Sunday, December 13, 2009


If you were a businessman or women, and you hired people to represent you and they in turn hired some others, would you be out of line in asking to be made available to you, what the employees were being paid? Such action is necessary, considering it’s your money and supposedly they represent you.

The other day in one of the newspapers in Salt Lake, the Associated Press wrote a small article that should have caught the eye of every citizen in the State, but more so, the taxpayers of Wasatch County since it involved their legislative representative and an employee of Wasatch County.
It purported to give information on a bill that Mr. Kraig Powell has agreed to carry in the up coming session for a Wasatch County employee, Del Barney, who it seems is not a fan of public disclosure. This proposed piece of legislation, if it were to become law, which at this point is unlikely, but then who knows, would change the Government Records Access and Management Act, which is commonly referred to as GRAMA. This is the act, that if citizens want to know what government is up to, they must use this system to request documents and information. Likewise this same act also allows the government to restrict certain records, never mind they are public records and citizens have a right to know.

The reason that both men want this act changed, is to restrict the ability of taxpayers to know how much money is being paid to those they hire.
The bill that Mr. Powell is proposing to carry, would only give taxpayers a general salary range, not the specific figure.

To ask for and then propose such a bill is showing taxpayers, that once again transparency and to a smaller degree ethics is not as important as they are claimed to be.
Those who are hired in any governmental agency, need to know they work for taxpayers and taxpayers are their employers. And it should come as no surprise, that taxpayers should know what kind of bang they get for each buck they spend.
In the case of Mr. Barney, if he is unhappy in disclosing his salary to those that employ him, maybe it is time to make a quick exit and find work in the private sector.
And for Mr. Powell, perhaps, during the upcoming election, since he seems to be a serious opponent of transparency and the constitutional concept, that suggest the public has a right to know, the citizens will find someone else they can employ.

Citizens should be angry, that instead of finding ways to encourage and educate taxpayers, there seems to be a move in the opposite direction.
The issues of transparency, ethics, due diligence and the support of constitutional measures that allow citizens to know and to participate in the process are not mere words, said at certain times to make leaders, both appointed and elected look good.
They are and should be principles that men and women live by. And if leaders and others can not abide by them and support them openly and without reservation then the voters need to toss them all to the curb.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Have you ever wondered what goes on when the public is not part of the process? There is a very unique situation that could be developing involving Heber City.

There are new faces coming on the City Council. Does that mean there is a need to justify previous actions? Actions that at the time could not be supported, but if the Council had not changed, no justification would have been needed.

A big question could be, what is the current administration doing to cover indiscretions of the last few years that need some justifying cover? And other questions could be what will a new council need to do, to rectify problems, restore confidence in the governing process, and reestablish the connection between citizens and their elected and appointed leaders?

The 2009 election will go down as a defining moment for the citizens of Heber City. Many leaders believed the status quo was safe. but things have now changed.
Citizens are waiting for January to come, for the new leaders to take the oath of office and for a few on the council, they too are excited for the new arrivals. There may now be sufficient votes to accomplish the things that have been postponed or set-a-side due to the lack of clear leadership. Does that mean the rubber stamps can finally be put in the drawer or thrown away?

No one should be surprised the current leadership might before the first of the year discover something to support their actions. Perhaps, exposing previous unknown information or publishing items that can be used to justify the do-nothing of the previous couple of years. Anything is possible.

There is no traffic plan right now, but it there will be plenty exposure on the western by-pass as if it is the panacea for all the traffic problems. They will do this, in hopes, the citizens will forgot the current administration has failed most miserably when it comes to protecting the citizens with a traffic plan.

A revelation could be coming regarding hangargate. There may be some information yet to come forward, that will be used to suggest nothing wrong really happened. Of course the current leadership is hoping that people will forget that tax money was used to speculate on an endeavor, that was going to pay more money back than anyone could imagine. Never mind lies were told, figures were manipulated and so forth. Stay tuned, something is going to come forth, that will justify the actions, what it is, is still in doubt, but rest assured something will be presented, the loss of the money is still a big issue.

For the next few weeks, the spin misters will be doing their best to deceive the citizens into believing that all is well now and has always been just fine. Citizens just didn’t understand what was going on.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


It has been written that a patriot must be willing to defend his country against his government.
What is needed today are patriots, not only who will defend their Country, but will to defend the truth against lies, deceit and worse, now coming out of high places, whether it is Federal, State or Local. Citizens need to stand up and be counted. This is not the time to be cowards. Neither is it time for people to accept what is offered with out asking questions and seeking the proofs. The idea, that citizens can just plug-a -long and things will work out, is long gone. There is a need to know the truth, to know the facts.
“My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)
As in Old Testament days, there is a crying need for real knowledge. There is a critical need for citizens to assess clearly and accurately all the information they receive from those that serve, whether elected or appointed.
The days of ignorance and its twin, apathy must be over. For those who would lead us down questionable paths, knowledge is an avowed enemy. There is nothing these characters would not do to keep citizens in the dark. Every citizen worth his or her salt, knows, in spite of the obstacles, that knowledge and understanding is the strength of a free people.
Our liberties are under attack. Programs that take away our rights or allow more government intrusion are proposed and voted on every week. Some of those that represent citizens are caught in whirlpools of corruption along with Quid-pro-Quo and back room deals where influence is actively bought and sold. No part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is safe. Citizens put up with poor planning, questionable leadership, ill-advised policies and the illegal delegation of authority by those elected to those appointed. People now are seeing the necessity to adhere to real moral standards. “Amid the infinite confusion around us today, the only safeguard is the moral standard. The important question about any proposed action, by a man or by a nation, is not is it smart? but is it right?” (JBS 1963)
Citizens must now move out with boldness, armed with facts, prepared to disarm the enemy who glories in misinformation, poor decision making, questionable social causes, who scoff at true patriotism, and then hide behind the rights granted by this great nation to do their works of darkness. They and their minions must now be made accountable.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Is the current City Manager of Heber City leaving his post and retiring?
The rumor mill is running overtime with information, that Heber City may be looking for a new City Manager, even if they decide to keep the post in the new administration.

What does this rumor mean for the current Mayor as he prepares to keep the door to his office open for another four years?
The Mayor has not always had the time in the past, due to working outside of the county, and has given a lot of his administrative authority to the City Manager. Will he be able to step up to the plate with out the Manager in place and provide some form of leadership, or will the Council make the case for themselves to retain some of the leadership out of necessity?

The two new council people coming in, with the addition of other votes that could be added to theirs, could change the dynamics and the direction of the Council. But, is that not what the voters said they wanted?

Perhaps, those who have practiced short cuts in government and doing the “in house thing” should be dusting off the resumes and start using the phone searching for friends. With the City manager perhaps cleaning out his desk, is it going to leave some problems out in the open for everyone to see? Some members of the City staff will be thinking of some pretty nifty Christmas gifts for the Council in hopes of restoring their name from the list of those who have been naughty in not following the law to the hopeful list of job retention.

Citizens are going to be watching to see if there is really going to be some measurable change of direction even if a number of current employees might be diminished.
It will take some time for the City to change back from a lack of leadership and direction to a new era of government by the people and for the people.
Laws, Codes, ordinances, commissions and boards must all come under the careful scrutiny necessary to weed out the unnecessary and the do nothings.

The coming months will be lot of work for the council but it seems they have the desire to serve and serve right.

Citizens now will have a chance to participate in government and know that voices of the strong as well as the voices of the weak will be heard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It is obvious even to the casual observer, that some changes will need to take place in order to accomplish the goals that were mentioned in the general election.
The incoming members of the council with some remaining ones will need to determine if continuing with a City Manager is in the best interest of good government and the citizens they will be serving.
And if they decide to remove the City Manager, then where do they go? Return to a more involved role by the Council with strong department heads or change to some other form of government? Heber City has always been referred to as a weak Mayor/strong Council form of Government. To conclude that Citizens are expecting some major changes and a more active role by the council is perhaps stating the obvious. The expectations of change are also supported by many other agencies in the Valley in the interest of better cooperation.

The Council in 2010 has a number of issues that will need resolution and in the interest of supporting change and their elected leaders, citizens need to make plans to participate in the process and take a more active role.

Other issues that need some clarity will require Citizens to ask themselves a couple of serious growth questions. How large should Heber City be? Should annexations be continued on the same pace as in the past and are citizens willing to pay for the problems that ensue?
Let your leaders know, most will appreciate some answers outside of the normal channels that have misled them in the past.

Will the incoming council start a search for the facts regarding Valley Station and be in a position to notify the citizens what can be expected in the next few years? Repeating what the developer keeps saying is akin to governing in the dark on the edge of a cliff. Perhaps in 2010 a reinvigorated City Council will make sure the facts are known and the information is correct before making statements related to Valley Station. And just maybe, changes can be made in that relationship that will ensure that citizens are not required to guess about the future, pick up the costs due to unintended consequences or see their business district destroyed due to negligence.

The natives are restless and they are expecting some major changes in direction. They want truth, transparency and a listening ear. They want respect when they have an issue. They want fairness in decision making. And citizens want less intrusion in their lives, not more.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Just when we thought things could not get anymore weird, along comes a phone call from a business in Provo, wondering if government in the upper valley is all done based on kick backs and special perks.

The story that was told, was right out of a movie script. But upon closer inspection and a little investigation, it became obvious, there may be some truth in the revelation.

