Letters to the Editor
Thanks to Mr. Duyker, whose guest editorial asked for more open public discussion on the proposed change in county government. I agree that this important voter referendum would benefit from more sharing of information and less inflammatory rhetoric. As a member of the seven-person citizen’s committee, and in the spirit of that objective, let me talk to a few of the thoughtful and relevant issues raised by Mr. Duyker:
Our committee spent an entire year studying the ONLY four forms of government allowed under Utah law. We concluded that a five-person. part-time county council and a professional manager was the best structure to help our county address the current and future challenges, including issues of traffic, water, crime and growth. State law allowed our committee to present only one option to the county commission. The county commission then voted to put the question to the electorate and Summit County citizens now get to vote on this proposal.
As for the role of a professional county manager: The primary function is to support the five-person county council, to free them from day-to-day administrative tasks so they can engage more fully in the policy-making function. The manager is hired by the council and can be fired by the council. The manager cannot supervise the elected county officials in the performance of their legally defined duties. The manager’s duty is to fulfill the will of the council, ensure that the policies enacted by the council are actually executed and work in conjunction with all department heads, both elected and appointed, to create the most efficient government possible. (A detailed description of the manager’s duties appears in section 9.06 of the study committee’s report, which can be found on the county’s Web site.)
We can implement this plan with absolutely no tax increase: The current county commission has provided written confirmation, backed up by a report from our county auditor, showing how this plan fits within our current budget with no tax increase. (A copy can be found at http://www.SummitStepsForward.org.)
Now is not the time to look backwards it’s the time to step forward.
Vote for open space
I am writing to urge all Park City residents to vote YES on open space on Nov. 7. If you have any doubts about continuing the uses of these open space bond funds, just imagine Park City with:
1. Houses right down to S.R. 224 without the McPolin Barn and meadows from the Catholic Church to the Richards Ranch;
2. A Smith’s Food store on the corner of S.R. 224 and Payday Drive instead of the Huntsman Gateway Park;
3. Rossi Hill, April Mountain, Boot Hill, Masonic Hill all fully developed instead of the portions acquired and protected as open space.
Please look at the Mountain Trail Foundation 2006 Trail Map for the blue cross-hatched, "Protected Open Space" and consider the effect if these private lands had been developed instead of protected. There is no U.S. Forest Service or government-owned land that will stay open space in and around Park City. We must buy it from the current private owners. To do that, we must have open space bond funds ready.
Be sure to register and vote YES on the Special Bond Election Nov. 7.
Miners Day breakfast
On behalf of the parishioners of St., Mary’s Catholic Church, I would like to thank the community for supporting our annual "Chuck Wagon Breakfast" on Miners Day. As usual, the weather was wonderful and the turnout a great success.
We are proud to be participants in an event that celebrates the heritage of our great town. A special thanks goes out to the Rotary Club who spent a great deal of time organizing and carrying out the whole day’s events. Also, thanks to Wasatch Bagel Cafe, Dan’s Foods, The Grub Steak and Wasatch Brew Pub. See you next year.
Kevin and Kathy Ostler, chairs
Chuck Wagon Breakfast committee
Victory plan in Iraq
President Bush has a clear plan for victory in Iraq that begins with training Iraqi forces so they can defend their country and fight the terrorists. We are making tremendous progress towards this objective.
Earlier this year, Iraqi forces led the fight in clearing out terrorists during the crucial battle of Tal Afar, with U.S. troops in a supporting role, and every day, Iraqis are taking more control of the situation on the ground. Withdrawing from Iraq, as some Democrats in Washington propose, would send a dangerous signal to our enemies that we cut and run when the going gets tough. President Bush is offering a clear strategy to win, not a political quick fix.
Carol S. Blonquist
A definition of treason
Free speech and opinion are the rights of all Americans. To slander or criticize a fellow American for having an opposing opinion to the president, now that’s treason. It is unfortunate that this president and many of his followers are so uncomfortable with our form of Democracy.
An outsider’s perspective
To an outside observer, this area is extraordinarily beautiful. What once appeared to me a dry and nearly parched landscape — as I was always comparing it to wetter climes — now appears to me a haiku of elements that create just the right amount of vegetation, to ease away all of the chatter of the mind on a hike through the hills. Sage and Lupine provide the incense for a solitary walk over soil that ranges from salmon to a deep cabernet in tone. There always seems to be an occasional breeze that bends and rustles the cheat grass and flutters the aspen leaves against an unending, unpolluted thalo blue sky. Something so very rudimentary in its simplicity somehow requires only the same from its guests.
However, on each trip out here from the already congested East Coast, I see and hear so much building, and so many neighborhoods spreading across these hills and valleys, it’s alarming. The amount of growth, at a certain point in the visit, makes one long for the staid and unchanging East Coast again — if for no other reason than to escape the constant ring of circular saws and nail guns in the distance. Not knowing what your policies for growth and conservation consist of — as a tourist — I only hope you take a moment in time to reflect on what you have, and maybe slowly rein in the extraordinary rate of growth, in hopes of a long-term balance with this unusually beautiful landscape, and thereby keep this place special.
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“History buffs will tell you that Park City suffered many devastating fires fanned by canyon winds,” writes Andrea Barros. “It could happen again if we do not reduce wildfire fuel.”