Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS

SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS IN WASATCH COUNTY HAVE BECOME A FOCAL POINT FOR DISCUSSIONS EVERYWHERE. THE FOLLOWING SHOULD HELP EVERYONE IN UNDERSTANDING THE DISTRICTS CREATED, WHEN AND WHY AND UNDER WHAT AUTHORITY. GOOD READING Wasatch County Code Title 6 SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS AND SERVICE AREAS Chapters: 6.01 SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS AND SERVICE AREAS 6.02 GOVERNING BOARDS AND ADVISIOR BOARDS. 6.03 LEGAL COUNSEL TO SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS AND SPECIAL SERVICE AREAS. 6.04 INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS. Page 1 of 9 Wasatch County Code Chapter 6.01 SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS AND SERVICE AREAS Sections: 6.01.01 Purpose. 6.01.02 Enumeration of Special Service Districts. 6.01.03 Enumeration of Special Service Areas. Section 6.01.01 Purpose. (1) It is the purpose of this Chapter to set forth the name of each Special Service District and Service Area in Wasatch County and the date the entity was created, and to reference for the benefit of the public the creation documents available in relation thereto. (2) All special service districts or special service areas previously created by the County Legislative Body and which are not enumerated in this Chapter are hereby dissolved, those districts and service areas no longer being needed for the purposes for which they were formed. Section 6.01.02 Enumeration of Special Service Districts. The following Special Service Districts exist in Wasatch County: (1) Heber Valley Special Service District. The Heber Valley Special Service District was established May 17, 1977 for the purpose of providing sewerage services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution Number 77-9. (2) Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 1. Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 1 was established on May 08, 1981 for the purpose of providing drainage, flood control and roads within its jurisdiction in the Heber Estates Subdivision in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 81-8. (3) Wasatch County Solid Waste Disposal Special Service District. The Wasatch County Solid Waste Disposal District was established on March 05, 1982 for the purpose of providing solid waste services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 82-8, as amended by Wasatch County Resolution 82-16 (November 5, 1982). (4) Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 2. The Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 2 was established on June 04, 1982 for the purpose of providing drainage, flood control and roads within its jurisdiction in the Wasatch View Acres Subdivision in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 82-11. (5) Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 3. The Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 3 was established on November 19, 1982 for the purpose of providing drainage, flood control and roads within its jurisdiction in the Storm Haven, Plat B Subdivision in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution No. 82-18. (6) Jordanelle Special Service District. The Jordanelle Special Service District was established on September 20, 1993 for the purpose of providing drainage, recreation, snow removal, flood control, roads, sewer collection, sewer treatment, sewer contract services, and retail water distribution systems within its jurisdiction in the Jordanelle Basin Page 2 of 9 Wasatch County Code in Wasatch County. The lawful establishment of the District was confirmed pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 00-04 (January 24, 2000), as amended. (7) Soldier Summit Special Service District. The Soldier Summit Special Service District was established on June 16, 1984 for the purpose of providing water, garbage, transportation (including street lighting, storm drainage, and other street-related facilities), recreation (including maintenance of the site of the Civil War era soldiers' cemetery), and fire protection within its jurisdiction in Soldier Summit in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to a Utah County and Wasatch County Resolution dated July 16, 1984. (8) Wasatch County Fire Protection Special Service District. The Wasatch County Fire Protection Special Service District was established on June 24, 1987 for the purpose of providing fire protection services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 87-7. (9) Mineral Lease Special Service District Number 9. The Mineral Lease Special Service District Number 9 was established on April 30, 1990 for the purpose of repairing and maintaining roads within its jurisdiction, and to finance said improvements through the receipt of Mineral Lease Payments. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 90-5. (10) Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 6. The Wasatch County Subdivision Special Service District Number 6 was established on January 7, 1991 for the purpose of providing drainage, flood control and roads within its jurisdiction in the Storm Haven, Plat A subdivision in Wasatch County. District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 91-4. (11) Twin Creeks Special Service District. The Twin Creeks Special Service District was established on June 20, 1994 for the purpose of providing sewage collection, treatment and/or contract services within its jurisdiction in the Lake Creek and Center Creek areas of Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 94- 6. The purposes of the District were expanded to include water services pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 94-18 (August 8, 1994). (12) Timberlakes Water Special Service District. The Timberlakes Water Special Service District was established on April 17, 1995 for the purpose of providing water services within its jurisdiction in the Timberlakes subdivision. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 95-20. (13) Wasatch County Recreation Special Service District Number 21. The Wasatch County Recreation Special Service District Number 21 was established on August 7, 1995 for the purpose of providing parks and recreation facilities and services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 95-11. (14) Spring Creek Special Service District. The Spring Creek Special Service District was established on February 26, 1996 for the purpose of providing wastewater collection and related services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 96-07. (16) Ernie Giles Special Service District. The Ernie Giles Special Service District was established on April 21, 1997 for the purpose of providing wastewater collection within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 97-4. (17) Strawberry Lake Special Service District. The Strawberry Lake Special Service District was established on June 16, 1997 for the purpose of providing water, sewerage, flood control, garbage, health care, recreation, snow-removal and street lighting services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 97-6. (18) Blue Bench Landfill Special Service District. The Blue Bench Landfill Special Service District was established in cooperation with Duchesne County Page 3 of 9 Wasatch County Code for the purpose of providing solid waste disposal services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch and Duchesne counties. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 98-24. (20) Provo Owl's Nest Special Service District. The Provo Owl's Nest Special Service District was established on June 14, 1999 for the purpose of providing sewerage and water services within its jurisdiction in the Provo Canyon area of Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 99-15. (21) North Village Special Service District. The North Village Special Service District was established on August 28, 2000 for the purpose of providing water and sewerage services within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The District was established pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 00-28. Section 6.01.03 Enumeration of Special Service Areas. The following Special Service Areas exist within Wasatch County: (1) Wasatch County Special Service Area Number 1. Wasatch County Special Service Area Number 1 was established on October 25, 1993 for the purpose of providing culinary or irrigation water retail services, water conservation, recreation facilities, water quality services, and flood control within its jurisdiction in Wasatch County. The lawful establishment of the Service Area was confirmed pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 00-14 (May 8, 2000). Page 4 of 9 Wasatch County Code Chapter 6.02 GOVERNING BOARDS AND ADVISIOR BOARDS. Sections: 6.02.01 Governing Authority Generally. 