The person making the call at first came across as one who was playing a sorrowful tune of sour grapes. But after prolong conversation, there were things mentioned that only someone who had participated would have known.

The scary part was contained in a couple of sentences, when this person discussed the process right down to the smallest degree and then started naming what had taken place and who had benefited.

A few phone calls on the weekend, gave some substance to one’s worst dreams. We do have people, who have been hired to do a job crossing over the line in an attempt to make money on the side and create benefits for themselves that others could not ever have. Of course when this goes on, there is also the need to find a very large broom so all the problems can be swept under the closest rug.

There are three things that must be done.

1. If new leaders are elected they must take this problem and dispose of it immediately, so the stench does not taint their administration. If I am elected as a new Mayor, those names now known will be brought in and if confession comes to what is already known, they will be terminated at once.

2. If they fail to confess, there will be a need to involve the County Attorney. His office armed with the facts, can investigate and follow the law to a rightful conclusion, no matter who or how many finally are found to be involved.

3. If the Administration remains the same, then in time, there maybe an outside investigation, but as in some other things, it will be a slow process with many protective road blocks. It will require a number of GRAMA requests. There will be a certain amount of cover-up and in the end the truth will prevail, but then again hell will be close to freezing over too.

No one should believe at this point, the problem will go away and the investigation will be dropped. It is just, that without the right people in office, it will take more time and energy and after the spinning and misspeaking, everyone will wonder if it was really worth it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


It’s time we take a good look at our leaders and measure how they have represented the citizens during their terms of service.

At first glance, not all things they have promised or have done, will become apparent, it may take a little time to remember the highlights as well as the lowlights of their actions and decisions.

Politicians who shout the need for one more term, are always very hopeful, that citizens will have a very short memory, and will only be thinking of the current issues. Current issues are usually those items, that have been left until a few months or weeks before an election, in which the politician makes a decision to support or oppose, not based on facts or needs, but rather on how many votes may come their way.
They are not only the worst kind of leaders, but are very dangerous to the moral fiber of a community.
Citizens must always remember, that support or opposition shortly before an election, on issues that should have been decided some time back, are attempts at trying to deceive the voters. History has shown, that after an election, things go back to what they were, and flimsy excuses are presented for the obvious vacillations.

Measuring the effectiveness of local leaders is an easy process, if you support the Jeffersonian idea, “government governs best, that governs least” and the words of Senator Daniel Webster, that citizens need to constantly review the actions and words of their current leaders.

There are many ways, that citizens can measure the effectiveness of their leaders. Regardless of the method, a citizen should be careful and unafraid to look, listen and then compare what was said to what was done.
Observe that promises of the past are usually identical to the ones being made today in speeches, materials and other writings.
Touted accomplishments since their last election or appointment, need to be carefully reviewed, since many times, like promises, they can and usually are stretches of the truth.

Every citizen today should ask questions of every leader and especially those running for re-election. The following ideas may help.

Is there a belief and support for total transparency?

Is the law followed and enforced?

Is every meeting given proper notice so the public can attend?
Are citizens allowed to speak? Are they accorded respect for their opinions? Are they given attention by leaders while they have the floor at any given meeting or hearing?

Is there a demonstration by measurable action of fiscal responsibility?

Is there support shown by known actions of real accountability?

Is there evidence of a total support for the truth regardless of the outcome?

The needs of citizens must trump the personal desires of elected and appointed leaders. If leaders or those that have been appointed, have no idea concerning the difference between wants and needs, have no problem misdirecting or using misspeak to support their questionably decisions, then citizens need to remember and cast their votes for changes in direction and more respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Every once in a while, citizens engage themselves in some serious observation of policy and actions on the part of their leaders. The following recital of an event a few days ago confirms my suspicion, that citizens are seeing the big picture and are not as easily deceived as some may think.

The other day at lunch, an older member of our community expressed some concern with the events that had transpired over the last few years.
He felt betrayed and deceived over the promises of new jobs, retail establishments and increases in revenue for Heber City so they did not need to threaten a tax increase.
The conversation led him to exclaim, the confidence he should have in elected leaders was gone and with that demise of confidence, he also lost the trust he once had. It was obvious he felt real betrayal.
When asked to give an accounting of his feelings, he told all gathered at the table the following:

As a supporter for Big Box in the community, he had voted for the ordinance that would allow such a thing to happen. He said he believed what he was told, what he was showed. He attended the meetings, he received his mailers and wanted to believe everything that was mentioned.
Now he is wondering where is the 350 jobs that were promised? Where is housing that was promised? Where are the stores that had been promised. He reminded us all that citizens were promised a Red Lobster, Olive Garden and so forth. The promise was a Super Center Wal-Mart with a garden center, a tire shop and a whole lot more. He was wondering where are the stores that Boyer in the meetings said they had signed up and claimed would be coming? He noticed that Sears was now on the list, but according to ads in the local paper, Sears is not signed up yet, because they are looking for someone to come in and start a small Sears store and try and compete with Wal-Mart.
The larger question for our friend seemed to be, really what is going on and why is it that information seems to be coming from Boyer only and then repeated by Heber City as if it is totally factual? He though it could be a stretch, to suggest that Heber City really knows what is going on and if they had any inkling at all, if Wal-Mart was coming or not.
The point was made with a question: “Was Heber City government deceived by Boyer like the rest of the citizens or did Heber City really know what was going on from day one and decided their role was to aid and abet this fraud for some kind of purpose that citizens may never know?”

He went on to mention his deep concern for what has been framed as hangar gate. He believes this issue was so similar to the Wal-Mart deal. Things done with out facts, without due diligence. No one paying attention to the issues. Total lack of fact finding on what could be and might be. And now it is being hinted by the Taxpayers Association, that moving money from one area or one account to another may have violated state law and to comply with the law, such action required a public hearing which was never held or noticed.
It seems to him, the more people look into the business dealings of the current administration, the more it looks like no one is in control of the situations and it is every man or person for themselves.

The discussion led him to make the case, that now, he felt he could not trust the current administration. And regardless of what they said, there was no way he could ever have confidence in their ability to lead, serve or even protect any citizen including himself.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


What is going on, when elected and appointed representatives, will not avail themselves the opportunity to discuss in an open forum, the issues that citizens are facing and answering the important questions.

Is there something that needs to be hidden from the electorate? Has the current leaders done or said something, that if it becomes public, would cause embarrassment or bring the administration further into derision?

Reasonable people are finding the present action by incumbents running for office and those they have appointed, very disturbing. There seems to be a concerted effort to stay out of the public eye and not participate in any meeting, unless it is staged or leaders are in control of the subject matter or the agenda.

Some of the media outlets, both locally and those in surrounding areas, find it very curious, incumbents from Heber Valley have refused to participate in any public forum.
As one commentator in another community said. “Have things deteriorated so much, those in leadership positions, can not respond?”
It would seem by their actions, they are afraid that citizens may ask for an accounting of what they have or have not done in the last fours years.

It is becoming obvious, certain leaders are hard pressed to discuss the business of the City, since they have no idea, what the business may really be. The current administration seems to have given their authority to others, believing that by doing so, they will not have to be leaders, but instead, can be followers without much accountability.

Citizens are now discussing the issues of accountability, leadership, planning, taxes, fees and growth. Important issues that affect every person in Heber Valley. Now citizens wonder why there is no discussion no interaction, with those they elected in the past.

It is becoming increasingly clear, that citizens need to rise up, and make sure the election in November is not one of being against anyone, but for a change that will allow them to be heard and have their ideas considered and used in finding solutions. For a change in the direction of Heber City. For a complete accounting of the money that has been frittered away. For transparency in decision making. For control of out of control traffic. For more business on Main Street and Less deals with developers that produce nothing but wild unfulfilled promises. For less taxes and fees, and more freedom with ones property. For less intrusion from government in the lives of citizens. For competence. For better planning. For observance of the laws and codes. For more ethics and honor.

The issues that citizens are facing, are not complex but unless the voters place in office, those with principles of integrity and a desire to support community needs, rather than the wants of a selected few, lives will not be enhanced, but citizens will remain as pawns, whose only importance will be to provide the money to continue the same self-serving kingdom building, that is currently going on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


A very easy question and answer, because things are starting to happen. Elected leaders would have you believe they have been working on a particular issue for some time, but such statements are very disingenuous. The statements are not truthful and are not supported by facts. Evidence of the lack of support by the facts for their statements, can be found in the minutes of meetings, memos and public pronouncements that have been recorded and preserved.

Looking at the issues, there seems to be some serious misspeak, misdirection, and even some backroom dealing. Twisting the facts is nothing new for some leaders, who find it very easy to cross back and forth between fact and fiction.

