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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kimbal Wheatley's Act III (aka round 2)

We received Act III from Kim Wheatley yesterday, and with the recent and official incorporation of Ogden Valley's second town, we ring the bell for Round 2 (this time without the gloves) - any volunteers for a Round girl?:


We are dealing with people without scruples (which gives them an advantage), motivated by greed (maybe a disadvantage), and seemingly immune from public, government, and agency opinion (a bit na├»ve I think). But in the end they are dependent on investors who are probably not as ruthless, greedy or stupid. I say it is time to take the gloves off and go directly to their current and potential investors in their primary language…their money and risk to their money and, for some, their reputation and risk to their reputation.

It appears Act III of the PERPS of Powderville will officially begin tomorrow around noon, but the county has likely revealed their intention to the PERPS. Here is what I think it means in the short term:

The county is accepting HB466 as something they can’t do anything about, saying they merely administer the law; their only latitude being able to appoint council members, not necessarily accepting the slate put up by the PERPS. The town residents must continue to challenge HB466, now including litigation. The rest of us in the valley must put up money to help fund the legal battle.

Some kind of dance will take place between the county and PERPS about who gets appointed to the town council. The town residents must demand a fair and impartial council, especially when it comes to decisions about Powder Mountain Resort. The more this can be done in print and in public meetings, the better. We all need to YELL FOUL when conflict of interest is apparent. Every issue on every agenda must be scrutinized for conflict of interest on the part of the council; council members must know they are being carefully watched and conflict of interest violations will be prosecuted.

Probably the first thing the town council needs to do is to hire competent legal help to advise them on issues and law. Under no circumstances should town residents (and the council) accept the sole opinion of the PERP attorneys. We have seen from the Development Agreement proposed to the county that they do not consider balanced opinion, instead preferring to distort the law wherever they can to achieve their ends.

During their time courting the town residents the PERPS made a lot of promises…like putting up $750K to finance the town. Given their proclivity to changing the game, many will be conveniently forgotten. The town residents must document as much as they can and bring it up in public meetings.

Mission one for the PERPS is to get the high density they want granted in an irrevocable way; that way, even if the town collapses (a likely scenario) they want the density to be a “right” which the county would have to take away from them (a “taking” of their property rights). Their attorneys have been working on this for at least a year, so they likely already have created the zoning and planning laws and ordinances they want. They will request the town council immediately accept their proposals. The residents must be ready for this with a substitute resolution: “…until a proper sorting out of the planning and zoning issues takes place in the public arena, the town adopts, across the board, the zoning and planning laws and ordinances as they currently exist in the county…”. The issues are huge for this new town and due diligence is a moral imperative…the decisions will affect generations to come.
The PERPS are attempting to create a “company town,” reminiscent of old mining and railroad towns where the corporation holds all the cards and no one is accountable for the impact on the residents or environment. They even named the town Powder Mountain because they think it will aid in promoting their scheme. However, the residents of the town don’t have to accept Powder Mountain as the name of their town and may have much better ideas. The town residents must resist the company town concept at every turn and, unless they really like it, should immediately change the name of their town to something more to their liking. The town will be a legal construct with many powers and responsibilities as granted to its residents and required under Utah State law. The PERPS, and the developers they intend to sell to, need to get the message that they are NOT a company town, and they have most of the votes.


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