Editor: I am constantly amazed and delighted to see the dedicated, consistent and hard working volunteers that continuously gather for our trail care days.
Countless numbers of trail lovers and biking and hiking groups show up and pitch in to help build,manicure and generally enhance the conditions of our ever growing network of non motorized trails in Wasatch County.
Wasatch Trails Alliance is an all volunteer group of community members who believe the development of non motorized trails will enhance the quality of life our residents, entice tourism and contribute to the economic development of Wasatch County.
These goals could not be achieved without our treasured volunteers and I would like to publicly thank each and every on of them.
As a new Heber resident, I am delighted to see this amount of energy, enthusiasm and optimism from these cherished volunteers and the Wasatch Trails Alliance.
Trails connect people, places and the land. Thank you volunteers!
Bring UNPlugged Back Next Year
Editor: Congratulations to the successful summer program "Unplugged." Thanks to Heber City councilman Eric Rowland who came up with the idea, also Kari McFee of the Wasatch Wave, Rachel Kohler and police chief David Booth. For all those major sponsors who made it possible; Heber City Corporation, Rotary, Intermountain Healthcare, RCD Creative, Ignition Graphix, Heber Valley Tourism, and Heber City Police- Thanks, Thanks, Thanks! The backbone of the program was the individuals and businesses who sponsored the Brag-Tags.
The young people participated in large numbers and were probably amazed at the variety of things to experience and learning our own valley. The kids were well behaved as they visited the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum and we enjoyed their enthusiasm. The museum had more than a thousand visitors this summer, many who participated in the "Unplugged" program. Special thanks to our sponsor The Nielsen Clinic.
'Twas fun! How about a rerun next summer?
DiAnn Duke Turner
Election Season All Summer Long
Editor: Doesn’t it seem like the Heber City election season is lasting all summer? Even though the primary election ended over five weeks ago, a few candidates have decided that the citizens need to view their campaign signs every day from June to November.
No matter that the city has a reasonable sign ordinance that allows campaign signs to be displayed for 45 days prior to an election; no matter that all other candidates, in all previous elections, have promptly removed their signs after each election; and no matter that 99.9% of the citizens dislike seeing the clutter of campaign signs in their neighborhood for 6 months straight; the sad truth is that some candidates feel that their need to advertise their name is more important than following the law or putting the good of the citizens first.
One candidate has even threatened to sue the very city he seeks to lead, if his signs are removed by the code enforcement officer. Now that’s a bold way to build trust! My opinion is this – if it’s too much work for a candidate to take his signs down after the election is over, then it’s certainly going to be too much work for him to serve as an elected leader for the next four years.
To all candidates - show us that you care about following city ordinances, that you care about the beauty of the city, and that you care about leading by example. Follow the city rules on campaign signs. If you can’t show some basic respect for the law and for your neighbors, then you likely won’t get their vote in November.
From a frustrated Heber City Citizen,
Editor: It has been an interesting week. So many things have been said and done. I would like to give a quick explanation of what the referendum is trying to accomplish. This referendum is asking to have an almost 80% tax increase for fire service put on the ballot in 2014 and let the voters decide if this is what they want or don’t want. Any other claim about what the referendum is trying to accomplish is not contained in the language of the referendum. The referendum states as follows:
“Shall Wasatch County Fire Resolution No. 13-10 passed by the Wasatch County Council acting in capacity as the Wasatch Fire District Board be referred to the voters for their approval or rejection at the regular general election to be held on November 2014?”
If you are being told anything other than trying to get this on the ballot, you may want to check your sources and their agenda for saying anything different.
Take Down of Signs
Editor: I have observed that some candidates in the current Heber elections have posted campaign signs since June, leaving them to clutter the city for three months so far.
Once the election is over in November, these eyesores will have been posted continuously for five months.
Heber City code restricts erecting signs earlier than 45 days before the voting date. Signs must be removed by the Monday following the election. Since one mayoral candidate withdrew, there was no primary election. Mayoral campaign signs, therefore, should have been removed in July, not to be reposted until mid September.
As a citizen and former member of Heber City Council, I question the motives of a candidate who will leave campaign clutter for more than five months, in direct violation of the city codes he or she is sworn to uphold. Since June these signs have served as nothing more than annoying yard litter. I can see no other motive than self-gratification or laziness.
Some might argue that campaign sign restrictions violate First Amendment rights of free speech. A basic understanding of the law holds that First Amendment rights are not absolute. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that free speech may be restricted if there is a “compelling public interest.” Laws restricting campaign speech have been upheld in the courts. Ordinances restricting signs have been inconsistent; however, I believe a candidate should either adhere to Heber City’s existing ordinances and their underlying intentions, or move to change them openly, rather than blatantly disregard them.
This lingering signage concerns me, furthermore, because it puts the city staff in the almost impossible position of either enforcing its ordinances, or ignoring them from fear of infuriating future city officials. Such actions may set an alarming precedent. If a candidate is willing to disregard basic sign restrictions, it might be assumed that he or she will disregard other laws and ordinances as deemed convenient.
I believe candidates should defer to city ordinances in the interest of the law and the communities they serve. I am unsure of whether the signage reflects ignorance of the law, or simple disregard. Either way I am skeptical of any candidate who will put his or her personal agenda before public interest.