Sunday, January 14, 2007

How much longer, do we allow those to stay in power, who are bent on destroying our community?

There are not many people, who when they fully understand, agree with all the aspects of zoning. But most reasonable people agree, there are valid reasons for it to exist. But because of how some administer the law, and especially when we see over kill, as has been pointed out in the last few weeks, citizens are entitled to wonder, if the zoning regulations are for everyone and if enforcement will be done with reasonableness and realistic interpretation. It is obvious, that in the present discussions, regarding Big Box Development, the desires of many citizens, as shown with the polls, and the public comments to elected leaders, have been thrown to the wind. Can everyone see now, why many believe, that attending meetings, writing letters, and participating on committees, is a waste of time? Can we see why apathy is alive and well? Can we see, why many citizens firmly believe that most decisions are done deals, long before they are presented for public consumption? How many bricks need to fall on the hard heads of officials, before they understand the egregious behavior we are seeing, maight be called at the very worst, criminal, and at the very least, gross incompetence? Citizens know what they want. The problem is, at the present time, there are too many officials who are more concerned with kingdom building, deal making, power brokering, and in general creating bragging rights, so their peers can applaud or bestow accolades at various meetings, that in turn will add something to the resume. Every citizens reading this, should want to rise up, and take back control of our various government entities. Things are now out of control, so dangerously, those things we desire the most, such as livability, community, small town atmosphere and rural flavor, yes, those things, we mentioned during a recent survey, are now out of our hands and in the hands of those with other ideas. Is it time, to suggest, that we need a house cleaning from top to bottom? Is it time to take legal action to get the attention of those that should be serving and protecting us? Are we seeing arbitrary and capricious decisions? Yes, those described decisions, that juges warn and forewarn elected and appointed officials to refrain from being a part of? If and when Big Box and others like it, come to main street, those who have made a reasonable living and contribution to our community, will in time, find their end. We hear from some, that competition is good. We agree, but not predatory competition. Those who have been folowing Big Box, Boyer Developments and/or Wal-Mart, know that competition dies, taxes are given up by political enities to entice the developer, and in the end, there is not competition. It is a big myth.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE AND WHEN?

The citizens of Heber City have been short changed once again, by the lack of effort on the part of the Planning Commission and Staff. They have, in their wisdom, allowed a developer to write new proposal laws, that will through quick action on the part of the Commission be turned into an overlay zone to undo the wants and the desires of the better part of the citizens, as it relates to big box.
If Heber City is going to allow developers to write the new codes, then it must be obvious, there really is no need to have a planning Commission with the related staff. The savings in spending tax dollars, would be many thousands.
Because of this travesty, can one conclude, the Heber City Council will accept the proposed ordinance, and move on?
Are we seeing a new approach to governing?
In one of the last meetings of the year 2006, a member of the Heber City Planning Commission staff, crossed the line between working for the City and working for the Developer. The staff member spent time arguing the various points of the developer with the Commission. Sad part, is, the Commission allowed it to happen. Now this deed has been done, can this staff member continue and be an objective provider of imput to the Commission on other issues?
Somewhere in this mess, there needs to be an investigation on the why's and the how's. But since in the last few years, the line between following the laws, making the laws, and enforcing the laws in planning and zoning have really been blurred, one may not live long enough to see justice for the citizens prevail.
No one wants to see people loose their employment, but something needs to be done to correct the problem. The reassignment of titles, responsibilities, needs to be taken over by elected officials, and not left up to appointed officials. Will that happen? Don't hold your breath, these problems have been going on for some time, and many elected officials have known about the injustice, but for what ever reason, do not or have not, seen the need to respond. Perhaps the elections of 2007, will correct the problem, if we have people of character and integerity decide to run. There seems to be a number of people that could qualify, if they would.
One last note on this problem with the Boyer Company Ordinance, this writer has been told, the push to allow the Boyer Company to do this, came from the top down, rather than from the bottom up, as the current laws and ordinances require. Is the blantant disregard of the law, sufficient for something legally to be done? Or is this going to be part of the dust under the rug?
Contary to the wishes of some, this item can not be allowed to die. The implications are too great, the damages to the citizens to severe, and the future, for further adherances to law, now is too clouded.
Are there any real statesmen left in our government, that will step forward, take this problem and correct it and then do what they took an oath to do, SERVE AND PROTECT?