6.02.02 Heber Valley Special Service District-Administrative Control Board. 6.02.03 Jordanelle Special Service District-Administrative Control Board. 6.02.04 Soldier Summit Special Service District-Triad of Officers. 6.02.05 Wasatch County Fire Protection Special Service District-Administrative Control Board. 6.02.06 Mineral Lease Special Service District Number 9-Administrative Control Board. 6.02.07 Twin Creeks Special Service District-Advisory Board. 6.02.08 Timberlakes Water Special Service District-Executive Committee. 6.02.09 Blue Bench Landfill Special Service District-Governing Authority. 6.02.10 Wasatch County Special Service Area Number 1-Advisory Board and Water Manager. Section 6.02.01 Governing Authority Generally. (1) The County Legislative Body shall act as the governing board of all special service districts and the board of trustees of all special service areas in Wasatch County unless governing authority to so act has been expressly delegated, in whole or in part, to (a) in the case of a special service district, an appointed or elected administrative control board; or (b) in the case of a special service area, an appointed or elected board of trustees. The County Legislative Body shall have authority to revoke, in whole or in part, and at any time, any powers, authority, or responsibility so delegated to an administrative control board or board of trustees named in this Chapter. (2) As the governing authority of a special service district or special service area, the County Legislative Body shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility vested in such boards under state law. Section 6.02.02 Heber Valley Special Service District-Administrative Control Board. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 77-11 (August 19, 1977), the County created an administrative control board to act as the governing authority of the Heber Valley Special Service District. The Board shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it Resolution 81-3 (February 13, 1981), as amended. Section 6.02.03 Jordanelle Special Service District-Administrative Control Board. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 02-04 (February 4, 2002), the County created an administrative control board to act as the governing authority of the Jordanelle Special Service District. The Board shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it in Resolution 02-04, as amended. Section 6.02.04 Soldier Summit Special Service District-Triad of Officers. Pursuant to a Wasatch County and Utah County Resolution dated July 16, 1984, a triad of officers was created to act as the governing authority of the Soldier Summit Special Service District. The triad shall Page 5 of 9 Wasatch County Code consist of one member of the Wasatch County Legislative Body, one member of the Utah County Legislative Body, and the Soldier Summit member, who shall be a qualified elector of the District, or an owner of real property located within the District. The triad of officers shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it in the Resolution dated July 16, 1984. Section 6.02.05 Wasatch County Fire Protection Special Service District- Administrative Control Board. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 02-10 (March 25, 2002), the County created an administrative control board to act as the governing authority of the Wasatch County Fire Protection Special Service District. The Board shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it in Resolution 02- 10, as amended. Section 6.02.06 Mineral Lease Special Service District Number 9-Administrative Control Board. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 90-6A (June 25, 1990), the County created an administrative control board to act as the governing authority of the Mineral Lease Special Service District Number 9. The Board shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it in Resolution 90-6A, as amended. Section 6.02.07 Twin Creeks Special Service District-Advisory Board. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution Number 98-6 (March 25, 1996), the County created an advisory board to the County Legislative Body as that Body acts in its capacity as the governing authority of the Twin Creeks Special Service District. The Board shall advise the County Legislative Body on matters relating to the District and perform such other duties as assigned by that Body. Section 6.02.08 Timberlakes Water Special Service District-Executive Committee. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 98-10 (August 24, 1998), as amended by Wasatch County Resolution 00-33 (September 25, 2000), the County created an executive committee to act as the governing authority of the Timberlakes Water Special Service District. The Committee shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it in Resolution 00-33, as amended. Section 6.02.09 Blue Bench Landfill Special Service District-Governing Authority. Three members of the Wasatch County Legislative Body and three members of the Duchesne County Legislative Body shall together act as the governing board of the Blue Bench Landfill Special Service District. The Board shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility afforded to it under state law. Section 6.02.10 Wasatch County Special Service Area Number 1-Advisory Board and Water Manager. Page 6 of 9 Wasatch County Code The County Legislative Body shall act as the board of trustees of the Wasatch County Special Service Area Number 1. Pursuant to Wasatch County Resolution 00-01, the County created an advisory board and created the position of Water Manager. The Board shall have all powers, authority, and responsibility delegated to it in Resolution 00-01, as amended. Specifically, the Board and the Water Manager shall seek to (1) insure sufficient water for future citizens of Wasatch County, (2) review the sufficiency and transfer of water rights in conjunction with development within the boundaries of the Service Area; (3) administer the Central Utah Water Project matters in Wasatch County; and (4) manage municipal and industrial and supplemental irrigation inventories and allocations from the Central Utah Project. Page 7 of 9 Wasatch County Code Chapter 6.03 LEGAL COUNSEL TO SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS AND SPECIAL SERVICE AREAS. Sections: 6.03.01 Legal Counsel Generally. 6.03.02 Legal Opinions Relating To Duties of Special Service District Officers. Section 6.03.01 Legal Counsel Generally. (1) Special service districts and special service areas established by the County Legislative Body shall retain and pay for private legal counsel to provide general legal services to the district or service area, including but not limited to legal services relating to contracts, lease agreements, real estate purchases, eminent domain, annexations, employment, procurement, dissolution, bonding, and any other issue arising out of the day-to-day operations and services of the district or service area. (2) The County Attorney's Office shall not provide general legal services to special service districts or special service areas in Wasatch County. However, upon request of the County Manager and in the discretion of the County Attorney, the County Attorney may advise a special service district or special service area on an issue, provided that district or service area pays to the County the reasonable costs of such legal services. Section 6.03.02 Legal Opinions Relating To Duties of Special Service District Officers. The County Attorney shall give, when required and without fee, an opinion in writing to special service district officers on matters relating to the duties of their respective offices, as required by Utah Code Ann. 17-18-1, as amended. Page 8 of 9 Wasatch County Code Chapter 6.04 INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS. Sections: 6.04.01 Insurance Required. 6.04.02 Proof of Insurance. Section 6.04.01 Insurance Required. All special service districts and special service areas established by the County Legislative Body shall obtain and pay for the costs of general liability insurance, property insurance, and automobile insurance for vehicles owned by the district or service area. Section 6.04.02 Proof of Insurance. Upon request of the County Manager, each special service district or special service area created by the County Legislative Body shall produce a written certificate of insurance demonstrating compliance with the insurance requirements under this Chapter. Page 9 of 9

