Councilors accept invitation to UAC sponsored meeting
Two Summit County councilors are scheduled to attend a meeting Wednesday with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and representatives from several other counties to discuss the formation of sub-associations within the Utah Association of Counties.
County Council Chair Roger Armstrong and Kim Carson, who has served on the UAC Board of Directors for the last two years, agreed to represent the county’s interests at the meeting in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County Council member Aimee Winder Newton’s office is organizing the meeting.
In an interview with The Park Record, Newton said she took the helm after she noticed how frustrated her colleagues were with the perception that UAC tends to focus on rural issues more than urban issues.
Newton said this first meeting will be an attempt to establish a caucus with representatives from first and second-class counties along the Wasatch Front. The mid-sized counties in the Wasatch Back, including Summit County, would establish their own caucus.
"If we can find the commonalities with the counties that are similar to ours then I think we can kind of change how things are done and maybe have more influence at the conference over certain topics," Newton said. "My original idea was to do a Wasatch Front caucus, but then I had Tooele and other counties ask to be invited as well."
The eight counties that have been invited, including Summit County, are: Utah, Davis, Weber, Salt Lake, Tooele, Cache and Washington. Rep. Eric Hutchings and the governor are scheduled to discuss several legislative issues, including the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, Medicaid expansion and mental health issues. The meeting is being sponsored by UAC.
"I didn’t want this to be something to replace UAC," Newton said. "This isn’t a matter of us not being happy. We are doing this in conjunction with UAC and we want them to be involved.
"This is just to get counties of similar sizes together to discuss common interests," Newton said.
Newton said Wednesday’s meeting will be the first of a series of meetings that will be held, she hopes, on a regular basis.
As of Thursday afternoon, neither Carson nor Armstrong had received the agenda for the meeting.
Carson said she is looking forward to the opportunity to meet with the various representatives of the counties to have a discussion that is "not so focused on public lands."
"We need to make sure that we have a forum to share what is going on and what is important in our counties so we can focus on those issues," Carson said.
The meeting, which has not been tagged as a public meeting, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Salt Lake County Government Center.
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