Letters to the Editor
Few of us have suffered the loss and tragedy that the Paget family has just endured. I am a 33-year resident of Park City and I am sad that the Paget family are strangers to me and to some of you. This is the great place we all call home, please let them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers by offering your moral and financial support at this very difficult time.
Assess the Assessor
On Monday, Feb. 5, Summit County Assessor Barbara Kresser was on KPCW expressing the county’s dismay at Summit Water’s latest court victory over them.
What concerns me is Ms. Kresser’s statement that she’s "bewildered and disappointed with the ruling." Ms. Kresser is an elected official who has repeatedly represented herself as a tax professional. As Summit County Assessor, she assesses taxes on each and every one of us taxpaying citizens. However, based on her own comments, Barbara Kresser clearly does not understand tax law.
It is simple. It is illegal for government to impose unfair taxes on its citizenry. Summit County officials, including Kresser, tried to do it to Summit Water Company and lost. According to the news reports, in its ruling in favor of Summit Water, the tax court cited the United States Supreme Court, which itself is very clear on the matter. Therefore, Summit Water won simple. The fact that Summit County’s Assessor openly admits she is "bewildered" by the ruling suggests to me that Ms. Kresser is not intellectually capable of interpreting tax law.
Ms. Kresser is not a tax attorney nor does it appear that she holds a degree in tax law. I suggest that as the taxpayers of Summit County, we question and reconsider Ms. Kresser’s professional qualifications to be County Assessor, i.e., we should have Barbara Kresser, herself, assessed.
I am increasingly grateful to be a customer of Summit Water Company, so I celebrate Hy Saunders and Summit Water’s continuing legal victories over Summit County government. But then I hear the complaints of my friends and neighbors who are stuck with Mountain Regional as their water company and feel sorry for them. I can’t help but think how great it would be if Bob Richer and the county would stop their attack on Summit Water, lower Mountain Regional’s outrageous prices and quit wasting taxpayers’ money on an obviously fruitless litigious vendetta against Summit Water.
Slow down, Brown
Title 17, Chapter 52 of Utah Code outlines the process that a county must follow in studying, voting upon and eventually adopting an optional form of county government. Once four years have passed following a vote on an optional form, counties can change back to a previous form or adopt a subsequent form by utilizing the process outlined in the code. A citizen’s petition representing 10 percent of all votes cast in the most previous election for governor can also commence a new ballot initiative after four years. In short, if the newly adopted form is unsatisfactory, either the county legislative body or a citizen’s petition can initiate the process again after 2010.
Newly re-minted Representative Mel Brown has submitted H.B. 348, better described as the "sore loser" bill. It would eliminate the council/manager option as an available form and allow approximately 1,000 citizens in Summit County to force another vote with the intent of reverting to the previous form before the newly adopted form is given a chance to succeed or fail. It also eliminates several key checks and balances — the ballot initiative, the study group, county council review, etc. Since Utah Code already outlines the process for counties to switch back to a previous form, or move to a different form, the bill does nothing except short-circuit an effective process, remove choice and accommodate Mr. Brown’s tantrum.
If Mel truly feels that a disgruntled minority should be allowed to initiate the reassessment of a settled issue in the short term, in fairness he should amend his bill so that 1,000 citizens can force his re-election before he gets a fair chance to succeed or fail.
No place to Park City
Just a note to complement the Russell family’s dilemma. I have lived at 10th and Norfolk for 21 years, and starting in 2002, it has been a non-stop construction zone. Maybe 12 new homes between 8th Street and 11th Street on Norfolk. For five years it has been a battle zone to park summer and winter and often impassable.
Our city has offered no relief; our real estate community has used it as a parade route offering unspeakable profits. The condition of the road is the worst in Old Town. Maybe add 200 inches of snow?
Anyway, they don’t need a walkability study, just a little parking enforcement and some respect, because soon it will all be built out and no one will be living there. They’ll be empty real estate investments.
Rotary Foreign Exchange
We extend many thanks to all involved in making the Rotary Foreign Exchange an amazing week. Our gratitude goes to Joe Conley, Andy Bernhard and Marilyn McSweeney for organizing this event. Many of these students had never seen snow before and were able to experience a day on the slopes thanks to Jans Mountain Outfitters and Park City Mountain Resort. A very special thank you goes to Lori Anderson, Kate Dougherty and Jill Pursell for opening their homes to these 13 students.
Leela Baggett, chair
PCHS Interact Committee
Safety and liberty in the night
Benjamin Franklin once said, "Any country willing to give up its liberty for safety, deserves neither liberty or safety."
Criminals are stupid, Parkites are not. We will not and cannot let them outsmart us. We are good people. New arrivals to our community need to know that they have come to one of the best places to live in these United States. The lady who was attacked in our town during Sundance must know how awful it makes everyone of us feel. She needs to know that all of us will all times do what we must as opposed to dumping this problem on the police and expect them to take on the entire burden. This does not mean taking the law into our own hands making things worse, no we will not do that. This is not who we are. We are a community of action, not apathy and fear.
When I lived in Tucson, Ariz., I helped establish an all-ages venue — for everyone, not just young people — although the majority of our patrons were teenagers. Just one of our accomplishments was the complete dismantling of a gang known as the "Westside Suicidals." They no longer exist. The Tucson Police and the City Council were more than impressed, they were proud of us. We contributed many other positive aspects to this community.
We help ourselves by helping others. I am not in the best small town in these United States at the moment. I’ve been traveling to different areas and states. I now understand how good we have it. Upon my return, I will propose to our great city ideas and programs that have worked to make other communities a safe place to be without giving up liberty or freedom. I will take up the cause, the fight to stay free, with the greatest weapons known to man…the mind and the heart. I beg you to please accept my apology for being a coward and not doing more when I should have. These stupid criminals don’t stand a chance against us as a community.
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Judy Horwitz writes in a guest editorial that Summit County voters must continue to support a vital source of funding for the area’s arts and culture institutions.