Monday, December 05, 2011

ETHICS FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES

There have been numerous complaints about elected and appointed officials, regarding deals, conflicts of interest, and deriving personal benefits from their individual service to the public. The State of Utah has enacted laws to protect against such abuse and have in place a mechanism to remove or replace those who violate these laws. For the laws to work properly, requires vigilance on the part of all citizens as well as scrutiny of the process known as governing. The First act is known as the “Municipal Officers and Employees Ethics Act.” It covers all elected and appointed officials in a Municipality. 10-3-1301. Short title. This part is known as the "Municipal Officers' and Employees' Ethics Act." 10-3-1302. Purpose. The purposes of this part are to establish standards of conduct for municipal officers and employees and to require these persons to disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest between their public duties and their personal interests. 10-3-1303. Definitions. As used in this part: (1) "Appointed officer" means any person appointed to any statutory office or position or any other person appointed to any position of employment with a city or with a community development and renewal agency under Title 17C, Limited Purpose Local Government Entities - Community Development and Renewal Agencies Act. Appointed officers include, but are not limited to, persons serving on special, regular, or full-time committees, agencies, or boards whether or not such persons are compensated for their services. The use of the word "officer" in this part is not intended to make appointed persons or employees "officers" of the municipality. (2) "Assist" means to act, or offer or agree to act, in such a way as to help, represent, aid, advise, furnish information to, or otherwise provide assistance to a person or business entity, believing that such action is of help, aid, advice, or assistance to such person or business entity and with the intent to assist such person or business entity. (3) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, association, joint venture, corporation, firm, trust, foundation, or other organization or entity used in carrying on a business. (4) "Compensation" means anything of economic value, however designated, which is paid, loaned, granted, given, donated, or transferred to any person or business entity by anyone other than the governmental employer for or in consideration of personal services, materials, property, or any other thing whatsoever. (5) "Elected officer" means a person: (a) elected or appointed to the office of mayor, commissioner, or council member; or (b) who is considered to be elected to the office of mayor, commissioner, or council member by a municipal legislative body in accordance with Section20A-1-206. (6) "Improper disclosure" means disclosure of private, controlled, or protected information to any person who does not have both the right and the need to receive the information. (7) "Municipal employee" means a person who is not an elected or appointed officer who is employed on a full or part-time basis by a municipality or by a community development and renewal agency under Title 17C, Limited Purpose Local Government Entities - Community Development and Renewal Agencies Act. (8) "Private, controlled, or protected information" means information classified as private, controlled, or protected under Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act or other applicable provision of law. (9) "Substantial interest" means the ownership, either legally or equitably, by an individual, the individual's spouse, or the individual's minor children, of at least 10% of the outstanding shares of a corporation or 10% interest in any other business entity. 10-3-1304. Use of office for personal benefit prohibited. (1) As used in this section, "economic benefit tantamount to a gift" includes: (a) a loan at an interest rate that is substantially lower than the commercial rate then currently prevalent for similar loans; and (b) compensation received for private services rendered at a rate substantially exceeding the fair market value of the services. (2) It is an offense for an elected or appointed officer or municipal employee, under circumstances not amounting to a violation of Section 63G-6-1001 or 76-8-105, to: (a) disclose or improperly use private, controlled, or protected information acquired by reason of the officer's or employee's official position or in the course of official duties in order to further substantially the officer's or employee's personal economic interest or to secure special privileges or exemptions for the officer or employee or for others; (b) use or attempt to use the officer's or employee's official position to: (i) further substantially the officer's or employee's personal economic interest; or (ii) secure special privileges for the officer or employee or for others; or (c) knowingly receive, accept, take, seek, or solicit, directly or indirectly, for the officer or employee or for another, a gift of substantial value or a substantial economic benefit tantamount to a gift that: (i) would tend improperly to influence a reasonable person in the person's position to depart from the faithful and impartial discharge of the person's public duties; or (ii) the person knows or that a reasonable person in that position should know under the circumstances is primarily for the purpose of rewarding the person for official action taken. (3) Subsection (2)(c) does not apply to: (a) an occasional non-pecuniary gift having a value of less than $50; (b) an award publicly presented in recognition of public services; (c) any bona fide loan made in the ordinary course of business; or (d) a political campaign contribution. 