BOND PASSES.
Voters need to consider SBSRD’s reputation and past performance. They’ve been instrumental in building the community’s recreational opportunities – arguably the best in the country. SBSRD provides opportunities for all ages. They build quality facilities. They lan diligently. Spend money conservatively. Manage and operate responsibly. And ALWAYS integrate public requests.
This bond is an opportunity to allow SBSRD to continue what they’ve so successfully done in the past – deliver quality recreation opportunities and facilities. Secure the funding. Vote YES for RECREATION. Tell SBSRD what you want. SBSRD will deliver.
Basin Resident and
Past Rec Board Member
Our most precious
In a democracy the most effective tool of citizens is their right to vote!
The most effective way for all of us to "support our troops" and honor their sacrifice is to be sure to exercise the vote, which the men and women of our armed forces are so valiantly fighting to defend in Iraq and Afghanistan. The greatest disrespect of their sacrifice is to not vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The arguments have been made and almost all of us have made up our minds. The issues for those of us living in Summit County are real and well defined. The candidates offer clear choices.
When all the votes are cast and counted, I am hoping that we will have a new form of government and a re-elected county commissioner in the person of Bob Richer.
Yet, what I am most fervently hoping for is that more than 40 percent of us will take the time and make the effort to cast the most precious possession of a democratic society OUR VOTE!
Regardless of your choice or persuasion, won’t you please be there on Tuesday.
for the future
On Nov. 7, the residents of Park City will be presented with an incredible opportunity at the voting booth. We can choose to collectively fund the preservation of hundreds of additional acres of open space in our community. As we all know, preserving open space directly enhances the quality of life that we as Parkites hold dear.
Swaner Nature Preserve encourages voters to head to the polls and say ‘Yes’ to the open space bond. Whether your primary concern is recreational opportunity, aesthetic appeal, water quality, wildlife habitat, peace of mind, or one of many other great reasons, your individual vote will make a difference. Park City has been a pioneer in open space preservation, and our past two open space bonds have been put to great use. As a rapidly growing resort town, we need to continue to preserve our valuable open space and the many benefits it offers our residents.
At Swaner Nature Preserve we seek to preserve a piece of our beloved open space as well as the human connection to the natural landscape which once dominated the valley. This $20 million open space bond is an opportunity for Park City to remain committed to our natural surroundings and all they offer.
Swaner Nature Preserve Board and Staff
I am writing to urge you to vote "For Open Space" on Nov. 7. Throughout my 32 years in Park City, I have watched our town grow from near ghost-town status, with a couple of struggling ski areas, into a world-class, mountain resort community. Much of the growth, though painful at times, has helped to stimulate and support many new and very positive cultural and recreational offerings for both residents and visitors.
But when growth surpasses that illusive tipping point, lifestyle may suffer and both residents and guests may become disenchanted. Further preserving as much of our remaining open space as possible, we can continue to enjoy the positives and still maintain our quality of life in this wonderful community.
Park City YES on Proposition 1
Seven of us on the Form of Government Committee spent a year selflessly considering the right government structure for Summit County’s future. The non-partisan committee tirelessly interviewed current and former Summit County commissioners and department heads. We personally interviewed officials from numerous counties that have changed their government forms. (By the way, almost universally these other county representatives said five was the optimal number. Many had gone to seven or nine members.) Our recommendation was thoughtful, well researched and just plain made sense.
We knew from the outset that there would be opposition, most of it tied to current county employees. Ken Woolstenhulme declared that he didn’t want a change — before we had done a whit of research or made a single recommendation. Many current department heads were immediately negative. They don’t want new blood in Coalville. Some don’t want a boss on the premises, checking their ins and outs.
What is disheartening is the cheap, sensational rhetoric they are employing. They bandy about outrageous claims about excessive costs, legal restrictions and the like.
Summit County residents should not be taken in by this self-interested politicizing. The proposed government has been scrubbed and scrutinized. It will result in better management, better personnel and better decisions.
Enlightened voters should vote YES on Proposition One.
Cunningham for School Board
I urge voters to vote for Charles Cunningham for school board. I am well acquainted with his family — his wife Gretchen and especially his daughters , Shannon and Rebecca. I know his children to be bright, highly motivated, compassionate people. I know Charles has an incredible resume of past experience and success before retirement here in Park City, but the success I see is in his family.
If he can bring some of that success to our school board with his optimism, vision and enthusiasm for hard work, it will be a great boost for all Park City families and children. Vote for Charles Cunningham, school board.
The courage to run for office
In these tough times, I reach out and congratulate those individuals who run for office, your courage is amazing. Time after time the West Side of Summit County is run by the minority voters. We get out again and again and steer the ship. So if you don’t vote you have no voice. I also have to thank Brody Taylor for having the courage to run a write-in campaign against Sheriff Dave Edmunds. We need a dialogue in a position that can be a popularity contest. Thank you Laura, Bob, Steve, and Brody, for your strength and interest in representing us.