If you read the article today on Powder Mountain in the Standard Examiner, you will find how a supposedly non biased article can be slanted to fit any view desired by excluding other points of view.
Let’s dissect this article with known facts and see how it stands up for unbiased reporting:
1. Mr. Lowther sounds like he is the only homeowner that is not wealthy that will be affected by this forced incorporation.
FACT: Mr. Lowther is in the minority number of affected homeowners that favor the forced incorporation, a majority oppose it.
2. Mr. Lowther said “I think the best way is to have the local people control what’s going on rather than people that don’t live in the Valley and have no real concern for what’s going on up here.”
FACT: NONE of the Petition Sponsors for the Powder Mountain incorporation live in Ogden Valley.
3. Jamie Lythgoe said she is uniquely qualified for the position after working with the OV planning commission. Lythgoe also said she does not foresee any problems with a conflict of interest. She said “I don’t think anyone has a hidden agenda.”
FACT: The Planning Commission Procedures regarding Conflict of Interest Part A, reads: “A Planning Commissioner to whom some private
benefits may come as the result of a Planning Commission action should not be a participant in the action.” It also states, “The private benefit may
be direct or indirect, create a material, personal gain or provide a distinct advantage to RELATIONS or to friends or to groups and associations which hold some share of a person’s loyalty.”
FACT: Does Lythgoe mean like working (as she did) on the OVPC and at the same time the Town Incorporation plans behind the scenes? A conflict is already fact in our opinion and where is the concern for the public trust anywhere to be found?
In October of 2007 Planning Commission Chairman Louis Cooper and Assistant County Attorney Chris Allred were quoted in the Standard-Examiner
that they were both under the impression that the Cobabe family had sold
all of their interests at Powder Mountain. In addition, Monette Hurtado
was quoted as saying, “ As to the specific ownership, I don’t know the details.” Ms. Hurtado also said “She did disclose that her family sold all their land.”
More Facts: The Cobabe family still owns over 200 acres up in the Powder Mountain area, yet the leaders of this County refuse to address any conflict of interest.
5. The Standard Examiner reporter today wrote “Having three people from the same family's appointees has been a concern for opponents of the town”
FACT: It is the Weber County Commissioners that have opposed the family weighted list submitted by Powder Mountain in the two Commission meetings. The eloquence of Commissioner Jan Zogmaister was apparent when she stated they “could have a family reunion and have a quorum”.
One has to wonder why today’s Standard Examiner Article omitted the fact that the Powder Mountain representatives failed to answer the Weber County Commissioner’s questions on why Powder Mountain did not include any names of individuals interviewed by the Commission and a Powder Mountain representative for town council other than signers of the petition, Cobabe family members, employees or potential employees of Powder Mountain.
6. Mr. Lowther said “ he does see many potential benefits from the development, though, such as lower taxes and acquiring green space to compensate for development.”
FACT: When was the last time anyone around a big development saw their property taxes go down? The property taxes have jumped across the Ogden Valley due to all the new development in the past 4 or 5 years. Consider what will happen if Powder Mountain puts in their so called “World Class” resort next to our Valley? Your property value may go up, but that may only help if you want to sell. If you stay put, you are probably going to share in the dubious “glory” of substantial increases in property taxes in the future.
Larry and Sharon Zini