10-3-1305. Compensation for assistance in transaction involving municipality -- Public disclosure and filing required. (1) As used in this section, "municipal body" means any public board, commission, committee, or other public group organized to make public policy decisions or to advise persons who make public policy decisions. (2) It is an offense for an elected officer, or appointed officer, who is a member of a public body, under circumstances not amounting to a violation of Section 63G-6-1001 or 76-8-105, to receive or agree to receive compensation for assisting any person or business entity in any transaction involving the municipality in which the member is an officer unless the member: (a) files with the mayor a sworn statement giving the information required by this section; and (b) discloses the information required by Subsection (5) in an open meeting to the members of the body of which the officer is a member immediately before the discussion. (3) It is an offense for an appointed officer who is not a member of a public body or a municipal employee to receive or agree to receive compensation for assisting any person or business entity in any transaction involving the municipality by which the person is employed unless the officer or employee: (a) files with the mayor a sworn statement giving the information required by this section; and (b) discloses the information required by Subsection (5) to: (i) the officer or employee's immediate supervisor; and (ii) any other municipal officer or employee who may rely upon the employee's representations in evaluating or approving the transaction. (4) (a) The officer or employee shall file the statement required to be filed by this section 10 days before the date of any agreement between the elected or appointed officer or municipal employee and the person or business entity being assisted or 10 days before the receipt of compensation by the officer or employee, whichever is earlier. (b) The statement is public information and shall be available for examination by the public. (5) The statement and disclosure shall contain: (a) the name and address of the officer or municipal employee; (b) the name and address of the person or business entity being or to be assisted or in which the appointed or elected official or municipal employee has a substantial interest; and (c) a brief description of the transaction as to which service is rendered or is to be rendered and of the nature of the service performed or to be performed. 10-3-1306. Interest in business entity regulated by municipality -- Disclosure statement required. (1) Every appointed or elected officer or municipal employee who is an officer, director, agent, or employee or the owner of a substantial interest in any business entity which is subject to the regulation of the municipality in which he is an elected or appointed officer or municipal employee shall disclose the position held and the nature and value of his interest upon first becoming appointed, elected, or employed by the municipality, and again at any time thereafter if the elected or appointed officer's or municipal employee's position in the business entity has changed significantly or if the value of his interest in the entity has increased significantly since the last disclosure. (2) The disclosure shall be made in a sworn statement filed with the mayor. The mayor shall report the substance of all such disclosure statements to the members of the governing body, or may provide to the members of the governing body copies of the disclosure statement within 30 days after the statement is received by him. (3) This section does not apply to instances where the value of the interest does not exceed $2,000. Life insurance policies and annuities may not be considered in determining the value of any such interest. 10-3-1307. Interest in business entity doing business with municipality -- Disclosure. (1) Every appointed or elected officer or municipal employee who is an officer, director, agent, employee, or owner of a substantial interest in any business entity which does or anticipates doing business with the municipality in which he is an appointed or elected officer or municipal employee, shall publicly disclose to the members of the body of which he is a member or by which he is employed immediately prior to any discussion by such body concerning matters relating to such business entity, the nature of his interest in that business entity. (2) The disclosure statement shall be entered in the minutes of the meeting.(3) Disclosure by a municipal employee under this section is satisfied if the employee makes the disclosure in the manner required by Sections 10-3-1305 and 10-3-1306. 10-3-1308. Investment creating conflict of interest with duties -- Disclosure. Any personal interest or investment by a municipal employee or by any elected or appointed official of a municipality which creates a conflict between the employee's or official's personal interests and his public duties shall be disclosed in open meeting to the members of the body in the manner required by Section 10-3-1306. 10-3-1309. Inducing officer or employee to violate part prohibited. It is a class A misdemeanor for any person to induce or seek to induce any appointed or elected officer or municipal employee to violate any of the provisions of this part. 10-3-1310. Penalties for violation -- Dismissal from employment or removal from office. In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who knowingly and intentionally violates this part, with the exception of Sections 10-3-1306, 10-3-1307, 10-3-1308, and 10-3-1309, shall be dismissed from employment or removed from office and is guilty of: (1) a felony of the second degree if the total value of the compensation, conflict of interest, or assistance exceeds $1,000; (2) a felony of the third degree if: (a) the total value of the compensation, conflict of interest, or assistance is more than $250 but not more than $1,000; or (b) the elected or appointed officer or municipal employee has been twice before convicted of violation of this chapter and the value of the conflict of interest, compensation, or assistance was $250 or less; (3) a class A misdemeanor if the value of the compensation or assistance was more than $100 but does not exceed $250; or (4) a class B misdemeanor if the value of the compensation or assistance was $100 or less. 10-3-1311. Complaints charging violations -- Procedure. (1) Any complaint against a person who is under the merit system, charging that person with a violation of this part, shall be filed and processed in accordance with the provisions of the merit system. (2) If the person charged with the violation is not under any merit system, then the complaint shall be filed with the mayor or city manager. The mayor or city manager shall investigate the complaint and shall give the person an opportunity to be heard. A written report of the findings and the recommendation of the mayor or city manager shall be filed with the governing body. If the governing body finds that the person has violated this part, it may dismiss, suspend, or take such other appropriate action with respect to the person. 