For months, we have been asking how the the rezone or incorporation of Powder Mountain would benefit anyone, other than the greedy owners and developers. We have even been asking for input from the owners in the form of valley wide meetings, similar to those hosted in Cache Valley, or at least written comments to our forum. To date, we have received neither.
However, Terri Stearman, neighbor, friend and one of the "Powderville" Incorporation petitioners (in favor of Powder Mountain Incorporation), has graciously responded to our pleas.
While we fundamentally disagree with the Stearman's and their support of such an immoral (and we think unconstitutional) move that removes citizen's basic voting rights, we appreciate the input to our open forum.
Read the other side of the story, our humble readers. And be sure to leave your comments at the end of the post.
March 4, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
My husband and I read the articles and comments on the Ogden Valley Forum about twice weekly because we like to keep updated on what is happening in our community. I am totally dismayed that you seem to only publish thoughts that are protesting the incorporation of Powder Mountain as a town (not Powderville as many cynical comments contend). I feel sorry for Erin Stokes who spoke up and revealed her reasons for favoring the incorporation. She has been personally attacked as “one of those greedy realtors, damn them to hell”. Other comments have been made that suggest anybody who is in favor of the incorporation ignorant or “in the pockets” of Powder Mountain and if asked will serve on the town council as puppets of the owners of Powder Mountain. Have any of you tried to gather information from those of us who do favor the incorporation of Powder Mountain town? We are here in the community. Personally, I am the type of person who tries very hard to avoid confrontation so I usually don’t rant and rave about issues, even those that are important to me. I respect my neighbors and have no ill feelings toward any of them who may disagree with me regarding this issue or any others. I am a registered Republican but do not throw barbs at members of other political parties who disagree with me on many issues. I grew up a Catholic and am currently a non-practicing Presbyterian. I absolutely do not harbor hate or disregard for people who believe differently from me.
The Powder Mountain proponents have been referred to as “former friends”. This is so sad. Cannot someone disagree with a person, friend, neighbor or relative for fear of the relationship being terminated? This way of thinking reminds me of the elementary school playground clubs of “We hate boys” or “We hate girls”. I would like to think that we have outgrown those childish games where we believed you play the game my way or you go home.
The incorporation of Powder Mountain is not without difficult hurdles. I understand the concerns of citizens in the Ogden Valley. Nobody will be affected more regarding the steep, winding road that leads to the resort than we do. We live about 50 feet from that road on the way to the ski resort and yet we can see advantages to the development of Powder Mountain as a four-season resort. Many people will be able to STAY on the mountain when they come to visit rather than driving back and forth to/from the Ogden area in order to have a nice meal, go shopping or enjoy a nice evening with friends listening to live music and maybe even spin around the dance floor a few times with the people they love.
How many seasonal employees are forced to drive back and forth in able to reside in reasonably priced homes or apartments? If I remember the laws of Utah, every town that incorporates must make available some low-cost housing. I’ll bet there are quite a few lift operators, mechanics, food service personnel or ticket sellers who would jump at the chance to reside nearby!
There are many reasons to endorse the incorporation of Powder Mountain. I ask you, the protesters, to inquire around your neighborhoods and find the people who disagree with your stance. Please stop using derogatory names for the people who disagree with you. And please consider “change” in your lives. I know that change is tough. It can be very scary. I was an Air Force wife for 30 years. We made major moves either across country or overseas ten times. When we bought and moved into our “retirement” home here in the valley eight years ago, it was the 19th home for us. It was painful to leave behind family and friends. It was, at times, excruciating to always be the new kid on the block. Of our three children, one attended high school in two different countries, not including the U.S.; one attended high school in two different countries and in the state of NH. Our third attended high school in three different states. Do you think change was easy for them? But they are all grown with families of their own. We recently asked them how they felt about all that moving and the hardships that came along. All three of them said they wouldn’t have had it any other way. They learned so much about the world rather than only the small area where they grew up, like I did when I was raised in Colorado. They learned about so many different cultures and were able to see first-hand how fortunate we are as Americans. Change can bring opportunities that often would not have been available otherwise. Change can be about making new friends, as well as keeping old friends. Change can bring the opportunity to learn a new job or craft or to become someone you never dreamed you could be. So please try to embrace change or at least look at the positive experience change can be for all of us.
I would like to make one more point. When my husband’s name was mentioned as one of the original petition signers for the incorporation of Powder Mountain, in an article a while back (I believe it was the Standard Examiner) it was mentioned that he was a Powder Mountain employee. Let me clarify that he is a seasonal employee at Powder Mountain as a national ski patroller. He does it because he loves to ski and he loves to help people. He does not do it because he makes big bucks and is “in the pocket” of Powder Mountain owners. It is his part-time, fun thing to do after serving in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years. So please end the insinuation that he is one of the owner’s good old boys who will cater to their every whim. I, also, am a seasonal part-time employee at Powder Mountain working in the ticket sales department. The commute is quick which means we don’t spend a lot of time or energy commuting to/from a part-time job. It gives us the opportunity to meet lots of people, both local and non-local. But these jobs DO NOT afford us the opportunity to line our pockets with Powder Mountain money!
If the incorporation does go through and my husband or I are asked to serve on the town council, you can be assured we will discuss and vote in favor of what we believe is the best thing for the town or community not the owners. Local community service is in my husband’s blood as his parents both serve in various capacities in their small town in Kentucky; and have been serving since they retired from the military in 1966. I have served in many volunteer positions throughout our years in the military such as the American Red Cross, schools, thrift shops that benefit local charities and local animal shelters. My husband and I both volunteer as poll workers here in the local community. Do not stereotype us as “perps” or “former friends” or “puppets” or any other derogatory name. You don’t even know us.
Respectfully submitted to our friends and neighbors,
Terri (Theresa) Stearman
UPDATE: 5:00 pm
Be sure to read Rudi's response to Ms. Stearman's missive by visiting Weber County Forum