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Friday, March 05, 2010

HB 218 - The Meeting at the Capital - UPDATED with Audio Files of the meeting

The Standard offers a brief rundown of the events surrounding yesterday's meeting at the capital.
From the article:
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.
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.
 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.

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."
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.
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)

UPDATE: 3-4-2010 @ 10:30 am

We were forwarded this observation of the meeting from an attendee:
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.
We also will link you to this morning's Weber County Forum where Rudi reveals details of a phone conversation with Representative Froerer.

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

6 comments:

Tiny Britches said...

The fear from many in the Valley is that Froerer's bill, HB218 is a "dead bill walking", and we have now heard that "we just need to spend some more money on lobbying and plying the Senators with lunch.

The other fear is that SB269 is not dead. We have been assured that it will not make it through the house by Froerer, we hope he is correct.

It is clear that Froerer does not appear to have the connections or muscle to get HB 218 through the Senate.

It would be nice if we were wrong.

Dan S. said...

"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."

I'm having trouble with the math here. There are 29 senators so it takes 15 votes to pass a bill. Three senators voted for the bill in committee, and we can presume that Senator Christensen supports the bill so that's 4 votes. Are we to conclude that no more than two other senators, and possibly none, currently support the bill? If that's the case, then someone hasn't been doing their job to educate these senators.

There are already rumors that the two Democrats on the committee who voted against the bill would vote for it if it comes up again. Is it too much to hope that they could also bring along the rest of the Senate's 7 Democrats? If so, we'd have 11 votes and need only 4 more, including Waddoups. And if the four Republicans who already support the bill could bring along just one more Republican each, the bill would pass.

In any case, someone needs to ask Waddoups, point-blank, why he believes that citizens' right to vote is negotiable.

Richard said...

David Hume said, "...in contriving any system of government ... every man ought to be supposed a knave and to have no other end, in all his actions, than private interest."

Does anyone expect anything better from the "knaves" we have elected?

Skip The Dog said...

Dan,

Your math is good, but you left out one number, the $200,000 that Greg Curtis has allready dished out to most of the Senate.

Jennifer Neil said...

So, what they're saying is instead of listening to what the constituents want via emails and phone calls - they want us to fork over $$$ to get them to vote for the bill?

Are we still in America?

TLJ

blackrulon said...

I firmly believe that the only e-mail or letter our legislators pay any attention to is written on a $100.00 bill.