10-3-1312. Violation of disclosure requirements -- Penalties -- Rescission of prohibited transaction. If any transaction is entered into in connection with a violation of Section 10-3-1305, 10-3-1306, 10-3-1307, or 10-3-1308, the municipality: (1) shall dismiss or remove the appointed or elected officer or municipal employee who knowingly and intentionally violates this part from employment or office; and (2) may rescind or void any contract or subcontract entered into pursuant to that transaction without returning any part of the consideration received by the municipality. The second act covers all County officers, employees as well as those appointed their respective positions. 17-16a-1. Citation of chapter. This chapter may be cited as the "County Officers and Employees Disclosure Act." 17-16a-2. Purposes. The purposes of this chapter are to establish standards of conduct for county officers and employees and to require these persons to disclose conflicts of interest between their public duties and their personal interests. 17-16a-3. Definitions. As used in this part: (1) "Appointed officer" means any person appointed to any statutory office or position or any other person appointed to any position of employment with a county, except special employees. Appointed officers include, but are not limited to persons serving on special, regular or full-time committees, agencies, or boards whether or not such persons are compensated for their services. The use of the word "officer" in this part is not intended to make appointed persons or employees "officers" of the county. (2) "Assist" means to act, or offer or agree to act, in such a way as to help, represent, aid, advise, furnish information to, or otherwise provide assistance to a person or business entity, believing that such action is of help, aid, advice, or assistance to such person or business entity and with the intent to so assist such person or business entity. (3) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, association, joint venture, corporation, firm, trust, foundation, or other organization or entity used in carrying on a business. (4) "Compensation" means anything of economic value, however designated, which is paid, loaned, granted, given, donated or transferred to any person or business entity for or in consideration of personal services, materials, property, or any other thing whatsoever. (5) "Elected officer" means any person elected or appointed to any office in the county. (6) "Governmental action" means any action on the part of a county including: (a) any decision, determination, finding, ruling, or order; and (b) any grant, payment, award, license, contract, subcontract, transaction, decision, sanction, or approval, or the denial thereof, or the failure to act in respect to. (7) "Special employee" means any person hired on the basis of a contract to perform a special service for the county pursuant to an award of a contract following a public bid. (8) "Substantial interest" means the ownership, either legally or equitably, by an individual, the individual's spouse, and the individual's minor children, of at least 10% of the outstanding shares of a corporation or 10% interest in any other business entity. 17-16a-4. Prohibited use of official position -- Exception. (1) Except as provided in Subsection (3), it is an offense for an elected or appointed officer, under circumstances not amounting to a violation of Section 63G-6-1001 or 76-8-105, to: (a) disclose confidential information acquired by reason of the officer's official position or use that information to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or others; (b) use or attempt to use the officer's official position to secure special privileges for the officer or for others; or (c) knowingly receive, accept, take, seek or solicit, directly or indirectly, any gift or loan for the officer or for another, if the gift or loan tends to influence the officer in the discharge of the officer's official duties. (2) This section is inapplicable to: (a) an occasional non-pecuniary gift having a value of less than $50; (b) an award publicly presented; (c) any bona fide loan made in the ordinary course of business; or (d) political campaign contributions actually used in a political campaign. (3) A member of a county legislative body who is also a member of the governing board of a provider of mental health or substance abuse services under contract with the county does not commit an offense under Subsection (1)(a) or (b) by discharging, in good faith, the duties and responsibilities of each position, if the county legislative body member does not participate in the process of selecting the mental health or substance abuse service provider. 17-16a-5. Compensation for assistance in transaction involving county -- Public disclosure and filing required. (1) No elected or appointed officer may receive or agree to receive compensation for assisting any person or business entity in any transaction involving the county in which he is an officer unless he files with the county legislative body a sworn statement giving the information required by this section, and discloses in open meeting to the members of the body of which he is a member, immediately prior to the discussion, the information required by Subsection (3). (2) The statement required to be filed by this section shall be filed 10 days prior to the date of any agreement between the elected or appointed officer and the person or business entity being assisted or 10 days prior to the receipt of compensation by the business entity. The statement is public information and is available for examination by the public. (3) The statement and disclosure shall contain the following information: (a) the name and address of the officer; (b) the name and address of the person or business entity being or to be assisted, or in which the appointed or elected official has a substantial interest; and (c) a brief description of the transaction as to which service is rendered or is to be rendered and of the nature of the service performed or to be performed. 