Three ballot measures already set for November
July 27, 2012
The General Election may be four months away, but the Summit County Council has already approved three measures to be placed on the November ballot.
After weeks of deliberation, the County Council voted unanimously to place a Snyderville Basin Cemetery District and two measures to temper the powers of the County Manager before voters.
According to Summit County Chief Civil Deputy Dave Thomas, the ballot question regarding the cemetery district will ask voters to create a Basin cemetery special service district.
"This isn’t placing a cemetery somewhere or giving the county the power to tax citizens to create a cemetery," Thomas said. "It just allows a district to be formed so the Council can move forward with appointing a board and deciding where a cemetery may be located and how to fund it."
If the County Council wants to create a tax or take out a bond to create a cemetery, they would have to bring it before the voters at a later date.
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Council member Claudia McMullen recommended they include a question on the ballot about how to best fund a cemetery to make sure Basin residents want one enough to support it through higher taxes.
Once the cemetery district is created, a board will be appointed by the County Council to decide on a location funding sources. The County Council has discussed placing the cemetery on the PRI open space parcel, west of State Road 224 below the Utah Olympic Park.
Change in Government
The two change in government questions that will be placed on the November ballot would limit the power of the county manager to settle large lawsuits and dispose of county property.
The first measure precludes the county manager from purchasing or disposing of real property that is valued at more than $500,000. The second would remove the county manager’s powers to settle lawsuits that involve more than $500,000.
According to Summit County Manager Bob Jasper, it is standard practice for him to bring land or settlement issues that involve that much money to the Council anyway, but it will help ensure that future county managers do the same.
"Because the voters gave the county manager this power when they voted on the new form of government a few years ago, the voters must also be the ones to take this power away," he said. "These changes would make sure no one takes advantage of their position and encourages the county to be more of a representative democracy."
Only Snyderville Basin residents will vote on the cemetery district measure in November. All Summit County residents will be able to vote on the change in government measures.