Bountiful Mayor Falls For UTA Junket (Update – Centerville)

Recently, I wondered why Bountiful’s Mayor Johnson had taken a sudden interest in streetcars.  I knew part of it was related to a trip he made to Europe.  I thought it was a personally paid for trip…how incredibly naive of me.  He was there as part of a UTA junket (using taxpayer funds):

The Utah Transit Authority spent at least $48,000 last month taking nine managers and board members, a business booster and three mayors on a weeklong tour of six European streetcar systems.

The itinerary: Vienna, Munich, Zurich, Nice and Bordeaux, with incidental stops in Monaco and Paris. The goal: peruse state-of-the-art trains unlike any used in North America and consider them as possible connectors that can share traffic lanes with cars to link with Utah’s expanding light-rail system. The travel tab: An estimated $3,700 a head — all from UTA tax dollars.

It’s a good thing UTA got it’s tax increase last March

Parting point: take a look at the talking points by the UTA’s John Inglish, in the above article, and compare to the Mayor’s statements in the Clipper article.

UPDATE:  I missed this:  Below the SL Trib article is a listing of those who went on the junket.  Centerville City Councilman Justin Allen (who is also a UTA board member, I believe) and Lane Beattie with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce  are a couple of other “Davisites” who went on the trip.

Note: the link to the SL Trib story is old and gone.  The full article (“Critics question UTA’s Europe trip”) is available here.


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