17-16a-6. Interest in business entity regulated by county -- Disclosure. Every appointed or elected officer who is an officer, director, agent, or employee or the owner of a substantial interest in any business entity which is subject to the regulation of the county in which the officer is an elected or appointed officer shall disclose the position held and the precise nature and value of the officer's interest upon first becoming appointed or elected, and again during January of each year thereafter during which the officer continues to be an appointed or elected officer. The disclosure shall be made in a sworn statement filed with the county legislative body. The commission shall report the substance of all such disclosure statements to the members of the governing body or may provide to the members of the governing body, copies of the disclosure statement within 30 days after the statement is received. This section does not apply to instances where the value of the interest does not exceed $2,000, and life insurance policies and annuities may not be considered in determining the value of the interest. 17-16a-7. Interest in business entity doing business with county -- Disclosure. Every appointed or elected officer who is an officer, director, agent, or employee, or owner of a substantial interest in any business entity which does or anticipates doing business with the county in which he is an appointed or elected officer, shall publicly disclose to the members of the body on which he is a member immediately prior to any discussion by such body matters relating to such business entity, the nature of his interest in that business entity. The disclosure statement shall be entered in the minutes of the meeting. 17-16a-8. Investment creating conflict of interest with duties -- Disclosure. Any personal interest of or investment by any elected or appointed official of a county which creates a potential or actual conflict between the official's personal interests and his public duties shall be disclosed in open meeting to the members of the body in the manner required by Section 17-16a-6. 17-16a-9. Inducing officer to violate provisions prohibited. No person shall induce or seek to induce any appointed or elected officer to violate any of the provisions of this part. 17-16a-10. Violation a misdemeanor -- Removal from office. In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who knowingly and intentionally violates this part is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and shall be dismissed from employment or removed from office. 17-16a-11. Complaints charging violations -- Procedure. (1) Any complaint against a person who is under the merit system, charging that person with a violation of this part, shall be filed and processed in accordance with the provisions of the merit system. (2) If the person charged with the violation is not under any merit system, then the complaint shall be filed with the commission which shall investigate the complaint and shall give the person an opportunity to be heard. A written report of the findings and the recommendation of the commission shall be filed with the governing body. If the governing body finds that the person has violated this part, it may dismiss, suspend, or take such other appropriate action with respect to the person. 17-16a-12. Rescission of prohibited transaction. If any transaction is entered into in connection with a violation of Section 17-16a-6, the county may rescind or void any contract or subcontract entered into pursuant to that transaction without returning any part of the consideration received by the county. The State of Utah also covers malfeasance in office by elected officials. 17-16-10.5. Failure to perform duties constitutes malfeasance in office -- Felony charges arising from official duties -- Paid administrative leave -- Reassignment of duties. (1) The failure of an elected county or prosecution district officer substantially to perform the officer's official duties constitutes malfeasance in office under Section 77-6-1. (2) (a) If an elected county or prosecution district officer is charged with the commission of a felony arising from conduct related to the officer's official duties, the officer shall be placed on paid administrative leave by the county legislative body until: (i) the charges are dismissed or the officer is acquitted, at which time the officer shall be entitled to return to office, unless the officer's term of office has in the meantime expired; or (ii) the officer is convicted of a felony or attempt to commit a felony arising from conduct related to the officer's official duties, in which case the sentencing judge shall order the officer removed from office. (b) A conviction or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, relating to a felony charge described in Subsection (2)(a), constitutes malfeasance in office for purposes of Section 77-6-1. (c) Entry of a plea in abeyance is the equivalent of a conviction for purposes of Subsection (2)(a)(ii), even if the charge is later dismissed pursuant to a plea in abeyance agreement. (d) The provisions under this Subsection (2) for the removal of a county or prosecution district officer are in addition to and do not replace or supersede the removal provisions under Title 77, Chapter 6, Removal by Judicial Proceedings. (3) (a) During the time that an elected county or prosecution district officer is on paid administrative leave under Subsection (2), the officer's duties may, except as provided in Subsection (3)(c), be temporarily: (i) reassigned to another officer by the county legislative body; or (ii) performed by a person employed for that purpose. (b) For purposes of Subsection (3)(a) with respect to a prosecution district officer in a multi-county prosecution district, "county legislative body" means the legislative bodies of all counties included in the prosecution district. (c) A reassignment under Subsection (3)(a) may not result in the same person exercising the duties of: (i) both a county legislative body member or county treasurer and county auditor; or (ii) both a county executive and county auditor

