Letters to the Editor 09-11-19
Sep 11, 2019 | 331 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Change in Government

Editor: The Heber City Council on August 6, 2019, finally made Heber City’s Administrative Code legal under a law which has been in effect for over ten years. In 2008, the state legislature repealed the manager by ordinance form of government because it gave governmental powers to an unelected manager.

Heber City failed to make the required changes.The city attorney said that the manager by ordinance form was frozen in place by the 2008 legislation when in fact the section of code he used to support his opinion actually speaks to mayoral powers not a frozen form of government.

As the city council attempted to make administrative changes authorized by the new law, supporters of Mark Anderson falsely accused Alan McDonald of trying to usurp the powers of government. False and hurtful things were written in op ed’s, on blogs, and passed by word of mouth. A group was formed to help get rid of Alan and two other members of the city council who challenged Mark Anderson, Nile Horner and Benny Mergist. This group operated behind the scenes, chose candidates to support, they being a number equal to the open seats on the council, and coalesced a collection of willing block voters. In nonpartisan elections, as in Heber City, the use of this voting tactic is simply devastating to unsuspecting candidates and voters. The only real counter move would be to form another clandestine group to offset the advantage.

The strategy worked and they elected all three candidates who supported Mark Anderson. This group is still alive and active and have controlled the city council from that time until 2018 when they failed to get a majority. During this time they opposed every effort to even entertain a change to the legal form of government, the six member council as described in Utah Code 10-3b-Part 3.

Subsequently, Heidi Franco, Ron Crittenden, and Wayne Hardman passed an ordinance in 2018 that placed state code powers of the city council in the Heber City Code, but the mayor and city attorney refused to accept the ordinance because they said that the mayor got to vote on such legislation and all five of the council were required to put these powers in place without her vote. The mayor would not sign the ordinance. They have not made their case on these points and finally on August 6, the previous three council members passed an ordinance to give Heber City a legal form of government, signed by the mayor and placed into law by our city recorder.

Right now the same coalition of voters are actively engaging new inductees committed to only vote for their candidates. As long as such a group exists unbeknownst to the rest of the electorate, it’s technically a “cabal”; it's time for the cabal to come out in the open and announce their existence and their intentions. Do they want to return to the illegal form of government recently removed from the Heber City Code? We don’t know because their agenda and motivations are secrets except to those in the group.

All the people should choose our leaders and not a relatively small group of voters who have recently demonstrated that they can manipulate an election. Those elected from this group helped the city manager keep his repealed powers, diluted the powers of the city council, and illegally allowed the mayor an in effect veto that required 100% of the council to override.They turned the whole operation of city government over to a city manager who took advantage of their trust in him and who exploited their lack of rigorous political curiosity.

Please consider this: just vote for the one person you would most like to see elected, and no one else. Leave your other two votes unused. That would be a good choice. The advantage is still to the cabal, but that would help even things out, somewhat. To put a stop to it and the best choice, citizens must never give even one vote to a known participant in such a scheme.

A concerned citizen

Jerry Duke

Heber City

Disturbing a Peaceful Evening

Editor: It is Saturday evening and as is our practice my wife and I were sitting in our back yard looking at the sunset, enjoying one another’s company, and having pleasant discussions about life. Then we noticed that there was a disturbance so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talking…at all. Some person was using an old trick plane and doing loop to loops above our heads. We live near Lee’s Market and this pilot was doing tricks shooting smoke and making very loud noises (obviously the plane was engineered to make loud noises for effect) between our house and the airport for about 45 minutes. I love living in town and am certainly not the quietest person out there, but I felt like this was an affront on my right to a peaceful evening in my own backyard. At this time, a neighbor had a bunch of kids in the back yard and they were watching a movie on a large screen. I’m sure they couldn’t hear hardly anything. Another neighbor had a large garden party with dinner and some music which I’m sure wasn’t nearly as enjoyable with all of the plane “dive bombing” noise.

I am not complaining about noise in my neighborhood. I like living in a vibrant neighborhood where people do fun stuff in their yards even if others can hear it. That is part of living in a community to a point. My point is that the super loud plane noise made it difficult for me and my neighbors to use our yards for fun together type stuff. My understanding is that there are rules in place for pilots doing this type of thing which says where they are supposed to do it and at what altitude. I have to wonder why these rules are not being enforced? I feel that the airport and this kind of activity are an example of a few people detracting from the quality of life from the many. I accept that we have to keep the airport due to unfortunate past commitments made to the FAA, but that doesn’t mean that it should be that people living in town have to put up with such extreme noise pollution. I know this stunt flying activity overhead also regularly wakes up babies from their naps which I’m sure is very frustrating for all.

I’d like to ask the Heber City Council and Mayor Potter if they have a plan to make the airport more palatable for Wasatch County residents. From my understanding, simply enforcing the rules that are on the books would be a great start. Simply put, I want to be able to relax in the evening in my own backyard and be able to have a conversation with my wife while watching the sunset without having to go inside our house so we can understand each other.

Ian Harvey

Heber City

Compassionate Release?

Editor: Lon Kennard Sr., convicted child sex offender granted compassionate release? Compassionate release for him...and what about the victims? Any compassionate release for them and their memories? their shame? their questions? No! there is not one bit of compassion for them...how disgraceful of the judicial system to assume he isn't a risk to public safety because of his advanced age or medical condition.

Forty-three felony counts of sexual abuse? and he is out? Charles Manson was critically ill in jail and he remained there until his death! He murdered 6 people...And he did not get out of jail...Then this guy...who "murdered" the lives of these children only serves 8 years and is released for illness?

What is wrong with Judicial System in Utah? I am truly appalled; wolves in sheep’s clothing!

Barbara Pokrin

Wasatch County
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