Editor: I recently participated in a petition drive to challenge an ordinance passed by the County Council on May 16 which amended the general plan to allow a boundary change involving that large swath of land between Midway and Heber City. The nub of the issue is that the proposed change would allow an increase in housing density for a landowner and if done for her, would likely have to be done for others.
It’s an old saw that politicians love referendums (the result of a successful petition) until they are elected. It’s easy to understand. We elect politicians to represent us and to take on the day to day responsibilities of governing. No one would suggest a public vote over the placement of a stop sign. Utah is one of the first states to allow citizen-initiated petitions to place an issue on the ballot. It certainly should not be simple to do so or we would run into the California problem where well-financed initiatives can strip the legislature from its ability to act. Utah may have struck a good balance. As one who has participated in several, I can tell you that it is an enormous effort to collect enough signatures to place an issue on the ballot.
In the case at hand, enough signatures were collected and the issue should be on the ballot this November. When I spoke to voters about signing the petition, I always made clear that their signature was only to place the issue on the ballot. Once that was done, then both sides of the issue had an obligation to better educate the voting public.
This issue has been dragging on and now we are 3 months from the election. Regardless of the outcome of the election, two members of the County Council (Mr. McPhie and Mr. Petersen) will not be returning. They will have but two months left in their 4-year terms after the election to take any further action on this. For that reason, I’m suggesting that the most honorable path forward for the council is to defer further action on this matter until the new council is seated.
Fund Raiser for Niece
Editor: I am holding a Zumbathon fundraiser for my niece, Claire Kepsel on August 11th from 11am - 1pm at the Wasatch Rec Center. My sweet little niece has brain cancer and is beginning treatments next week. The family doesn't have insurance so we are trying to lift their financial burden a bit. The Zumbathon is going to be a lot of fun. We have eight amazing instructors coming and will be dancing for two hours. I've also been collecting some fantastic raffle prizes worth around $2,000 total. The support and love we've received from the community has been overwhelming. It costs $10 to get in and the raffle tickets are $1.
Here is a link to the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/965358186978034/
Street Name Change Costs Residents Money
Editor: We were informed by letter received on Friday, August 3, 2018, of the name change for 100 North with subsequent changes to house numbers and residential addresses. As constituents who will bear the responsibility for these changes, we feel it necessary to request that the Heber City Council reconsider Ordinance 2018-28 and the parameters for renaming streets to honor hometown heroes.
We are deeply concerned about the burden placed on residents who will be required to file a change of address for all business and private accounts, land titles, family trusts, and business and personal contacts. These changes come at a monetary cost as well. For those with home businesses, the simple redirection of mail for accounts could take up to one year. We believe that it is possible to post an honorary name above an existing numbered street without changing the existing individual addresses on the designated street.
As long-standing residents of Heber City, we recognize the importance of preserving our history, and we support efforts to recognize individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to the outstanding military, cultural, economic, and artistic heritage of our thriving community. We want to honor these individuals in a way that will preserve their stories.
In terms of historical preservation, the name change of existing streets negates the intent of the proposed changes. The Heber City General Plan (29) designates the Historic District with its numbered grid which has existed since the 1880’s. Perhaps the installation of plaques along Main Street which tell the stories of our hometown heroes would be a meaningful alternative. In lieu of renaming existing streets, we hope it might be possible to name streets in new developments.
We sincerely appreciate the open dialogue and immediate action taken by the Heber City Manager, Mayor Kelleen Potter, Heidi Franco, and other members of the Heber City Council for their efforts to amend the ordinance while still honoring our hometown heroes.
Glen Hicken and Laurie Turnblom
Old Wasatch High School
Editor: Do you know where the “original” Wasatch High School stood?
I venture to pose that many in the area will respond - “ ... the structure that was torn down at the corner of Main Street and 600 South (across from McDonald’s).
However, if you are seventy plus and went to high school in Heber, you most likely graduated from the FIRST high school (built around 1912-1913) in the Valley.
The answer to my question is: Heber ‘s first high school, football field, and seminary building stood on the site of today’s City Park!
I would hope this is a bit of Wasatch County’s history worth preserving with some type of recognition.
Therefore, I am seeking a “few good people” who would be interested in forming a committee to explore the possibility of placing some type of marker in the City Park denoting the location of the 1912-13 Wasatch High School.
If you graduated from the “original WHS” and would be interested in pursuing a historical marker, please contact me at: email@example.com
This would be an exploratory group - discussing types of marker designs, cost, city regulations, etc.
P.S. The “old Central Elementary School” (location Heber City Police Department headquarters) should be remembered as well.
Margaret Turner Gooch
WHS Class of 1964