2011 Bountiful City Council Candidates (With Incumbent Data)

This is going to be a short post.  Basically, there is only one candidate (Ernie Cox) that is even willing to look at cuts related to the city budget.  All other candidates are incumbents or former incumbents who have supported various taxes and government intrusions into the private sector (be it recreation centers, RAP taxes, forced recycling, transfers from the city power company to cloak tax rates, and streetcars etc).  Based on the above link from the Standard Examiner, Cox seems to be the only fiscal conservative of the bunch who may, at least, provide for some debate or opposition at council meetings.  This may be important as the Mayor and council continue to pursue stuff like streetcars.

Based on data passed on by a reader, an opposing voice is sorely needed:

Voting Record of the Sitting Bountiful City Council

Year

Total Motions

Motions Passed

Total Unanimous

Total Aye Votes

Total Nay Votes

% Yay Votes

2011

176

176

176

814

0

100.0%

2010

202

202

200

926

2

99.8%

2009

172

172

172

793

0

100.0%

2008

210

209

204

986

9

99.1%

4-Year Total

760

759

752

3519

11

99.69%

-The last time voting was not unanimous was 7/27/2010 (Moss voted Nay on Bountiful Lumber Development motion)

-Voting was completely unanimous in both 2011 (to date) and 2009.

-The last time a motion did not carry (pass) was 12/9/2008–nearly 4 years ago (Knight, Holbrook, Tolman voted nay on

Extension of Sunset Provision)

*source: Minutes from Bountiful City Council Meetings

Over a four year period (2008-2011), the current city council votes the same (yea) 99.69% of the time.  I would expect city councils to have relatively high agreement percentages given the higher proportion of ‘gimme’ issues they encounter but only disagreeing 0.31% of the time seems pretty excessive.

Finally, here are the absences are as follows (includes late arrival or early departure which results in missed votes):

Moss 8
Myers 7
Knight 5
Tolman 4
Holbrook 3

Food for thought when voting this year.

Advertisements

Skating with Condescension

The skate park suffered a defeat (for now). The Bountiful City Council voted 3-2 against the skate park site.

This occurred after an, apparently, well attended meeting where opponents (mostly near the proposed site, I gather), made their views known.

Sounds like a good demonstration of public involvement but the Bountiful Mayor apparently didn’t appreciate this outpouring of civic responsibility (from the article):

The mayor himself made some of the most adamant comments. He mentioned that only one person at Tuesday’s meeting was present when the council approved the budget for the skate park, though there was plenty of information about it.

“The reason you’re not informed is your fault,” Joe Johnson said. “We do know what makes a successful park.

“The reason you’re here tonight is because it’s in your neighborhood,” said Johnson. “I find it hard: ‘It’s OK, but not where I live.’”

One attendee noted that the Mayor raised his voice and his mannerisms and tone was very condescending.

While I’m sure it’s frustrating to have a public monkey wrench thrown in after a lot of work, it is not uncommon. As a matter of fact, often, the public pressure can (and has) stopped projects/policies after they’ve been approved. Ultimately, our political systems were designed for the public to hold the trump card no matter when the decision will be (or was) made.

Further, the argument that these people weren’t there from the start is disingenuous. While the idea has been around for a few years, looking back even at my blog, you’ll notice that the new site location wasn’t chosen until after September 11th. Affected residents did, indeed, respond in a timely manner.

I would also hope that elected officials everywhere realize that the public is slow to respond and, often, not as informed as they (the public) would like. Most do their best, but family responsibilities and work considerations (especially when your work doesn’t involve political positions) typically take 66% of time. The other 34% is mostly spent sleeping. It takes people a fair amount of time to get informed and then adjust their busy schedules to react. Frustrating? Yes. Reality. Yes.

Anyway, the battle may be over, but the war may not be won given Councilman Pitt’s statement: “Time and time again, people are for it. It’s just a matter of where,”.

Sounds like the council could be hearing a few more last minute comments…

Skate Park A Done Deal

Just an update on the skate park.  Special interests win again.  Despite the fact that there is indeed a skate park in North Salt Lake (about a ten minute drive from anywhere in Bountiful).  I have also been informed that the skate park is rarely used.

Anyhow, in yesterday’s paper the Bountiful Mayor stated: “We are committed to building the skateboard park, but we have to find the right location”.

So that’s the end of that.  The city will take our money to fund someone’s project.  Yet another example of government involving itself in projects outside of the proper role of government.  At this point citizens can only write a final letter expressing their disapproval of the project for the city council to essentially disregard as no further public comment will be taken on the issue.

Return of the Skate Park

They’re baaaack.

The Bountiful City Council is apparently going to make another special interest group happy and spend everyone else’s money on a pet project.   The project, this time, is a skate park.

As expected Councilman Pitt is leading the charge.  It seems totally impossible for him (or the council) to say ‘no’ to anyone (especially if they persistently whine).  An  August 10th article states:

After a number of weeks of uncertainty — even among members of the Bountiful City Council — it looks like the council is still committed to building a skate park. Only the big question now is, “Where?”
So it looks like it is a done deal and peoples hard earned tax money will be used for another dubious “quality of life” issue which will benefit the few at the cost of the many.

In the same paper the above article was it, there was, additionally a letter to the editor from a kid (I hope) whining that the city lied and didn’t build his skate park.  After bleating for several paragraphs, Keith concludes:

I am tired of the hassle of making trips out to Park city, Sugarhouse, Layton, or Clearfield to use their excellent skate parks. I want Bountiful city to make good on their word, and build a great skate park, without waiting until I am 50 years old and am too old to use it.

Well Keith, if it is so important, why didn’t you and your group start fund raising instead of taking all that time getting the city council to blow money taken from low-income families, the elderly, the disabled and the vast majority of hard working families who will never use your precious park?