Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, brought the proposal back this year, and the bill again is waiting for possible action in the remaining days of the session.With one week to go in the legislative session, the prospects of HB 218 becoming law in the next week looks extremely grim as Senate leadership has indicated the bill will not make it to the floor for a vote. Instead, the President of the Senate, Michael Waddoups, has apparently told all parties they need to negotiate in good faith to reach a settlement. If at some point a party walks away or fails to negotiate in good faith, then that party will be "punished" in the form of legislation or the lack thereof.
But Froerer told about 15 residents and others at a Thursday meeting in the Capitol that this year was even more of an uphill battle.
To start with, the legislation never left committee after a tie vote.
The problem as we see it is that there is no definition of "good faith." Additionally, this puts nearly the entire weight of the issue on the backs of the Weber County Commissioners (more specifically Commissioner Craig Dearden) who are negotiating on behalf of the County and the Citizens.
Again from the Standard,
A memorandum of understanding between the parties is being negotiated, but Greg Curtis, an attorney for the developers, described the talks as "stalled."Yesterday's meeting was nearly 1.5 hours long and we are working diligently this morning to secure a recording of the meeting. Once received, you can bet you will hear it first hear at the Ogden Valley Forum. (scroll down to hear)
Weber County Commissioner Craig Dearden was more optimistic and said more meetings are planned.
But a March 16 county-sponsored public gathering during which some of the issues would be discussed has been canceled.
"I canceled the meeting because there is nothing to present," Dearden said.
UPDATE: 3-4-2010 @ 10:30 am
We were forwarded this observation of the meeting from an attendee:
We also will link you to this morning's Weber County Forum where Rudi reveals details of a phone conversation with Representative Froerer.Powder Mountain team, I found the meeting yesterday worthwhile. I hope everyone who attended feels the same. I’m going to attempt a summary note while expecting other attendees will be able to add their insights. The bottom line is that HB218 is in a state right now that positions it for revival in a special session if it is needed while it continues to provide some leverage on negotiations and the negotiations proper will continue to be done privately by Craig Dearden with the support of his staff and whatever email suggestions he gets from interested parties.
The gut wrenching, faith destroying detail of the infighting in the Senate is really not material at this point. The facts are:1. Senate Leadership wants a settlement, while keeping HB218 in the wings.2. To successfully move HB218 to law we would need to change the mind of President Waddoups and 8 to 10 other senators in less than 1 week.3. The assessment of those closest to the situation is that the benefit of doing nothing with HB218 at this point outweighs the risk of failure in trying to accomplish item 2 (above).The negotiations (as I read the situation) continue. At least dialogue continues. Craig Dearden is playing Solomon at this point. He is open to suggestions and well reasoned arguments from all parties (including each of us). We need to realize that our input probably won’t be responded to definitively by Craig, but he will receive it. We all acknowledge the difficulty of the position he is in and the fact that the Senate is holding him “hostage”, even though he doesn’t like that term. I’m confident he recognizes the voices of the “town” residents, of the other Valley residents, of his staff, and of the petitioners.
UPDATE: March 6. 2010 @ 11:00 AM
Thanks to Rudi at the Weber County Forum and his tech savvyness and dedication to the Ogden Valley 'lumpencitizens', we were able to attach the audio recordings of Thursday's meeting at the capital.
The recording is not the greatest and there is some fuzziness, but if you turn up the volume you can certainly enjoy the free entertainment.
Because it was a large file, the recording has been broken down in to separate sections.
Audio Part 1
Audio Part 2