It ain't Denmark but it still stinks! The famous quote from the Shakespeare's Hamlet, I think, depicts this situation.
This is one time when the popular misquotation—"Something's rotten in Denmark"—is a real improvement on the original. But you ought to be careful around purists, who will also remember that the minor character Marcellus, and not Hamlet, is the one who coins the phrase. There's a reason he says "state of Denmark" rather than just Denmark: the fish is rotting from the head down—all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy."
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, (former Senator 2009-2013), through prodding the Utah Legislature, constructed a bill forcing Salt Lake County residents to decide once and for all if they will remain independent. Salt Lake County Residents will participate in a, "Mail In Ballot Only" election, November 2015 in which County Islands and Townships will have to choose whether to join an adjacent city or remain an entity of Salt Lake County. Governor Gary Herbert signed the 236 page bill (SB-199) which passed the Senate (25-5-1) and the House (68-6-1) into action March 30, 2015. Salt Lake County's first notice to the public was for June 3 and the 30th was the second public notice, of which I received none. These hearings where to discuss boundaries only, and it has been on the "bullet train" to it's destination ever since! They waited until September to approach the residents with their "sales pitch". No public comment was allowed at our meeting at Eastmont Middle School in Sandy. Hand-written questions only! Can anyone say "Delphi"? We have the Utah Legislature to thank once more for "saving us from ourselves" as all government is afraid of "organic government" percolating from the bottom up! They are, metaphorically, "putting a gun to the heads" of county residents to commit to annexing while putting ourselves out of their misery of thinking we have an ability to come up with a plan of our own. Before this bill was passed residents could come together and petition the county for annexation into a neighboring city, now they are forcing the remaining islands to decide once and for all this November. And In my case, cramming to do research from the late date of September 18th! This effects our personal property rights and should not be taken lightly, but the county is banking on it! There are many reasons I see for them coming up with this scheme, some of which I'll mention here.
As you may or may not know, Mayor Ben McAdams serves on several Un-elected Boards and Councils of Governments (COG), including Envision Utah (Board of Directors) and Wasatch Front Regional Council, Smart Growth America, Transportation For America among others. He clearly endorses and advocates for United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development Smart Growth policies. For example- He's been seen sporting a bike helmet in a photo op where he reveals the county put up $700,000 in grants to ensure bikers safety on county roads, (that's money raised from motorists mind you). I think it's his agenda to get the county, including cities and townships, locked up to deliver them as prisoners to the global governance goal of control of every one and every thing! He, and his cronies, have to cement this plan through planning and zoning, which was required language in the bill. I have seen him giddy as a school girl "skip" to the podium as he opened the meeting for Wasatch Choice 2040 in which he praises Andrew Gruber and the regional plan. "Celebrate the end of the beginning", you say? Maybe a subliminal meaning there?
Where the CPA is concerned, I do feel that the islands are expendable as far as the plan goes. The county could care less about them, with the exception of Willow Creek. Willow Creek residents, from what I heard in the public hearings on boundaries, has been courted by Sandy City for many years trying to get the high income area to annex into Sandy. The county, I feel, initiated the "divide and conquer" technique in order to force residents to choose between Sandy and recently incorporated Cottonwood Heights. Township? Nope, that's out! It's rumored that both cities are in need of property tax revenue, and Willow Creek would provide that. Single family private property owners are the bread and butter that keep cities humming, although a member of our panel made it sound like we are mooching off Kennecott and Snowbird! "Might I remind you, the residents built the towns." At any rate, I think this is why the county did not include the islands in the middle of the map in any of the committees and discussions in hopes that we would get mad and join an adjoining city. I'm irate mind you, but I don't want to be a part of a city that is "hook line and sinker", neck deep in the global agenda, and is waging war against private property rights and individual sovereignty (Sandy City). They can't make the people comply with UN Agenda 21 (Re-branded 2030 Agenda or Plan 2030) if they aren't a part of these cities. They have their operatives in the townships, islands are expendable. At this point it's resist and fight to the death!
