West Valley City Tries To Drum Up Community Support On Twitter the Morning Of June 11, 2014
@WVCUT twitter feed shows how it is trying to silence the public in association with their "deal with the devel" UTOPIA/Ooma.
After taking a few minutes in the morning, as I want to do, to check out what's going on on twitter, on June 11, I saw the following tweets from West Valley City and the following events happened.
I paged down to see this tweet by a local news reporter.
The following response to the reporters tweet is shown here.
I know this sounds backward, but I paged up to see the most recent posts and shortly after this they tweeted this and the reporter re-tweeted it, therefore the following response, which again, included the website www.protectingtaxpayers.org.
...tweet showing an additional response.
...Then a "quoted" tweet with a web-link, again directing viewers to check out the facts, also rapidly deleted from their timeline.
@WVCUT twitter feed showing the re-tweet that was later deleted from their feed.
@WVCUT tweet timeline showing "learn about their partnership with Ooma/UTOPIA" Public Utility. Their tweets were deleted soon after they received responses as to quash public opposition.
This screen grab show the rebuttal tweets to @WVCUT UTOPIA tweets, not visible now on their twitter time line because they deleted their original tweets.
This last screen shot shows the timeline from Tuesday June 10 to Wednesday morning June 11 when they made their announcement via news media and their WVC Live Feed. The post at 17 hrs. was re-tweeted by the same account that posted rebuttals encouraging residents to "get their ears up!" Unaware of what they were planning!
Now That West Valley City Has Been "Outed" For Deleting Replies To Their Twitter Feed, Let's Find Out WHY?
First of all, this all started in the late 90's early 2000 with then city manager John Patterson proposed Resolution No. 02.41 Interlocal Agreement to Form Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) the city counsel used 2000 census numbers to estimate costs in order to fund the effort and move forward. Thanks to the US Congress Telecommunications Act of 1996 CITIES could also establish themselves as cable, phone and internet providers. In West Valley City's case, they are partnering with a short list of current cable/internet providers and locking out the supposed competition the act of congress champions this action. Although city officials don't want to here the "government should not impede free market competition" argument, the conservative view is that it DOES work!
Utah Cities Sign On Despite Endeavor Being Plagued With Problems
Although West Valley City, and others, (16 to be exact, not the 11 others perport), have been funding the "problem plagued" venture with tax payer dollars and bond initiatives for years, the "black whole" UTOPIA has city officials "hook line and sinker!" Instead of cutting the line and letting taxpayers off the hook they bait the hook with claims of "FREE Phone Service" and other lies like, "UTOPIA/Ooma will save residents $20Mil. The facts are everywhere if you have an interest to find them.
Taxpayers Protection Alliance "Utah's UTOPIA Broadband, No Utopia For Taxpayers"
R Street "Utah Residents May Be Charged $20 A Month To Bail Out UTOPIA"
Heartlander "Utah Cities In Big Debt From Muni Telecom Network"
American Consumer Institute "The Costly Truth of Municipal Broadband Networks"
Americans For Prosperity "Utah Confirms Municipal Broadband Is No UTOPIA" And In their Publication Need To Know it notes the following..."UTOPIA has not once turned a profit and currently owes over $81 million in debt." (Click on the highlighted text "have experienced widespread failure" for the PDF in which the quotes is noted).
Daily Harold "UTOPIA Is Failing Orem Residents"
Coalition For The New Economy "UTOPIA, A Failing Government-Owned Network In Utah"
Although "The Government" Has Given The Green Light They Won't Stop Until They've Implemented It, Come Hell Or High Water!
You know how government works...or doesn't as the case may be? They've come up with a plan and they are going to "force" it upon the citizenry! My only explanation to implementing a failed program is, there's money involved. Experts say, "follow the money." And from the source links above, THERE AIN'T NONE! So why the heavy handed approach to "leading the horse to water?" Maybe it's to "save face." No one wants to admit failure! Despite YEARS of failure after failure, dollar after dollar WASTED, proof mounting from multiple sources, examples of failed plans from other cities and states (Keyword "Utah"), why can't city officials CUT THIS THING LOOSE? Although John Patterson of West Valley City painted the "UTOPIA Picture", Wayne Pyle has picked up the proverbial torch and started RUNNING with it! He could have been the "sane one" in the room like Rocky Anderson, and I rarely have a compliment for Rocky, but Mr. Pyle could have said, "we need to put a stop this madness now!" Although Salt Lake City did not buy a ticket on the UTOPIA Train they are still in many ways using the network. Maybe it's that Wayne Pyle (page 3), like other UTOPIA City Officials, are on the board of directors for this crony capitalist, government sanctioned debacle. Even George Washington Law Review (again keyword "Utah"), says, "all they need to do is put it in a pretty box and tie it with a bow and we'll take it!" Although they also make note of the fact that state law requires a "review study" and that municipalities just need to show the citizens how it will generate a profit...as noted before in the links, this is already dis proven. Maybe the money is in the Stock & Bond Market? The Utah Legislature has done it's own study and it too is seriously considering scraping the government sanctioned program. With only a 16% average participation rate, it needs 30% to break even, it doesn't muster enough support for it to continue. Thankfully all government programs are not for all people, like the Affordable Care Act, this is a black hole!