Within the last few days, leaders in Heber City have started to tout the fact, there is agreement with the County on the issue of the By-Pass and the intersection on 100 South. But the truth is, nothing has changed in the last year on the route, so what has changed their mind now? Can you say, the upcoming election?
The statements on this issue that have started to come out, related to the support of Heber City for the Truck Route, are so disingenuous. One wonders how in good conscience, the word “support” can even be used with a straight face.
Heber City government has constantly over the last year and half, used every method possible to discourage anyone from discussing or focusing on this issue. The City Manager, the current Mayor and the two members of the City Council running for reelection, have been in the forefront of putting up roadblocks and saying one thing in public and saying something entirely different in private, when they though no one was listening.
If Citizens are interested in the facts, they need to take the time for a trip to City Hall, read all the minutes where the By-Pass is mentioned. And to receive additional information, read the minutes of the Wasatch County Council, where they discuss the By-Pass issue. Using these sources, citizens will see exactly where the blockage came from and who.
The presentation of the By-Pass over one year ago shows today nothing has changed and now Heber City has an epiphany and decided to support the same route and intersection design that was proposed earlier. If certain elected leaders have not done a thing on this issue, in the last 1460 days, no one should embarrass themselves by thinking, these recent decisions are for real. Remember another fours years is a long time, and there is no guarantee that if the current people are retained, anything is going to change anytime soon except talk.

There is so much misinformation regarding this issue, it is hard to separate what is believable and who said what. Heber City is repeating what Boyer tells them and the public is left to fend for themselves.
Will a Wal-Mart store come to Heber Valley. Maybe, but until the public actually sees a building with a Wal-Mart logo, no one should take their belief or hope to the bank.

The Boyer web site talks about a project in what is now referred to as Valley Station. It shows 120,000 feet in the project for a Wal-Mart Store, theaters, retail stores and housing. The latest addition is now a stand-alone bank. Couple that with what Boyer and Heber City are saying about a new special greener store, you can see why everyone is so confused. Sadly, Wal-Mart management has not seen the new “greener store”. According to Wal-Mart folks, their only concern is the Park City Store, which will be a super center. So if Park City gets the super center, what will Heber get? And where are the 350 jobs promised by Boyer and Heber City officials?
Now sources are confirming, that discussions have been held with Boyer, among others, telling them, if they do not start something on their project, the new people if elected, will change things and they might have to start over.
So now we may get to see something, even if it is a mirage.
Again, elected leaders are moving on something, so perhaps we need to give them some credit, they want to go out with a bang.

So the heat is on. The speculation at the Airport, using taxpayer funds, is now the subject of a number of questions from the public. So in order to shield those in the middle of this mess, it is now necessary to use the Airport Board and get them to buy off on a deal with the fix based operator. This deal will allow the City to have a scapegoat. The finger can be pointed to the FBO if things do not work out.
The City claims to have a list of people to lease the hangars. So why have they not used this list to fill the hangars instead of making a deal with the FBO and giving them the list?. Could this list be the same list, that was used to entice the City Council into making a two million dollar mistake?
The other question that needs to be asked; if the Airport operates at a loss, why is the City now restructuring the agreement with the FBO, based basically on the same terms?
And why now? Gosh, they had four years to resolve the Airport problems and now today the Airport is a big issue. The City speculated with tax funds, the Airport operates at a deficit, and now the City has found religion and wants to make amends for all the past misdeeds.
Is this just another move to impress the voters at election time? It does not take a a rocket scientist to see past this smoke screen.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Every once in a while, a citizen responds on an issue of great important to this valley. And they do so to "set the record straight".
The following article was received by the IMPACT Program as a response to statements made by the Mayor of Heber City in a recent newspaper article.

In response to the Mayor’s suggestion that UDOT is responsible for the current HUB and surrounding intersections traffic plan.
This a short version of the events that took place regarding the intersection.

Design of HUB and surrounding intersections: Boyer/Valley Station Development Traffic Study prepared by Mack Christiansen of Horrocks Engineers, 21 JAN 08. (Horrocks is also the contract engineering firm for Heber City).
17 MAR 08, “Special” Heber City Council Meeting (Monday evening) held to listen to a presentation by Mack Christiansen of Horrocks and Wade Williams of Boyer Co. in regard to the traffic plan for the Valley Station Development. They presented what we later learned was Alternative One of the traffic study. There was NO presentation or discussion of Alternative Two and Three. City Engineer (employee not contract) Bart Mumford attempted to convey to the Council that a new Daniels Road Connector should be part of the plan. No discussion ensued.
13 May 08- UDOT letter (Region 3) addressed to Heber City. In summary, they state their position that if this plan is adopted they will close Daniels Road due to the use of medians and “that a new connection between Daniels Road and US-189 can move forward quickly.”
13 May 08- Inter-local Meeting of Governments- County offers to participate financially to secure the right of way for the new Southern Truck Route, specifically the first phase know as the new Daniels Road Connector. City rejects their offer stating that they don’t have the funds.
15 May 08- Heber City Council Meeting. Boyer/Valley Station Development Final Plat Approval-Purpose is the dedication of roads, offsite improvements and infrastructure. The site plan with location of buildings and landscaping will be approved at a later date.
City Manager Mark Anderson responds to inquiries from Council Members Horner and Straddeck regarding Boyers participation in the traffic plan and specifically to intersection closures and the Daniels Road closure. He states the new Daniels Rd Connector will not be part of the plan. He goes on to state that he HAS DIRECTED SHAWN SEAGER OF RPO/MOUNTAINLAND ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS TO WORK ON THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION FOR THE NEW CONNECTOR IN ORDER THAT A PURCHASE AGREEMENT CAN BE ENTERED INTO WITH THE LANDOWNERS BY 30 JUNE 08 AND FUNDS ALLOCATED. We know that no such description was created and that no agreement was ever entered into. In addition, even though he contradicts himself from two days earlier in which the City’s position was we do not have the funds for a new connector, any funds available were used for the hangar project that received approval later that Spring.
The Mayor states in his article, “improvements benefited and resolved problems beyond what was impacted by the project.” This is not accurate. The plan designed by the developer and approved by the City uses medians to deny access to several accesses and intersections. This is known as Alternative One and it fails to meet Heber City’s minimum standard for intersection operation at Main St/1000 South. Furthermore, the day the Boyer Project opens it will produce over 13,000 additional traffic trips on a typical weekday. (Perspective, approx. 27,000+ trips on Main St. currently). According to the traffic study, 6 intersections will fail because of the additional traffic study. In other words, the reason these so called improvements were implemented (closing intersections) were to accommodate the massive traffic increase caused by the development, NOT outside sources of traffic as the Mayor suggests. Bottom line, the other two alternatives in the study (Two, includes the Southern Truck Route), (Three, the first phase of the Southern Route, New Daniels Connector) maintain access to Southern Heber City and improve the operation of the HUB intersection.
If you want one line to summarize this issue, memorize the following: Page 12 of the traffic study it states, “Heber City standard for LOS will not accept anything below a LOS C.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

WHO DID WHAT, WHEN AND HOW?- The Wal-Mart Project

With so many unanswered questions regarding the Boyer Development or as it now being called, the “Valley Station” project, will we ever know all the answers.

Heber City Government has told the citizens, that even with delays, there is still progress. The local paper, is saying there is progress. It is obvious that someone needs to define “progress”.

Citizens look at the vacant field, and wonder what and where is the progress? They now wonder, what was the hurry to force people out of their homes? And why the hurry to make changes to roads and the worst change of all, the intersection at Highway 40 and 189?

Some questions that need to be asked are; Does Heber City Government, believe and have confidence now, in the information that Boyer is providing? Likewise, is there confidence in what the Heber City Administration is now saying to citizens?
It seems obvious, that Boyer is not really presenting all the facts on what the true plans are for now and in the future and the current City administration is allowing them to get away with this misspeak. And of course, Heber City seems to be painting the picture of what they would like to see along with what they were promised even though they can not prove either.
It seems everyone involved is now trying to cover this disaster with information that is palatable for public consumption regardless of the out come.

Supportable facts, without filtering, should be presented to the public. Not surprising, the public is usually smarter than some will acknowledge. So, would it not be better to give all the facts and allow citizens to draw their own conclusions?

It is very interesting, that on a Wal-Mart Company web site, a map of Heber City is shown and an address is given for a Heber Store. Of course this has not changed for the last three years. And the address they give is 435 Airport Road. There is no mention as to the type of store that is offered. Mention of the Heber City Store has been removed from other Wal-Mart active web sites.
In this area, information is easily found on the Park City Wal-Mart and what they are doing and when it is expected to be finished, even though the whole project, due to some political wrangling by Summit County, is on hold.

A few weeks ago, the Mayor of Heber City, Dave Phillips, tried to make the case, the same one, made months earlier by the City Manager, that Wal-Mart was going to a different type of store, therefore, they (Wal-Mart) in conjunction with Boyer, were rethinking what they planned to do. And then the hint was made, that with the rethink, the citizens would see a very different, greener store and of course it would not be as large as promised.
Was this information given by Boyer or by Wal-Mart, to Heber City Officials?
Perhaps, there are changes coming, because Wal-Mart is a very careful company. They did not get to be the worlds largest retailer, by making mistakes or deals that do not offer a return. And they have no problem pulling out of any deal, that does not provide them with the right market share. And unlike some, they are never stampeded in making decisions.
Some where, between Wal-Mart, Boyer and Heber City, the conduit for factual information is plugged, either on purpose, or due to no one really wanting to know. Sometimes, the truth is very painful.

In conversation and investigation of Wal-Mart, the plans they present, are for only four types of store.

1. Wal-Mart Discount Stores: In this store, they carry most things, but not food. Their lawn and garden shops are usually small. They employ about 225 people. This type of store is about 107,000 square feet.
This is not the type of store, the people of Heber were promised either in word or deed.

