Monday, September 24, 2007

COMMENTARY FOR SEPTEMBER 24, 2007

In the annuals of our history, there have been many periods of time, when intimidation was the grease that got the wheels turning, on a number of issues and outcomes. It placed our leaders, both national, state and local, in positions, where their lives depended on what they said and did. And some, sad as it is, lost their lives, because they believed in honor and honesty and these traits were more important, than selling their souls for a mess of pottage.
Today, intimidation has still not gone away, but we have given it some respectability, if you can believe that. We no longer break legs of our politicians and others, and they do not wind up in some mysterious location dead. But now we sue. We sue over every issue, every discussion, and every proposal.
In our own community, we have an issue, in which the outcome of an election, could be influenced ,based on someone’s ability to sue.
Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, most people in this valley, know of the referendum vote that will take place in November. It is a simple thing basically.
Do you support a special zone created by Heber City, which would allow increases of density, increases in traffic and big boxes to be built in Heber City? Or would you like this new zone to be rescinded and the city, return to development codes that are already on the books?
Rather easy to understand.
This referendum was put together by a petition of the citizens, some against this new ordinance and others for it. But the common goal seemed to be, should citizens have an active say, in proposals that will change the complection of the valley forever, or should five people be the ones to dictate the direction? Another very simple message.
Our State Codes, which controls and affects referendum proposals, mention only two parties, for referendums. The Citizens, meaning those who started the petition drive, and the government.
There is no mention of outside influences. There is no mention of others who should have standing and why they should be listened too or even given the time of day.
But now, here comes the dark side of this referendum vote. The wording on the ballot.
We now have attorneys, who are participating on both sides of this issue. Good upstanding individuals, who have a mission to compete. Who can meet and discuss in civil terms, what should happen, how it should be worded and come up with compromise where necessary.
But now, the Developer, who wrote the ordinance and got enough commitments from city personnel to continue the process, even when, in the early stages, the people complained and wanted some explanations regarding what was happening, now believes they are a party to this referendum. How they came to that conclusion is a mystery. But in order to make their point known and to have influence on the wording of the ballot, they are threatening a lawsuit against Heber City, and its personnel. From the rumor mill, many months ago, we learned, that Heber City, had made so many deals and commitments, that any changes could open them up, to a very serious lawsuit. Now the Boyer company has issued vailed threats, to the point, the city now must give them some type of influence in the process, where it should have only been the Citizens who started the petition and the City that passed the ordinance.
It would not be too hard, for one to suppose, there may yet be, other dark secrets regarding this ordinance and those involved in its conception.
As one, who believes that lawsuits for the most part are about greed, these threats stink of greed and power, missteps and perhaps even some unknown criminal behavior on the part of at least two of the players.
Perhaps, it would not unreasonable, to suggest, that a case could be made, to vote against this ordinance, just on principal, that being, the people will not be intimidated when it comes to their business. But we can not leave Heber City Government out of this, since it was their poor choices that caused this whole mess to start with. Citizens need to decide. Can your vote be bought with intimidation, or is it freely given, so power can be returned to the people?

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