Citizens have an expectation, that if questions are asked of their leaders, there is a reasonable, timely response.
When no such thing happens, it opens the door to a belief, that leaders are not open to transparency and in fact leaves the impression that perhaps there are things that need to be hidden for a reason.
Here is an actual e-mail that was sent to some elected leaders, asking some simple questions.
It has come to my attention the property sold to Rooftop Anchors in the Industrial Park, may have been sold for less than Market Value.
My questions are:
1. Has the sale already taken place?
2. What was the Sale Price?
3. Was there an appraisal on the property and by whom?
4. How much was the property appraised for?
I found a notice for the Public Hearing dated September 2, 2010, but my source is suggesting the sale was actually agreed to prior to the public hearing and for a fixed amount that may have been for less than value.
I would appreciate your response as soon as possible. If this is a rumor, then we need to nip it.
Look at the date, it is now November 20, 2010 as of this writing and here is the response:
(no, it is not invisible ink)
Yes, this is the response from those leaders who claim they want the citizens to participate and become involved. This is not the first time that citizens have been ignored and mislead, and sadly it will not be the last “no response”.
Since there was no response, the citizen had to investigate on his own and here is what he found.
1. During a meeting before the City Council on August 19, 2010, a discussion ensued between the Council and the representative of Rooftop Anchors. Part of the discussion was the mention of “the contract” the representative wanted some clarification on. Also, it was in this meeting where Councilman McDonald said he wanted to sell closer to Market Value, Councilman Straddeck agreed.
2. A contract did surface with a date of August 23, 2010 with a price of $50,000 dollars per acre. There are two questions: A. What is the “contract” referred to in the August 19, 2010 minutes. B. How did a contract get dated 23rd of August, four days after a discussion in which the Council wanted to sell close to Market Value which had not been determined.
3. September 2, 2010 a public hearing was held on the sale of the property and at this time Councilman Straddeck, who was acting as Mayor pro-tem, said the following: “I would recommend that the Council go into closed session after taking public comment to discuss the price that they would offer the property for sale and any terms of the proposed agreement that cause concern”
4. Finally found out there was an appraisal of the property on September 8, 2010 and it was determined the value was around $344.000., for the total piece of 2.62 aces.
There are four very important questions:
1. What is the “contract” mentioned in the minutes of August 19, 2010.
2. Who created the contract with a date of August 23, 2010, with a sale price of $131,000.00 dollars which was before the public hearing and before the requested appraisal and no where near the “Market Value”?
3. And what was discussed in the so called closed session of September 2, 2010, that was going to be about the price, if a contract price had already been determined back on August 23rd?
4. Did someone exceed their authority and make a determination of price and gave the developers the nod, the price would be $131,000 dollars, prior to the closed session and was a nod also given the buyer, and they did in fact either see a contract prior to August 19th or had been told “not to worry” it was a done deal?
The questions regarding this sale were asked of those involved. There was no response. Investigation was done and the items found have been disclosed.
Now some elected officials may not like what is exposed, but keep in mind they had an opportunity to set the record straight, if indeed, there was really a need to do it.
Once again, it is painfully obvious, Heber City has lost more money on deals that look like they were done in a back room out of the view of the public.
All totaled, the City has lost in excess of 2.5 million dollars, which raises two questions: 1. Who is really in charge?
2. Do we have money to burn, which would suggest the citizens are either over taxed or whom ever is making the decisions does not understand finances, since the losses in the last few years would cover the budget short fall for years to come.