2. Wal-Mart Super Centers: This was the store that was promised. This is the store, that was shown in the pretty pictures, prior to the voters going to the polls.
The Super Center Store carries a complete food department along with a very large garden center. Involved with this store is eye, hair, banking, tax service departments and so forth.
It is this type of store, the Park City Store is supposed to be when completed and what was promised to the people of Heber a few years ago.
Super Centers average 187,000 square feet and employ about 350 people and more during Holiday Seasons.

3. Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets: This plan is called a convenient store. Small, averaging about 42,000 square feet. Think of these stores as like a Day’s Market or a Smiths, cut in half, both in products and building size. They carry a number of items, but not anything near what is carried and inventoried by Discount Stores and Super Centers. Neighborhood Markets employ about 95 people and at the present time, there is only about 153 of these stores in the Country. They are what the name suggests, small neighborhood markets, short on product lines and in-depth inventories. And in most cases, their price points are somewhat higher.

4. Marketside: These stores are the smallest of the Wal-Mart product. They carry prepared foods, similar to a Boston Market. They also carry organic food products with a large deli type operation. These store are about 15 to 25000 square feet. They require and work well with large population centers. They employ less than 30 people. The first one opened in 2008. Information on how they do, their weaknesses and strengths is not totally complete.

So what type of Wal-Mart store will the citizens of Heber City see?
Will Wal-Mart even be coming to the area?
As for citizens of Heber City, these questions and even a few more should be answered in full. Perhaps, seeing what Boyer is showing the world on their web site, is more telling that anything said so far.

Valley Station is the name of the Boyer project in Heber City. In company information, this development is listed, but the listing has not changed for some time. According to Boyer, Valley Station is listed as a mixed-use development. In developer and planning speak, mixed-use means; “a project which we are trying to jam as much building on a particular piece of land as possible”.
The size of the Valley Station project is listed as 120.000 square feet. In this size, they claim they will have a Wal-Mart, retail shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and multi-family homes. To the average person, this development sounds like it is going to be really tight. And at 120,000, if Wal-Mart comes at all, it will be something they are not building currently, so what type of Wal-Mart will this be?

Further investigation into the Boyer and Wal-Mart issue, show that in the very beginning, due diligence was never done on the issues, such as the costs and the revenues if any. The whole project seems to have been one, in which, if questions were asked, either there were not answers or the answers that were given, did not support what Boyer and Heber City were conspiring to do.
Heber City moved fast and furious. They promoted and did things, that in a normal process, would have never been allowed. Information and the required process was dismissed, and shaky information, unsupported facts and conclusions were rammed through, hoping no one would ask, operating on the premise, that citizens can be told anything. Boyer on the other hand, promoted and spent money to paint a rosy picture of large tax returns, revenues beyond comprehension, huge employment opportunities. In fact Boyer even used or paid for the use of, names of officials of Heber City in order to move the whole process, with speed and not much deliberation. It is obvious that regardless of the out comes, citizens will be required to pick up the pieces and pay for this lack of due diligence on the part of Heber City and requiring Boyer to do the same, for years to come.

Based on information we now know, it is quite possible the Boyer project may not be anything more than a strip mall with some shops and lots of cheap unneeded housing. And once more, citizens will have to pay for these acts of omission and commission as if they were of their own making.
This project, and what was promised in the very beginning, is like a hoar frost. When real intense light is focused on it, it disappears.
We may never know the extent of collusion on the part of some. We may never know, what quid-pro-quo took place in the negotiations. We many never know what the citizens could have had, if those in charge had followed the law, rather than manipulating it.

Is the Boyer Company guilty of misleading the public in the beginning of this project. And later on, misleading Heber City Administration?

Is the Heber City Administration guilty of dereliction of some duty for failing to check all the facts and observing commonly accepted protocols?

Are citizens guilty, due to apathy for failing to ask the important questions and then demanding complete disclosure of all the projected costs and revenues?

Regardless what is built on the Boyer site, when the project is completed, there will always be whispered conversations of who did What, When and How. Can you blame them?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


As we approach the election, some of the candidates seem to pulling out all the stops. We are starting to see a campaign of misdirection and misinformation. Some of the statements can not be supported by recorded facts. They seemed to be window covering, perhaps for more sinister things that have not seen the light of day. By employing the printed word and saying some things among friends, perhaps, some of the candidates are hopeful, voters will accept everything at face value. A careful review of some of the statements, can not go unchallenged.

1. STATEMENT: “Heber City has seen a substantial decline in tax and other revenues.”
FACT: Yes, there has been a decline, (supported by actual count and figures in the latest budget) but the current administration and their unsupported decisions, are guilty for part of the decline. Based on promises by developers, Heber City built a revenue source into their budget, and although the economic math was not checked for accuracy, the City began spending some monies, based on the premise, that revenues would catch up with spending, and everything would be ok. But the figures that supported the revenues, the City was so eager to spend, never really materialized. They were pie in the sky to start with, and no one took a peak to see if they were even close to reality. The statement has some truth, but a careful investigation shows there are reasons other than the economy.

2. STATEMENT: “Balancing the budget without tax increases or layoffs“.
FACT: The budget is a minimum information document. It is what is required by the State of Utah. It also allows for some pretty creative accounting as well. Experts who have looked at this balancing act, have drawn two conclusions;
1. If Heber City separates their wants from their needs, there is money not only to balance the budget, but to allow some departments a little growth.
2. The City is hinting that a tax hike will come as soon as next year. (See June 20, 2009 interview with City Manager in Deseret News) But according to those who have looked at the budget, such threats of tax, fee and service hikes are premature at best, and with out foundation for at least the next two years and perhaps longer. Layoffs according to sources within the City, were never a serious contemplation for anyone working in the office building. But there was some discussion in an effort to scare folks, which would make a tax hike pretty supportable. There was the dutiful mention of other departments, like police, public works, etc. and of course, in some cases, those that retired (not many) were not replaced, since the money was needed to hire some new faces for some new posts in support of the kingdom. And even the mention of lay offs was really a public relations stunt.

3. STATEMENT: “the Mayor and Council have been committed to sound fiscal responsibility“.
FACT: A careful reading of the minutes over the last four years, will show, that fiscal responsibility was never taken too seriously. Evidenced by five very important decisions;
A. The holding of 500,000 dollars for architectural services for a new City Hall.
B. The use of the general fund to build Airport Hangars, during a down turn in the economy on speculation.
C. The hiring of a new City inspector, during an obvious downturn and slow down in projects.
D. The hiring of the airport manager, for his construction expertise, rather than for his Airport Management skills, and why, since the airport, according to the current budget, operates at a deficit.
E. The spending of some monies, that had not materialized, due to unfulfilled promises by the Boyer Company which the City took at face value and knew they would not be collecting.

4. STATEMENT: “We have tightened budgets in every department“.
FACT: A careful reading of the recently passed budget, shows that in some departments, the amount of money wanted in the new fiscal year was trimmed. Trimming a budget desire or a want, can not be compared to tightening an existing budget. In fact, to suggest budgets were tightened, is a serious play on words when each department is compared, with the actual figures in the current budget report.

5. STATEMENT: “delayed some capitol projects“.
FACT: The only capitol project, the public has been informed about is the building of a new City Hall. If there are others on a wish list, the public has not been informed, nor has the Planning Commission held public meetings on the issue. Could it be possible, there are some capitol projects, that have been discussed privately and have made the list of wants, but now have been delayed?

6. STATEMENT: “delayed hiring new employees.”
FACT: In this down turn, Heber City has hired additional employees. A new Airport manager was hired in the last eight months. The City has also hired a new inspector. In order to pay him, they have created a new list of fees which have been increased to support the new inspector, since there is no new construction.
There is some talk, of not replacing a few who retired. But no one should confuse, replacement with delaying some hiring. Misdirection at its best.

7. STATEMENT: “Next four years…expanding…commercial base.”.
FACT: For 1460 days, there has been a need to expand the commercial base, but the current administration has spent most of the time, working with residential development, under the false idea, that somehow, residential development will pay for itself. Planners know, that such ideas are folly. There was a need four years ago to work and plan for new commercial development. No real plan was ever put into place. If expansion was not done in the last four years, can anyone believe it will happen in the next four years with the current crew?

8. STATEMENT: “provide jobs and increase tax revenues“.
FACT: The current administration has done only one thing, to provide jobs and increase tax revenues. They worked a deal with the Boyer Company. A one sided deal at best, where every demand was responded to, and now today, after all the pretty pictures, the public meetings and the misinformation, plus members of the council and others allowing the Boyer Company to use them in advertising to promote an election on a new zone change, nothing has happened, with the exception of removing 80 families from their homes.

9. STATEMENT: “improve parks and recreation“.
FACT: Other than some talk, and spending a little money on the Valley Hills Park, and correcting problems, from the lack of oversight on one or two others , there are no new parks. There is no new recreation, that so far has been created by the city. Some opportunities have been created by Wasatch County, and in one case, Heber City allowed changes to take place to support the County’s’ wishes, even though it was against current City laws to do so.

