Letters to the Editor
April 29, 2009
After having read the article on Mountain Regional receiving an upgrade on their water bond, I have to quote John Stossel and say, "Give me a break!" I am a Mountain Regional customer and, along with countless others, we all know how they "impose" their supposed "fiscally conservative practices." They gouge their customers with overpriced rates. Their "strong cash reserves" came not from tightening their belt but from whipping their customers with it. Shame on you, Mountain Regional! You shouldn’t be proud of your new bond rating, you should instead be embarrassed by the manner in which it was acquired.
Justice Court judge was chosen unfairly
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In my opinion, the county’s new Justice Court judge was chosen unfairly. Let me explain.
A nominating commission consisting of five county residents nominated three people from among 45 applicants. The County Manager appointed the new judge from that list. This method, as applied, was unfair for two reasons.
First, the commission’s list of three nominees included two residents of Salt Lake County. As one might expect, the County Manager chose the Summit County resident. Although a state statute allows a county to consider applicants from "an adjacent county," that law’s intent is to ensure that small counties find qualified judges. For example, Daggett County, with less than 1,000 residents, must have the option to reach beyond its borders when no county resident is qualified or willing to serve. However, Summit County, with a population of 36,000, needs no such option; it is large enough to fill a judgeship from its own residents without considering applicants from adjacent counties. unnecessarily including two non-residents on its list, the commission appears to have forced the County Manager to appoint the county resident; that is, it placed him in a position where he must choose the county resident or risk criticism for appointing a non-resident as the County’s judge.
Second, the nominating commission failed to interview all qualified applicants, and thereby failed to properly vet applicants for the job’s most important qualification. Unlike other judges, Justice Court judges need not be lawyers; a high school diploma is all the law requires. The job’s most important qualification is "judicial temperament," which the application papers defined as "patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, firmness, understanding, compassion and humility." Such qualities can only be determined by interviewing applicants. I know several qualified people who applied for the position and whom the nominating commission failed to even contact.
For these reasons, I believe the nominating commission has done the county a disservice.
Stock photo used to protect privacy
Thanks so much to Park Record newspaper city editor Jay Hamburger for the story entitled "Professionals priced out; worker housing advocates show how tough it is" and accompanying sidebar "Who is Nancy the nurse?" in the April 25 issue. Running these stories helps our community to better understand affordable housing, much like how our Park City Board of Realtors Affordable Housing Committee’s Community Service Campaign, "She Can Save Your Life, But She Can’t Live Next Door" educates the community on the need and benefit of affordable housing in our community.
In reference to the Record’s "Who is Nancy the nurse?" sidebar, please see additional information below:
The sidebar focused on the fact that the photo used in the community-service campaign is a stock photo and therefore Nancy is not a real resident of Park City. After contacting several actual Park City affordable homeowners about participating in the campaign, we chose to use a fictitious "Nancy" out of respect for the privacy of our constituents and to avoid exploiting them. However, "Nancy" and her situation is representative of the community that our affordable housing serves.
Using stock photos is a common, much-accepted best practice throughout the ad industry. "Nancy" is as real as the mom and her daughter, "Sally," in The Park Record’s current Mother’s Day promo ad or the couple dining in one of your paper’s restaurant ads.
Thank you to The Park Record for sponsoring our community-service campaign, the Record’s production staff for helping to layout the ad/poster, and again to city editor Jay Hamburger for the story and sidebar.
Member, Park City Board of Realtors Affordable Housing Committee