Guest Editorial |

Guest Editorial

It is not how much we promise that is important, it is how much we can deliver!

The general overall view is that the Summit County manager would run the county government in a more efficient, responsive, professional and accountable manner.

Commendable, yet at the very least ambiguous terms.

So what are these requested executive powers as performed by a county manager?

1) Exercise supervisory and coordinating control over all departments of county government. Control and direct the prosecution, defense and settlement of all lawsuits and other actions to which the county is a party.

Summit County Commission response as per posted letter:

a. "This power is limited under Utah Law and commission cannot grant to the manager executive powers which are not currently held by the county commission."

b. "Does not support any proposal which would have the manager supervising the elected officials in the day-to-day operation of their offices or performance of their statutory duties." This would include controlling and directing legal matters

2) Exercise administrative and auditing control over all funds and assets, tangible, of the county.

Summit County Commission response as per posted letter:

a. "The commission was unanimous in rejection for the county manager replacing the auditor as the county budget officer."

b. "Instead suggests working with the auditor, perhaps on the currently existing budget committee."

3) Appoint members of boards, commissions or other bodies whose members are appointed by the county.

Summit County Commission response as per posted letter:

a. "Unanimous concern over the manager being responsible for appointing persons to fill vacancies on various boards the county has implemented."

b. "Commission strongly feels any board appointment should come though the County Commission."

Observations and solutions:

It appears the new council will have to deal with the same issues our commission is dealing with now; we are just adding another layer of expensive government.

1) What will this new form of governance cost the county?

According to the County Auditor the new form of governance with a county manager could cost $1 million.

2) Can the new form of council better represent my West Side interests or cure the unfortunate divide between Western and Eastern Summit County?

The council is elected at large from the entire county, quite different from Wasatch County, and does not guarantee any better representation for western Summit County.

a. Stop unprecedented development?

Land use issues, including planning and zoning are the legislative responsibility of the commission or council.

b. How about the unacceptable traffic congestion into Park City, and especially at Kimball Junction?

State highways, including S.R. 224 cutting through Kimball Junction, are subject to UDOT adherence. However, a comprehensive master plan for traffic flow, initiated by the county commission, has been devised and subject to implementation.

3) Recently l was asked what the biggest downside to approving the new form of governance would be.

Please note, this new form of governance will not go into effect for over two years. I would have to say, besides the cost and confusion, it will be the disappointment the community will feel one year from now, even two years from now, when nothing has really changed! And for that matter, in four years when the limitations on this county manager are evident.


Vote NO on Proposition 1. Fact is, the commission has the ability, authority, and budget, right now, to hire a competent and qualified assistant(s) to coordinate the limited activities that would have been assigned to the new county manager.

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