10. STATEMENT: “Improving and planning for future transportation“.
FACT: Traffic throughout the City is worse today, than at any other time in the history of the City. Heber City had, at one time, a transportation plan, but have not followed it for some time. They believe that nothing needs to be done, according to current members of the City Administration, until 2030. Therefore, they have not spent due diligence on any plan. Nor has the council supported planning in an effort to make improvements. The current plan, proposed a few months ago, ( which not really a plan but a ploy to show how independent Heber City is of other entities) is to send traffic through residential zones to calm traffic on Main street. The current administration has declined to support Wasatch County plans to rectify traffic problems. In public meetings, they seem to support proposals, but privately, they have no intention of supporting anything, except their own plan, and since they do not have a plan, nothing has happened in the last four years. Citizens should not expect any changes, if incumbents are returned to office.

11. STATEMENT: “support pressurized irrigation for the old sections of Heber.”
FACT: There was a study made with some unique conclusions. At the present time, there are only about 15 copies of the study available, so citizens are not and were not part of the process. The study concluded, that for about 51/2 million dollars, the system could be installed and up and running. But in the last 4 years, Heber City has squandered enough funds, in deals, speculation and forgiving payments to nearly pay for all of the system. When one hears of support for the system, and then sees the facts, it is easy to understand, such statements are really just sound bites. Very similar to a dog barking in the still of the night.

Election statements, always need credentials and support based on facts. Citizens in doubt, should find out before voting.

Friday, August 21, 2009


The headlines in a major newspaper reads; “S.L. Redevelopment Agency pushes deli out of business.”

For the uninformed, a redevelopment agency, which is a political subdivision, is allowed to use taxpayer dollars, to buy up buildings or property, and then work a sweetheart deal for a developer. The developer usually buys the property at less than market value, and the City or County work deals on property taxes, impact fees, property trades and so forth.

After reading this headline, curiosity was very high, to see if something very similar to an RDA, had been worked in Heber valley. Lo and behold, there has been a few. Some very obvious and others not too well known.

Wasatch County got themselves in a nifty one. As citizens know, there are plans to complete a Rec. Center. But many are unaware, as to how it all came about. As the story goes, supported by contracts, a group of developers bought an old food processing property. They paid approximately four plus million dollars. Then a deal was worked out, with the County and the developer. It was decided the County would buy a building on the property for six million dollars plus, with the idea, that if it did not work out, the County could sell the building and recoup their costs. Things have worked out. The County is going to spend an unknown amount to complete the Rec. Center, and the developer has used his two million profit, to construct offices and other businesses in the front of the Rec. Center. And even the City, in which the project is found, worked their magic, and pushed things through the process, at blazing speed, to make an accommodation or two.
This deal, as it worked out, would cause any RDA to blush.

Not to be outdone, Heber City started working with a developer, who was allowed to make their own plans, even wrote an ordinance to support their plan, and then given complete control over the project. The promise from the developer was, lots of tax revenue, impact fees, upgrading of water and sewer lines and so forth. Heber City spent money having their staff work with the developer, represented the developer before other city agencies, reduced certain charges on the pretext, that in the end, the money would come back. If the developer did not like a current ordinance, that ordinance was either ignored or a new one written to cover the proposed need. Money was spent, deals were made. The developer was allowed to back out of some deals, make changes and modifications, that were not only different than the original proposal, but would give less than promised. No one, has a clue, as to the actually cost, both now and in the future. No one has a clue, as to what, if any, will be the revenues generated. But the City was willing to give the key to the City to this developer and also, give them a seat at the table of decision. Any RDA worth their salt, when viewing this situation, would be drunk with envy.

Not to be left out, in demonstrating how tax supported institution can get even closer to developers, Midway City, worked one of the greatest sweetheart deals of their history. A developer came to the City with a plan to build a store. The site selected, was not large enough to accommodate the plans, yet it was deemed a good place, and to make it even better, Midway City gave a piece of their City Park, so the size would be sufficient. The developer did not have sufficient financial wherewith, to fully start and finish the project, but he came to a good City, who was more than welling to do anything, yes, anything, to get this business started and up and running, on the pretext it would create jobs and provide necessary services.
Midway City gathered themselves up, and started making appearances on the “give-me circuit“. They made appearances before the County, Heber City, the Sewer District and the School District, all with the idea, that required fees and taxes, not be required. In fact, there was even discussion of receiving money from the various agencies, and some responded, so Midway City could give it to the developer, so he could get his project on track. This went on for some time, and citizens need to know, what some agencies did, not only by giving tax dollars to this project, but used their power to remove the requirement to pay certain costs and impact fees. YOUR MONEY, YOUR TAX DOLLARS, spent and given as if the agencies had a right and an open check book.
It is quite obvious, that in our Valley, we do not need an RDA. We already have those who believe it is their roll to spend your dollars, in support of what ever they deem is “a good deal”. Of course, the question must always be asked, “a good deal” for whom.

Monday, August 10, 2009


The political selling season is now upon us. Within the next few weeks and months, the citizens can expect to hear all kinds of little statements, some factual, and some totally lacking in actualities. These statements, will be used to frame a campaign and hopefully sell a candidate to the public.

One must ask a very simple question of the incumbents. “If you have not successfully completed some of your priorities in the last four years, what assurance will the voters have, that you can do any better in the coming four years?”

In one town, the Mayor and part of the council ran on a platform full of ideas and priorities. One such priority was the controlling of growth , and if any growth took place, making sure it would have some meaning and value for those already living in the town.
The citizens accepted a list of priorities that included the growth issue, with the expectation, that a word on the issue by their home town politicians was as good as a signed contract. It shortly became obvious, the priority of growth with purpose, as promised, was not really part of their leadership plan. The opposite took place with most of the politicians cheering and cart wheeling on the side lines over growth, when they were not representing developers. Now these same people are running again, and as in the previous start, a list of priorities is being presented to the people, and yes, you guessed it, on the short list is “growth with a purpose”. Of course, this exact wording may not be found on the list, since each one of the incumbents, must now sell themselves once again to the public, so this issue is framed in feel good words and phases.. But everyone should remember, if purposeful growth was not accomplished in the last four years, it is quite likely, no such thing will be happening in the up coming four years, if the same group gets back in..

In another town, the list of priorities is also coming out. And like the previous town, they sound wonderful and are geared to make citizens feel warm and fuzzy. But they seem, from previous experience, to be just talking points. Hope may spring eternal for many, but citizens must fully understand, another four years, by all accounts, will not produce any more success on the important issues. If the current leaders did not produce on what was promised, there is something wrong. They had 1460 days to make good on the promises they were so quick to make while seeking your vote.

In this other city, one of the priorities seems to center on traffic and traffic control. But citizens need to remember, this issue was on the list from the last four years, and since that election cycle, traffic control plans have been non-existent. When traffic concerns were brought up by the people, and experts on traffic, with a myriad of studies, the whole issue was brushed off, and the those making their concerns known, were dismissed as “chicken littlies“. Comments by the elected ones and those they appointed, went on to say, that sounding the alarm on this issue was unnecessary, since there was no need to worry until 2030. Well, 2030 is not here yet, and traffic is out of control, and once again, it is election time, and yes, once again, the people are hearing as part of the priorities of the incumbents, “we need to control traffic and make a plan.
No one should forget, that for many years, there was a plan, but in the last few years, the plan was kicked around, laughed at and modified with careless strokes, to the point, that it seems to have little value if any at all.

The season of “the priority of priorities” is upon us. We will hear lots of promises. Many incumbents and maybe some others as well, may need to stretch the truth, to make the point of how serious their particular priority is.

Value in a pudding is always in the taste, and right now, this pudding of growth and traffic, is very bitter. The big question for all voters in every city, and town is this: If they did not live up to the promises of the last four years, is it believable they will change in the next four years if re-elected? This is an issue of accountability. Every incumbent, needs to be scrutinized and held accountable for their failures and praised for their successes. But by no means, should a simple success on one issue, remove them from being held accountable on promises made, but not kept, on another.

For one town, the priority is growth, for another, it is traffic. But in reality, whether you live in one town or another, in this season of selling, one should remember, the current group had their hands on the controls, but still could not get the car in gear on these issues. For the next four years on the issues of traffic and growth, the people need those who can smoke the tires and get up to speed. Does it sound like we need new drivers?

Sunday, June 21, 2009


It has been recorded in history, that when the army of the United States Government, went to meet with some of the old Indian Chiefs, telling them to return to the reservation in Idaho, one old Chief, wise, and full of experience with the workings of the government, said the following: “In the right hand is truth, in the left hand are lies and deceit, what you say and promise this day, does it come from the right hand or the left hand?” History affirms, that on that day, the left hand spoke.

Are citizens of the Valley, like the Indian Chief of old, full of experience and wise, when it comes to dealing with tax supported institutions? Or is there a belief, that since the leaders are elected by the people, therefore, regardless of what they do, the governed should have total confidence?

In the coming months, budgets are going to be presented at public hearings, that will purport to be factual, truthful, with all the information the public needs to know.
But the truth is a little darker and more nebulous than one could ever imagine.

Many of the budgets, the public will be asked to comment on, will be required budgets, meaning the State of Utah or some agency of the State, has required a budget to be prepared, presented and a copy forwarded to that particular State Agency. The final act, is to go through the motions of a public hearing. Once these things are done, for all intents and purposes, it is over.

Every citizen should fully understand, that when budgets are presented, they are the minimum requirements of the budgetary process. Details, accounts and information can be left out, without a penalty. In fact, even the math does not need to add up.