Now to the process. The assistant mayor, who ran the meeting, (Kimberly Barnett), bragged about having over 100 individuals participate in the process, but when you consider there are 160,000 property owners effected that is less than one percent! It's a pittance! They should be ashamed not BRAGGING about it! The mayor said, "they advertised for positions on the committee", yet I could only find this where he describes an effort to, "bring peace to a decades-old fight", the old Hegelian Dialectic at work. And if you watch this, it's almost laughable they couldn't find anyone to participate in an episode of Trib Talk who wasn't "in house", and where no viewers submitted questions. In short there was a limited few on the committee and no one represented my island, one being a Salt Lake Tribune Employee, makes you wonder about the rest of the appointments. During this process the committee should have been communicating with the members they represented and I didn't hear one word about it. Aimee Winder-Newton even admits to "rushing the process so they could control the message". The first time I heard about it was when I received a postcard in the mail informing me I would be voting on the measure in November by mail in ballot, and that a community town hall would be held in a little over a week. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded! I scrambled to find out what in the heck was going on. In my search I found that Zions Bank was awarded the contract to do the financial study. I found the report online and several things puzzled me. Why Zions Bank? Why not private property rights groups or tax watch dogs? Why did Zions not do a complete and comprehensive comparison? Why did they "cherry pick" a handful of line items to feed the public? I found it interesting that in their report each comparison found a cost benefit to annexing to a neighboring city of an average $115.00. I did ask a very detailed question at our town hall about Zions Bank winning the bid, but was not given a honest answer. I asked, "who competed for the contract and why was it awarded to Zions Bank"? Kimberly Barnett, assistant mayor, basically said, Zions won! We were informed at our town hall September 28, 2015 that we would receive a pamphlet in the mail before the election in order to provide us with the information to make an "informed decision". I told Aimee Winder-Newton after the meeting, "I already printed mine off online"! I did it as part of my research, and as far as I'm concerned it's not worth the paper it's printed on! And-I've already received my ballot and not the pamphlet! And that's the plan, to not give residents enough time to investigate and time to protest. The town hall meeting I attended was a "let's control the agenda so these people don't get any ideas on their own", and "let's go through the motions so we can say we did...this is a 'done deal' these people are going to Sandy City" type attitude. There was a table set up at the front of the auditorium with a podium. Three mics on the table and one at the podium. As far as I remember there were only two council members there, the mayor and assistant mayor, county attorney rep. someone from public works I think, two Zions Bank personnel and other staff members. One woman was practically laying on the table she was so bored! John Hiskey, council to Sandy City Mayor, was summoned from the audience to answer questions from the residents. No other neighboring cities were represented. There was a "supposed" panel of our peers, (2) reviewing our questions before they were given to the assistant mayor for panel answers, but she was monitoring the whole process scrutinizing the hand written questions and instructing them as to what to do with them including altering them with pen or pencil. Kimberly Barnett did not ask the questions as they were written, and when clarification was needed, she still did not invite us to address the panel members via microphone. Ms. Barnett and Zions Bank presented power point presentations as "tokens" to the process in which Kimberly Barnett spoke to us like kindergartners and Zions bank tried to make their incomplete report look like they had spent more than an afternoon putting it together. And if you've ever looked at your property tax statement, it wasn't even close in comparison. I wonder how much we paid for that study? This whole thing is a sham! As was reported at the June 3rd Public Comment Session,
"I don't want to become part of the debt of Cottonwood Heights or Sandy," said Michelle Greer, one of many Willow Creek residents who expressed a desire to keep their community intact and remain part of the unincorporated county.
"Hands off, bozo," added Cindy Deckard. "I am adamantly opposed to the division of our neighborhood and annexation to either of these towns. We don't need to encourage building their mayors' kingdoms." ~ Salt Lake Tribune
Awe...music to my ears!
Although our Community Town Hall at Eastmont violated Utah Code I managed to pull out my phone on the fly to try to capture it for the public. In order to publish it I created a video, which I will display below as soon as it is uploaded. Leave it to the citizens to do what government won't, as it should be. Town Halls are also supposed to be a time for the politicians to LISTEN to the citizens, but at this one all they wanted to do is have us ask questions, they did not want dialog! I won't cover every little detail in this blog post, but I will post links for information that will help you catch a glimpse into their involving, or not involving the public, whatever the case may be. If you want to listen to the public hearings on boundaries check this link (June 3 & 30 audio). I also made a video of the comments I intended to make at the County Islands Community Preservation Town Hall, which the public was barred from speaking at, it also gives some insight into other topics I did not include in this post that I think are important to point out. There is also an effort to petition the County Attorney Sim Gil to have a more comprehensive report done, another thing we'll pay double for for sloppy contract work. Remember Syncrete? In short, at this stage in the game, I want LESS government not MORE! We do have a choice...a choice we are FORCED to make, but "I" for one, am voting to eliminate a level of government...the city level. I like the idea of the citizens percolating their own ideas, not being spoon-fed by politicians even if, "it's a messy process our founders left us", quoting Mayor Ben McAdams. That's the problem with psychopaths, they want to make decisions for others, always unaware of how their decisions effect them. I hope the Islands will Stand With Me and Vote To Remain A Salt Lake County Island this November and help support private property rights and an independent citizenry.
Well, I hope I've "cleared the air". When something stinks, pull out the air freshener. Enjoy the links and the video!