Friday, October 07, 2011

CHANGING OF THE APPOINTIVE AUTHORITY



1963 Ordinances

2-6 Appointive Power---The Mayor shall, by and with the advice and consent of the City council, appoint all appointive officers provided for by the city ordinances and by statute, and shall appoint all committees authorized by ordinance or resolution of the city council.

Heber City in the 1964 Ordinance book gave all appointive powers to the Mayor with advice and consent of the Heber City Council.

October 1998 Ordinance Book.

Section 2.08.050

          The Mayor shall, by and with the advice and consent of the City council, appoint all appointive officers provided for by the city ordinances and by statute, and shall appoint all committees authorized by ordinance or resolution of the city council. 

October 1998 Ordinance Book continues with the doctrine the Mayor has the appointive power with advice and consent of the city council.

The history of appointing a city engineer or public works director.

In the 1963, 16-1 compensation; Appointment----The mayor may appoint during the term for which he is elected, subject to confirmation by the city council, a competent person to the position of city engineer.

1963 code did not have a public works director, but had superintendents for water, sewer, Streets and roads. All, subject to the mayor appointing with advice and consent of the City Council. The sewer supervisor was appointed by the City Council, since in 1963, he reported directly to the Council.

1963 code----Engineer-16-1

                   Water – 30-33   

                   Streets/Roads-25-1

                  Sewer-24-5

Over time, the city combined the duties of individuals until Ordinance 91-05 and Ordinance 97-09 was enacted. In the 1998 Code Book, the public works director was established as chapter 2.32.

2.32.010-Appointment

          The mayor, with  the advice and consent of the City Council, shall have power to appoint during the term for which he is elected, a competent person as public works director.

The current code for Heber City has a major shift from the mayor appointing with advice and consent of the council, to having the City Manager make the appointment with no mention of advice and consent of the City Council.

This shift in policy occurred 2003, when a number of ordinances were changed that allowed the city manager to have control where previously the mayor was in charge with advice and consent of the council



City Engineer/Public Works Director

Section 2.28.010Appointment--Compensation.

The City Manager may appoint a competent person to the position of City

Engineer/Public Works Director.  (Ord. 2003-25, 2003; Ord. 97-09, 1997) Ord. 91-05,

1991; Prior code §16-1)

(2003-25, Amended, 11/20/2003)



A careful review  of all Heber City ordinances will show little changes that were made to include the City Manager in the operation of the City and to have the mayor with equal footing as the council. As an example review the following:

Code 1963  2-1 Municipal Government—The municipal government of Heber City is hereby vested in a mayor and city council. The city council shall be composed of five councilmen, chosen at large by the qualified voters of the city.

Nothing is said about the Mayor being voted on with the council.

Code 1998- Municipal Government—Form

          The municipal government of the city is vested in a mayor, city council and a city manager. The city council shall be composed of five council member, chosen at large by the qualified voters of the city.

The item; “city manager” added in 1998. Nothing  said about the mayor being voted on with the council.

Section 2.04.010Form. Current Code

The municipal government of the city is vested in a mayor and city council and a

city manager.  The city council and mayor shall be chosen by the qualified voters of the

city. The city council shall be composed of five council members.  (Ord. 2003-25, 2003;

Ord. 98-19, 1998; Ord. 91-05, 1991; Prior code §2-1)

(2003-25, Amended, 11/20/2003; 98-19, Amended, 10/15/1998)

Little changes made to include the mayor with equal footing as the council and portending the future, which is to allow the mayor to be a voting member of the council.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  



                                          


Thursday, September 08, 2011

AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. DANIEL MAUER

Dear Mr. Mauer,

No Sir, I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed of the facts I discuss, even the ones you don’t like.