In reviewing a current budget that will shortly come before the public, two items are very obvious. Based on the numbering on the pages, there are nine pages left out. Where are they, and what did they represent? The second item, is serious and no amount of excuse or laughing can remedy the problem. When the citizens went to the office of this agency for a copy, they were told, there were no copies. And perhaps, copies would be available at the public hearing. It is obvious they wanted to give the public plenty of time to be prepared!!

Based on the published agenda, and based on a second item on the agenda, which is to accept the budget after the so- called public hearing, it would seem safe to conclude, there was never any attempt to give information to the public. There was never any attempt to have the citizens participate in the public hearing. The whole process, was as one called it, A DONE DEAL.

This is tragic. This is a slap in the face to every citizen. Even those, whose thought processes make it possible to believe, since they elected certain ones, we should have full confidence in their abilities.

Yes, we do have full confidence in their abilities to hide the truth. To present items, they know, would not or could not, be supported in the light of day. Yes, they did the minimum. Yes, they did what the law required. And yes, they did what they thought they could get away with.

It is obvious, that good people can be deceived by their own plans. Untrustworthy, and in reality, have no desire for citizens to participate in a process granted by law.

Once again, no governmental agency will come to the defense of the people. Once again, those who point out the problems, will be labeled by those, whose skirts are not clean because they support those, whose desire is to do, the bare minimum, in hopes, the plans, will come to pass, and when the public understands, the damage done, those who sold themselves will be retired, dead, long gone and forgotten.

As the old Chief put it so wisely, the right hand will bring truth, the left will be lies and deceit.
When it comes to budgets, the question will need to be asked, was the budget put together by the left, or the right?

Citizens should live their lives as pessimists, by doing so, no one will be disappointed, but there may be times when many could be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Heber Light and Power has now published the new rates which are scheduled to be effective for the May billing. Some times there are good reasons for increases, but citizens need to fully understand the costs and the causes. In the case of Heber Light and Power there are reasons, which, have not been explained very well. The documents necessary to help explain the increases, will be the subject of THE WASATCH CURRENT at a later time. THE WASATCH CURRENT is sorry, that management with Heber Light and Power, have decided,not to participate with the IMPACT PROGRAM. An invitation was extended, and the IMPACT PROGRAM will continue that invitation.
In the meantime, please go to the following site and review the documentation provided.

The average power use in the valley is reported to be 1000 Kilowatt hours per billing cycle.

1st. 60 Kilowatt hours @14.31 cents per hour $8.31
Next 140 Kilowatt hours @10.72 cents per hour $15.01
800 Kilowatt hours @7.39 cents per hour $59.12
Total per billing $82.44

1st. 10000 Kilowatt hours @7.15 cents per hour $71.50
Total per billing $83.50

1st. 60 Kilowatt hours @14.31 cents per hour $8.31
Next 140 Kilowatt hours @10.72 cents per hour $15.01
1300 Kilowatt hours @7.39 cents per hour $96.07
Total per billing $119.39

1st 1000 Kilowatt hours @7.15 cents per hour $71.50
500 Kilowatt hours @9.00 cents per hour $45.00
Total per billing $128.50

1st 60 Kilowatt hours @14.31 cents per hour $8.31
Next 140 Kilowatt hours @10.72 cents per hour $15.01
1800 Kilowatt hours @7.39 cents per hour $133.02
Total per billing $156.34

1st 1000 Kilowatt hours @7.15 cents per hour $71.50
1000 Kilowatt hours @9.00 cents per hour $90.00
Total per billing $173.50

1ST 60 Kilowatt hours @14.31 cents per hour $8.31
Next 140 Kilowatt hours @10.72 cents per hour $15.01
2300 Kilowatt hours @7.39 cents per hour $169.97
Total per billing $193.29

1st 1000 Kilowatt hours @7.15 cents per hour $71.50
1500 Kilowatt hours @9.00 cents per hour $135.00
Total per billing $218.50

1st 60 Kilowatt hours @14.31 cents per hour $8.31
Next 140 Kilowatt hours @10.72 cents per hour $15.01
2800 Kilowatt hours @7.39 cents per hour $206.92
Total per billing $230.24

1st 1000 Kilowatt hours @7.15 cents per hour $71.50
2000 Kilowatt hours @9.00 cents per hour $180.00
Total per billing $263.50

1. Totals are exclusive of taxes and fees.

Electricity Rate Comparison by State

Average Revenue per Kilowatt hour by State
This chart has been updated April 2009.

State Average Electricity Rate

(Cents per Kilowatt hour)
1 Wyoming 5.69
2 West Virginia 5.78
3 Idaho 5.99
4 Utah 6.00
5 Nebraska 6.08
6 Kentucky 6.24
7 Missouri 6.33
8 North Dakota 6.45
9 Oklahoma 6.70
10 South Dakota 6.88
11 Washington 6.94
12 Kansas 7.14
13 Oregon 7.20
14 Iowa 7.22
15 Montana 7.30
16 Indiana 7.32
17 New Mexico 7.61
18 Minnesota 7.70
19 Arkansas 7.73
20 Colorado 8.03
21 South Carolina 8.21
22 North Carolina 8.40
23 Arizona 8.43
24 Ohio 8.56
25 Georgia 8.67
26 Louisiana 8.72
27 Virginia 8.81
28 Wisconsin 9.03
29 Alabama 9.08
30 Tennessee 9.09
31 Pennsylvania 9.16
32 Illinois 9.22
33 Michigan 9.24
34 Mississippi 9.29
35 Nevada 9.58
National Average 9.64
36 Texas 10.80
37 Florida 11.25
38 California 12.11
39 Delaware 12.25
40 Vermont 12.46
41 District of Columbia 13.01
42 Maryland 13.01
43 Maine 14.01
44 Alaska 14.13
45 New Jersey 14.18
46 New York 15.01
47 New Hampshire 15.17
48 Massachusetts 16.47
49 Rhode Island 17.09
50 Connecticut 17.18
51 Hawaii 25.78

Source: Electric Power Monthly. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC.


1. As a ratepayer, do you understand why there is a need for an increase?
2. Do you understand how much more you will be paying for power?
3. Do you know how many kilowatt hours you use each billing?
4. Do you have ideas on how you can lower your power bill? (caution must be exercised in this area of conservation, too much conservation, will create a need to further increase future power bills, since Heber Power and Light makes a profit on the power they sell, and the income from power sales, funds other areas of Heber power and Power. Remember what happen to Heber City residents related to their water rates after a summer of conservation.)
5. Have you made contact with Heber Light and Power, to answer questions related to your power bill? They should be the source for any information you are seeking.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Some years ago, there was an incident in our community, where funds, that has been given in trust by members of the community, were used in a very speculative way. The idea was to make great returns. But the method used was questionable, and when all the elements came together, the money was lost. The goal to make a great return and demonstrate to the investors, the prowess of the funds manager, was a driving force. But failure to observe a little honesty, integrity and taking responsibility for the outcomes, caused the person in charge to be accused of some serious crimes and eventually sentenced to prison.
The person in charge, said that everything he did, was for the benefit of those that had given him funds. And in the end, there were many excuses, but not anything that could justify the actions taken.

Recently something very similar happened in our valley, that reminded a few of the events some years ago.
Money was misused in a very speculative endeavor, with the same hope of a large return in a short period of time. The return did not come about. And although, there were promises made, the money is still out there. Yes, it can be recovered in time, but the fact, that tax payer money, was used in a very bizarre manner, along with a few elected officials who voted approval of this endeavor, the outcome is basically the same as events years ago.

The big question on the minds of many, seems to be what should be the penalty for taking tax payer funds and placing them in a speculative venture? It does not seem, it would be fair, to place all of the blame on the back of the Heber City Manager, since, he was acting on approval granted by four of the elected officials with a big push by the current Mayor. But it does seem, that someone should pay for this blatant misuse.

Right now the spin masters are working overtime to make it all seem like, what was done, was right, and nothing new.
Taxpayers are wondering, if this seems so easy to do, what else has been done, that is unknown to the masses?

According to a number of people, perhaps the County Attorney should open an investigation. As of today, word on the street is suggesting, that if the County Attorney is unable, then the Attorney General needs to take a peek.

Is there a need right now, for someone at Heber City to fall on their sword?
Taxpayers are nervous and they have a right to be. Is their tax money safe in the hands of the current administration? Is the almighty dollar the only guiding light in Heber City? Was Mr. Anderson wrong for doing what he did? What was the City Council doing in approving such misuse to start with? The taxpayers need some real answers with supporting documents.

Will there be some leader come forth and prove there is still some leadership left? It seems now, that people can not have confidence in their leaders, appointed or elected.

At the next City Council meeting, rather than playing patty-cake with some developer, have a discussion on how the City can bring confidence back into the process of governing. As it is now, everything done, is going to be scrutinized and placed under a microscope and rightly so. Can the elected officials expect anything less after their complicity in this matter?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


The more things change, the more they remain the same. In an effort to make distasteful items to appear palatable, they are given a new name, or reduced visibility.

At issue, the Wasatch School District, and their desire to reduce and eliminate the aids in the classroom. The issue is critical. The aids provide a service, that students need, and teachers count on, to provide an environment of learning.

