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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Some encouraging news out of Wasatch County

Some encouraging news in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.

The Wasatch County Council voted 4-3 to let a group of apartment residents out of the boundaries of the proposed town of
Hideout, thereby killing its incorporation.

It also voted 6-1 to table the incorporation of the proposed
town of Independence, after
voting to let eight properties in the area
out of the town. The vote was tabled until next Wednesday to give the county time to ask the state to redo its population count for the town.

This may very well provide the ammunition some of "Powder Mountain's 100" (100 minimum residents required to incorporate) need to ask Weber County to "opt out" of the incorporation.

Now this is where the story takes a turn to the darkside.

Following the meeting, Wasatch County Attorney Thomas Low told the Deseret Morning News that he met last week with Utah Speaker of the House Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, and lobbyists from Hideout and the Utah Association of Counties concerning Hideout's annexation. Low was asked to tell the council not to delay the town's incorporation to ensure it wouldn't be stopped by a bill pending in the House that would change
corporation law, he said.

Did you catch that? The speaker of the House and lobbyists attempted to strongarm Wasatch county by instructing them not to delay the town's incorporporation to ensure it would not be stopped by pending legislation, i.e. SB 25.

The tribune reported:
But Council Chairman Steve Farrell, who voted to reject, said the law is unclear. And, in an apparent reference to Utah House Speaker Greg Curtis, he expressed his belief that the county was being "blackmailed."

Back to the Deseret News,

Residents who knew of the meeting among Curtis, Hideout
officials and Low were perturbed at Wednesday's meeting.

"He came here and intimidated our county
said Wasatch resident Julia Connery. "It makes us

It gets worse. Sadly, one of the main lobbyists for HB 466 and against SB 25, the bill to correct HB 466's inequities, is the Utah League of Cities and Towns.

One of the Utah League's lobbyists, Jodi Hoffman, just happens to also be an attorney representing the Independence incorporation.

On the topic, the Deseret News states:
Jodi Hoffman, an attorney for the Independence incorporation, said she helped
draft the controversial 2007 bill in her role as lobbyist for the Utah League of
Cities and Towns. She also said the league doesn't think her representing
Independence is a conflict of interest because, in part, the league never voted
to support the 2007 bill. Also, Hoffman said she didn't meet with the
Independence petitioners until months after the bill was signed into law.

Are you beginning to notice a common thread of corruption and conflicts of interest in our legislature? Hoffman wears the hat of lobbyist for the Utah League of Cities and Towns, but represents a developer attempting to use the flawed bill. Speaker of the House Curtis uses strongarm tactics to bully Wasatch County into hurrying along an incorporation petition.

To the north, Cache Valley Senator Lyle Hillyard supports HB 466 and also just happens to be a lawyer representing Powder Mountain. And Powder Mountain gets their girl, Jamie Lythgoe, on the Weber County Planning Commission. She incessantly denies any conflict, but when Powder Mountain bullies Weber County residents through incorporation, she is among the first to sign the petition for incorporation.

This is playing on both sides of the fence in its purest form.

Click here or on the signature button to sign the Petition.

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