We Need Boots On The Ground, Citizenry Armed With The Facts!
As you heard in the Utah Legislature Audit Audio from the link above, they have a battle plan, we must have one too! City Leaders like Wayne Pyle (West Valley) and Paul Cutler (Centerville) continue to mislead the public on the UTOPIA venture. If these city officials are on the board I think there is a conflict of interest as they also serve in their cities, but since it's a government sanctioned entity we have to put up with that, but the citizens of these towns and cities should know the truth, like that expressed by Hans Anderson (Orem) and the Utah Taxpayers Association, "if it's in the yellow pages, government should not be doing it." So, why the "hard sell" by cities like Orem and West Valley? It must be the board salaries provided in part by the stimulus, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided approximately $60Mil in 2013, and maybe some of those bond funds provided by your tax dollars. We need to get our hands on these financial statements of these board officials and see the "motivation" with our own eyes! As Tom Marriott was approached by Pyle to resign as director of UTOPIA due to friction with UTOPIA City Officals, Pyle seems confident he can persuade WVC residents to swallow the poisoned pill. As evidence in West Valley City Council Meetings held recently, where Mathew Laker resident in District 4 points out as he addressed the council on June 10, 2014, "more vetting by the council and citizenry are in deed in order." After which Mr. Pyle pushed forward, without the written plan suggested by the legislative auditor in the 2012 audit requiring such, shooting from the hip with the mayor chiming in with ideas of what to do and what the City Led Meetings would look like, they cobbled together proposed Community Outreach Events labeled "Open House" in which the community would be invited in the months of July, August and September, to interact with Wayne Pyle and Council Members as advocates for the proposal. It was voiced by the Mayor and endorsed by Pyle, that the Taxpayers Association would NOT be invited, and that no opposition to leaving the endeavor to the "free market" would be entertained. They both denied the fact that participating cities would turn off your water for non-payment of your broadband utility fee documented here. There is a playbook for this type of community outreach, it's used by the Agenda 21/Sustainable Development NGO Operatives, it's called the Delphi Method. It's the "divide and conquer" method and ruling the "bully pulpit" psychological warfare.
Let's Muster Up and Fight This Battle Together!
Now, I don't know if you noticed in the WVC Council Meeting video but, there weren't a lot of citizens in attendance. Let's help people like Mathew Laker by doing our own community outreach and information campaign, or start a petition or participate in gathering signatures for this one. Those "Open House/Public Outreach" events the city is planning, let's have a citizen coalition present to combat the lies that are being perpetrated and propagated by our government officials. If they won't let you in the facility, set up outside where the public enters the event, on the public sidewalk if needed. Those meetings are for the community and we should not let government run roughshod over the citizens. Let's invite the Taxpayer Advocate Groups with a knowledge of the UTOPIA issue to attend to level the playing battle field with facts! Let's set up information centers outside business establishments to educate our fellow citizens on the issue, have a petition there for them to sign. (I run into these setups practically every time I go to California, and I, as an out-of-stator, are always welcome to participate in the national referendums they are drumming up support for). Make banners. Display signs, Fliers, Door Hangers. Use Social Media and network with fellow citizens to orchestrate your opposition. Contact your city officials and attend City Council Meetings and the like. These are your tax dollars folks. Being mandated by a Municipal Utility Fee, which you have to pay weather your using the services or not, and if you're like my elderly mother on a fixed income who doesn't even know how to use the internet, she will have to pay! This is YOUR government, "of the people, by the people, for the people", and we should not let their consensus driven agenda be force fed to us! Let's move! Hooah!
There is some disputation of exactly how many cities are part of the UTOPIA debacle. I found a map with 15 cities and wiki lists 16 cities. Find your city and contact your city officials before they advance the red line, or point of no return!UTOPIA has two types of members: pledging and non-pledging. Pledging cities have committed to cover bond payments should UTOPIA become unable to service the debt through subscriber revenues. Non-pledging cities have made no such commitment and will only see construction begin after the pledging cities are complete and if UTOPIA goes revenue positive.
- Brigham City
- Cedar City (Non-pledging)
- Cedar Hills (Non-pledging)
- Midvale (I recently found out Midvale HAS UTOPIA housed at Midvalley Sewer District)
- Payson (Initially pledging, chose not to back the bond refinance in 2007)
- Riverton (Non-pledging)
- Vineyard (Non-pledging)
- Washington City (Non-pledging)
- West Valley City
- Sutherland Institutes View
No matter how you spin it, fiber optic and the like are not necessary to run a city, they are not infrastructure! Former UTOPIA Executive Director full interview.