A few years ago, the public voted on a bond, that was deceitful in facts, and short on availability of information. At that time, anyone who had done their home work, realized, with the exception of the District administration, the new high school, the most expensive in the entire State of Utah, could not be built for the money that was being talked about.
Those who asked questions, were labeled as anti-schools, anti-kids, anti-teachers and anti-education. It was a clear case, of trying to deflect the real issues, with sub-plots and slight of hand information. It even went so far, that people organized vast committees, filled the members with doubtful and dubious facts and spin, and it worked. The public, like a bunch of lemmings, rain to the edge of the cliff and jumped over. The school did cost, by tens of millions, more.

The issue today is connected to the new high school, because the district administration has now made it known, that bricks and mortar is more important, than classroom instruction.
The Wasatch District is flush with cash. They have received millions from valuations in the county. So much money, that district bean counters cannot, or will not give the public a clear accounting.
So with all this cash and the continuing push to protect, what has been called the “jewel building of the kingdom builders“, the move is made to reduce and eliminate the use of aids, in a public display, to show the district is prepared to make serious sacrifices to save money.

But, if the aids had no value, a safe conclusion would be, the district made a very good decision. But this move is morally wrong. It is deceitful and disingenuous not only to the aids, but to the patrons of the district.

Everyone should fully understand, this district has money, but they have made promises.

There have been many, who have suggested, that if cuts must be made, take a look at the district office. It is very interesting, the district administration has and continues to grow faster, in proportion to the growth of the district as a whole. This district went from a small three bedroom house, to completely filling a large building and occupying classrooms in various schools with so called administration and directors. It has also been brought to the attention of some, that perhaps, in some cases salaries need to be re-examined. Some, it has been pointed out, are way above common sense levels, and others are a slap in the face for how low they are. For those who have some curiosity on this issue, go to Utahs Keep in mind what is shown is supplied by the district and is perhaps about two years old, and therefore about 12 percent should be added.

The following questions need a truthful and realistic answers.

1. Is it necessary to terminate the aids in the class room?

2. Is the district short of funds?

3. Are there other ways to make cuts, if they are necessary?

4. Does the district understand the difference between bricks and mortar and educating actual flesh and blood .

5. Will the district come to their senses, in time to change this rudderless ship before it becomes stuck on the rocks of misdirection?

No patron of the Wasatch School District should allow this issue to be pushed on the back burner and finally allowed to disappear it, like the High School, it could come back in a few years, and make the patrons, wish, they never allowed it to happen. Our kids are more important than saving a few dollars, to enhance bricks and mortar.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Notifications regarding meetings, seems to rank very high on the list that citizens believe, are not carried out according to law. The following is the State of Utah Code regarding the various requirements on meeting notification. This act declares the minimum standards for compliance with the law.


52-4-101. Title.
This chapter is known as the "Open and Public Meetings Act."
52-4-102. Declaration of public policy.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that the state, its agencies and political subdivisions, exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions:
(a) take their actions openly; and
(b) conduct their deliberations openly.
52-4-103. Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Anchor location" means the physical location from which:
(a) an electronic meeting originates; or
(b) the participants are connected.
(2) "Convening" means the calling of a meeting of a public body by a person authorized to do so for the express purpose of discussing or acting upon a subject over which that public body has jurisdiction or advisory power.
(3) "Electronic meeting" means a public meeting convened or conducted by means of a conference using electronic communications.
(4) (a) "Meeting" means the convening of a public body, with a quorum present, including a workshop or an executive session whether the meeting is held in person or by means of electronic communications, for the purpose of discussing, receiving comments from the public about, or acting upon a matter over which the public body has jurisdiction or advisory power.
(b) "Meeting" does not mean:
(i) a chance meeting;
(ii) a social meeting; or
(iii) the convening of a public body that has both legislative and executive responsibilities where no public funds are appropriated for expenditure during the time the public body is convened and:
(A) the public body is convened solely for the discussion or implementation of administrative or operational matters for which no formal action by the public body is required; or
(B) the public body is convened solely for the discussion or implementation of administrative or operational matters that would not come before the public body for discussion or action.
(5) "Monitor" means to hear or observe, live, by audio or video equipment, all of the public statements of each member of the public body who is participating in a meeting.
(6) "Participate" means the ability to communicate with all of the members of a public body, either verbally or electronically, so that each member of the public body can hear or observe the communication.
(7) (a) "Public body" means any administrative, advisory, executive, or legislative body of the state or its political subdivisions that:
(i) is created by the Utah Constitution, statute, rule, ordinance, or resolution;
(ii) consists of two or more persons;
(iii) expends, disburses, or is supported in whole or in part by tax revenue; and
(iv) is vested with the authority to make decisions regarding the public's business.
(b) "Public body" does not include a:
(i) political party, political group, or political caucus; or
(ii) conference committee, rules committee, or sifting committee of the Legislature.
(8) "Public statement" means a statement made in the ordinary course of business of the public body with the intent that all other members of the public body receive it.
(9) (a) "Quorum" means a simple majority of the membership of a public body, unless otherwise defined by applicable law.
(b) "Quorum" does not include a meeting of two elected officials by themselves when no action, either formal or informal, is taken on a subject over which these elected officials have advisory power.
(10) "Recording" means an audio, or an audio and video, record of the proceedings of a meeting that can be used to review the proceedings of the meeting.
52-4-104. Training.
The presiding officer of the public body shall ensure that the members of the public body are provided with annual training on the requirements of this chapter.
52-4-201. Meetings open to the public -- Exceptions.
(1) A meeting is open to the public unless closed under Sections 52-4-204, 52-4-205, and 52-4-206.
(2) (a) A meeting that is open to the public includes a workshop or an executive session of a public body in which a quorum is present, unless closed in accordance with this chapter.
(b) A workshop or an executive session of a public body in which a quorum is present that is held on the same day as a regularly scheduled public meeting of the public body may only be held at the location where the public body is holding the regularly scheduled public meeting unless:
(i) the workshop or executive session is held at the location where the public body holds its regularly scheduled public meetings but, for that day, the regularly scheduled public meeting is being held at different location;
(ii) any of the meetings held on the same day is a site visit or a traveling tour and, in accordance with this chapter, public notice is given;
(iii) the workshop or executive session is an electronic meeting conducted according to the requirements of Section 52-4-207; or 2
(iv) it is not practicable to conduct the workshop or executive session at the regular location of the public body's open meetings due to an emergency or extraordinary circumstances.
52-4-202. Public notice of meetings -- Emergency meetings.
(1) A public body shall give not less than 24 hours public notice of each meeting including the meeting:
(a) agenda;
(b) date;
(c) time; and
(d) place.
(2) (a) In addition to the requirements under Subsection (1), a public body which holds regular meetings that are scheduled in advance over the course of a year shall give public notice at least once each year of its annual meeting schedule as provided in this section.
(b) The public notice under Subsection (2)(a) shall specify the date, time, and place of the scheduled meetings.
(3) (a) Public notice shall be satisfied by:
(i) posting written notice:
(A) at the principal office of the public body, or if no principal office exists, at the building where the meeting is to be held; and
(B) beginning October 1, 2008 and except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), on the Utah Public Notice Website created under Section 63F-1-701; and
(ii) providing notice to:
(A) at least one newspaper of general circulation within the geographic jurisdiction of the public body; or
(B) a local media correspondent.
(b) A public body of a municipality under Title 10, Utah Municipal Code, a local district under Title 17B, Limited Purpose Local Government Entities - Local Districts, or a special service district under Title 17D, Chapter 1, Special Service District Act, is encouraged, but not required, to post written notice on the Utah Public Notice Website, if the municipality or district has a current annual budget of less than $1 million.
(c) A public body is in compliance with the provisions of Subsection (3)(a)(ii) by providing notice to a newspaper or local media correspondent under the provisions of Subsection 63F-1-701(4)(d).
(4) A public body is encouraged to develop and use additional electronic means to provide notice of its meetings under Subsection (3).
(5) (a) The notice requirement of Subsection (1) may be disregarded if:
(i) because of unforeseen circumstances it is necessary for a public body to hold an emergency meeting to consider matters of an emergency or urgent nature; and
(ii) the public body gives the best notice practicable of:
(A) the time and place of the emergency meeting; and
(B) the topics to be considered at the emergency meeting.
(b) An emergency meeting of a public body may not be held unless:
(i) an attempt has been made to notify all the members of the public body; and
(ii) a majority of the members of the public body approve the meeting.
(6) (a) A public notice that is required to include an agenda under Subsection (1) shall provide reasonable specificity to notify the public as to the topics to be considered at the meeting. Each topic shall be listed under an agenda item on the meeting agenda.
(b) Subject to the provisions of Subsection (6)(c), and at the discretion of the presiding member of the public body, a topic raised by the public may be discussed during an open meeting, even if the topic raised by the public was not included in the agenda or advance public notice for the meeting.
(c) Except as provided in Subsection (5), relating to emergency meetings, a public body may not take final action on a topic in an open meeting unless the topic is:
(i) listed under an agenda item as required by Subsection (6)(a); and
(ii) included with the advance public notice required by this section.
52-4-203. Minutes of open meetings -- Public records -- Recording of meetings.
(1) Except as provided under Subsection (8), written minutes and a recording shall be kept of all open meetings.
(2) Written minutes of an open meeting shall include:
(a) the date, time, and place of the meeting;
(b) the names of members present and absent;
(c) the substance of all matters proposed, discussed, or decided by the public body which may include a summary of comments made by members of the public body;
(d) a record, by individual member, of each vote taken by the public body;
(e) the name of each person who is not a member of the public body, and upon recognition by the presiding member of the public body, provided testimony or comments to the public body;
(f) the substance, in brief, of the testimony or comments provided by the public under Subsection (2)(e); and
(g) any other information that any member requests be entered in the minutes or recording.
(3) A recording of an open meeting shall:
(a) be a complete and unedited record of all open portions of the meeting from the commencement of the meeting through adjournment of the meeting; and
(b) be properly labeled or identified with the date, time, and place of the meeting.
(4) (a) The minutes and recordings of an open meeting are public records and shall be available within a reasonable time after the meeting. 3
(b) An open meeting record kept only by a recording must be converted to written minutes within a reasonable time upon request.
(5) All or any part of an open meeting may be independently recorded by any person in attendance if the recording does not interfere with the conduct of the meeting.
(6) Minutes or recordings of an open meeting that are required to be retained permanently shall be maintained in or converted to a format that meets long-term records storage requirements.
(7) Written minutes and recordings of open meetings are public records under Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, but written minutes shall be the official record of action taken at the meeting.
(8) Either written minutes or a recording shall be kept of:
(a) an open meeting that is a site visit or a traveling tour, if no vote or action is taken by the public body; and
(b) an open meeting of a local district under Title 17B, Limited Purpose Local Government Entities - Local Districts, or special service district under Title 17D, Chapter 1, Special Service District Act, if the district's annual budgeted expenditures for all funds, excluding capital expenditures and debt service, are $50,000 or less.
52-4-204. Closed meeting held upon vote of members -- Business -- Reasons for meeting recorded.
(1) A closed meeting may be held:
(a) if a quorum is present; and
(b) if two-thirds of the members of the public body present at an open meeting for which notice is given under Section 52-4-202 vote to approve closing the meeting.
(2) A closed meeting is not allowed unless each matter discussed in the closed meeting is permitted under Section 52-4-205.
(3) An ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation, contract, or appointment may not be approved at a closed meeting.
(4) The following information shall be publicly announced and entered on the minutes of the open meeting at which the closed meeting was approved:
(a) the reason or reasons for holding the closed meeting;
(b) the location where the closed meeting will be held; and
(c) the vote by name, of each member of the public body, either for or against the motion to hold the closed meeting.
(5) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any meeting to be closed to the public.
52-4-205. Purposes of closed meetings.
(1) A closed meeting described under Section 52-4-204 may only be held for:
(a) discussion of the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual;
(b) strategy sessions to discuss collective bargaining;
(c) strategy sessions to discuss pending or reasonably imminent litigation;
(d) strategy sessions to discuss the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property if public discussion of the transaction would:
(i) disclose the appraisal or estimated value of the property under consideration; or
(ii) prevent the public body from completing the transaction on the best possible terms;
(e) strategy sessions to discuss the sale of real property if:
(i) public discussion of the transaction would:
(A) disclose the appraisal or estimated value of the property under consideration; or
(B) prevent the public body from completing the transaction on the best possible terms;
(ii) the public body previously gave public notice that the property would be offered for sale; and
(iii) the terms of the sale are publicly disclosed before the public body approves the sale;
(f) discussion regarding deployment of security personnel, devices, or systems;
(g) investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct; and
(h) discussion by a county legislative body of commercial information as defined in Section 59-1-404.
(2) A public body may not interview a person applying to fill an elected position in a closed meeting.
52-4-206. Record of closed meetings.
(1) Except as provided under Subsection (6), if a public body closes a meeting under Subsection 52-4-205(1), the public body:
(a) shall make a recording of the closed portion of the meeting; and
(b) may keep detailed written minutes that disclose the content of the closed portion of the meeting.
(2) A recording of a closed meeting shall be complete and unedited from the commencement of the closed meeting through adjournment of the closed meeting.
(3) The recording and any minutes of a closed meeting shall include:
(a) the date, time, and place of the meeting;
(b) the names of members present and absent; and
(c) the names of all others present except where the disclosure would infringe on the confidentiality necessary to fulfill the original purpose of closing the meeting.
(4) Minutes or recordings of a closed meeting that are required to be retained permanently shall be maintained in or converted to a format that meets long-term records storage requirements.
(5) Both a recording and written minutes of closed meetings are protected records under Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management 4
Act, except that the records may be disclosed under a court order only as provided under Section 52-4-304.
(6) If a public body closes a meeting exclusively for the purposes described under Subsection 52-4-205(1)(a) or Subsection 52-4-205(1)(f):
(a) the person presiding shall sign a sworn statement affirming that the sole purpose for closing the meeting was to discuss the purposes described under Subsection 52-4-205(1)(a) or Subsection 52-4-205(1)(f); and
(b) the provisions of Subsection (1) of this section do not apply.
52-4-207. Electronic meetings -- Authorization -- Requirements.
(1) A public body may convene and conduct an electronic meeting in accordance with this section.
(2) (a) A public body may not hold an electronic meeting unless the public body has adopted a resolution, rule, or ordinance governing the use of electronic meetings.
(b) The resolution, rule, or ordinance may:
(i) prohibit or limit electronic meetings based on budget, public policy, or logistical considerations;
(ii) require a quorum of the public body to:
(A) be present at a single anchor location for the meeting; and
(B) vote to approve establishment of an electronic meeting in order to include other members of the public body through an electronic connection;
(iii) require a request for an electronic meeting to be made by a member of a public body up to three days prior to the meeting to allow for arrangements to be made for the electronic meeting;
(iv) restrict the number of separate connections for members of the public body that are allowed for an electronic meeting based on available equipment capability; or
(v) establish other procedures, limitations, or conditions governing electronic meetings not in conflict with this section.
(3) A public body that convenes or conducts an electronic meeting shall:
(a) give public notice of the meeting:
(i) in accordance with Section 52-4-202; and
(ii) post written notice at the anchor location;
(b) in addition to giving public notice required by Subsection (3)(a), provide:
(i) notice of the electronic meeting to the members of the public body at least 24 hours before the meeting so that they may participate in and be counted as present for all purposes, including the determination that a quorum is present; and
(ii) a description of how the members will be connected to the electronic meeting;
(c) establish one or more anchor locations for the public meeting, at least one of which is in the building and political subdivision where the public body would normally meet if they were not holding an electronic meeting;
(d) provide space and facilities at the anchor location so that interested persons and the public may attend and monitor the open portions of the meeting; and
(e) if comments from the public will be accepted during the electronic meeting, provide space and facilities at the anchor location so that interested persons and the public may attend, monitor, and participate in the open portions of the meeting.
(4) Compliance with the provisions of this section by a public body constitutes full and complete compliance by the public body with the corresponding provisions of Sections 52-4-201 and 52-4-202.
52-4-208. Chance or social meetings.
(1) This chapter does not apply to any chance meeting or a social meeting.
(2) A chance meeting or social meeting may not be used to circumvent the provisions of this chapter.
52-4-301. Disruption of meetings.
This chapter does not prohibit the removal of any person from a meeting, if the person willfully disrupts the meeting to the extent that orderly conduct is seriously compromised.
52-4-302. Suit to void final action -- Limitation -- Exceptions.
(1) (a) Any final action taken in violation of Section 52-4-201, 52-4-202, or 52-4-207 is voidable by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) A court may not void a final action taken by a public body for failure to comply with the posting written notice requirements under Subsection 52-4-202(3)(a)(i)(B) if:
(i) the posting is made for a meeting that is held before April 1, 2009; or
(ii) (A) the public body otherwise complies with the provisions of Section 52-4-202; and
(B) the failure was a result of unforeseen Internet hosting or communication technology failure.
(2) Except as provided under Subsection (3), a suit to void final action shall be commenced within 90 days after the date of the action.
(3) A suit to void final action concerning the issuance of bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness shall be commenced within 30 days after the date of the action.
52-4-303. Enforcement of chapter -- Suit to compel compliance.
(1) The attorney general and county attorneys of the state shall enforce this chapter.
(2) The attorney general shall, on at least a yearly basis, provide notice to all public bodies that are subject to this chapter of any material changes to the 5
requirements for the conduct of meetings under this chapter.
(3) A person denied any right under this chapter may commence suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to:
(a) compel compliance with or enjoin violations of this chapter; or
(b) determine the chapter's applicability to discussions or decisions of a public body.
(4) The court may award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to a successful plaintiff.
52-4-304. Action challenging closed meeting.
(1) Notwithstanding the procedure established under Subsection 63G-2-202(7), in any action brought under the authority of this chapter to challenge the legality of a closed meeting held by a public body, the court shall:
(a) review the recording or written minutes of the closed meeting in camera; and
(b) decide the legality of the closed meeting.
(2) (a) If the judge determines that the public body did not violate Section 52-4-204, 52-4-205, or 52-4-206 regarding closed meetings, the judge shall dismiss the case without disclosing or revealing any information from the recording or minutes of the closed meeting.
(b) If the judge determines that the public body violated Section 52-4-204, 52-4-205, or 52-4-206 regarding closed meetings, the judge shall publicly disclose or reveal from the recording or minutes of the closed meeting all information about the portion of the meeting that was illegally closed.
52-4-305. Criminal penalty for closed meeting violation.
In addition to any other penalty under this chapter, a member of a public body who knowingly or intentionally violates or who knowingly or intentionally abets or advises a violation of any of the closed meeting provisions of this chapter is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.