So with that said, may I say, I have no problem with your letter to our local paper in which you call me names and make accusations that although they look good on paper are false and unproven. Many times people resort to this type of thing when they are firing bullets made by someone else. If you were truthful, you would have to confess this is exactly what you are doing since you and I have only met one time and really do not know one another, but I am a big believer and supporter of free speech so have at it.

Let me tell you what I know about you. You supported the Heber City Council to vote on increasing taxes. You were asked about that by a mutual friend and you had to confess you had not read the budget, but had made up your mind, based on conclusions and understandings of another and we both know who that was. If you still have not seen the budget, please call me so I can make sure you get a copy since this budget is a doozy.

I know another thing about you. You are on a list that receives what is purported to be factual information regarding the Heber City Council and those running for office. It sells false information at a really cheap price; your integrity. I would hope that you do not believe all the rubbish you receive from those e-mails and fall into the trap of accepting the nonsense as factual.

The last couple of e-mails you received, I also received and must confess they not only lacked facts, they were an embarrassment to realize the source from wench they came. You would think the person sending them would have done a little due diligence and made sure, he could prove with actual evidence what he wanted you to believe and support when he asked you to fire his bullets in public.

You see, Mr. Mauer, the difference between you and I is very simple, I do my own research and bidding and do not place myself in a position of being some ones puppet.

Good citizenship requires citizens to seek for themselves all the known facts on the issues, not just the ones that you want.

Sadly, you have allowed yourself to become a puppet and a parrot of another and bought into information that is without merit and can not be supported.

The person who pulls your strings, is the same person who promised when running 4 years ago, to accomplish fiscal responsibility, support accountability and openness in government. On his watch that has not happened. In fact, a careful reading of the minutes will show his vote each time was to do the exact opposite. On one issue, he tried to publicly support his vote, by saying:"if I would have known then, what I know now, I would have never voted for the proposal."

The sad part is, he had an opportunity to know then what others already knew and decided not to allow himself to become acquainted with the facts. I find it very interesting, that he also wanted the public to have more information. I have yet to see a motion from your friend to put any information on any subject on the City web site or any where else, so citizens could have a better understanding. I could go on, but it would serve no purpose. I believe people, " forced against their will, are of the same opinion still".

If you have an issue you would like to discuss in public, please let me know. I will be more than happy to give you time on our program or just one on one on the phone.

The same invitation has been extended to your bullet making friend and he has declined. For those on the e-mail list who portend openness, they should find that very interesting.

Thanks for listening.

Sincerely,

Paul Royall

Monday, May 09, 2011

HOW MUCH MORE?

With a current crop of revelations regarding Heber City administration, would it be unreasonable to expect some action on the part of the Heber City Council?
The current issues, mixed with some from the past, behooves the council to act with all speed to bring back the confidence of the people in their duly elected government.
The Citizen voices on the street, suggests, not only are they tired of shadow government, but they have seen and heard enough.
The money issues, remember the City has lost nearly three million dollars and no amount of a carnival shell game is going to restore it. Employee problems have become a great concern. Morale is at an all time low. There is a lack of confidence by members of the Council in the administration. There have even been certain acts of insubordination and no broom action by the Mayor will allow that to be swept under the rug as much as he would like to see it. Justifications for past acts and current ones, by the administration, just are simply not there.

When changes are suggested in Council meetings, there are those who would argue the timing is not right or they are still trying to make up their mind. However, this lack of backbone or the failure to remember the promises when running for office, does not and will not wipe the slate clean and allow officials to sit and do nothing. That has already been tried and it does not work no matter how hard officials pray that it will.

Revelations in the last six months involving the Mayor, the City Manager and the Police Chief, along with some department heads, shows there is a need to do some spring cleaning.
Complaints from employees, threats and intimidations seem to be the subject of discussions, but events of little, if any, action.

The issue of the Train, the Chief of Police, the Heber City Manager and the Mayor, demonstrates a total lack of regard for the safety of the City or even a caring for the money provided by the taxpayers. Added upon this, is the total disregard for any common sense, the rule of law, the checks and balances found in government and just the uncaring attitude for others, than “ yourself or your special friends”.

The good book makes a very good point for those individuals mentioned. “to him that knowth good and doeth not, to him it is sin”. A blatant disregard for citizens, an attitude of “don’t you know who I am?” has all come together and produced a government in Heber City, by the selected few for the selected few.
With all this disruption, callous disregard for law and policy, and the use of ones office to intimidate, threaten and put pressure to justify certain actions, to produce certain outcomes, now comes suggestions for solving the problems now and in the future.

1. The Mayor can not be fired by the Council (the law is strange that way), but the Mayor owes the citizens of Heber City an apology for mishandling the issue of the Train, the Police and the City Manager. He knowingly applied pressure that allowed an outcome that was illegal and placed the City in jeopardy. His actions cannot be excused by “I did not know” or “I had no idea”. There is a little statement of supreme importance: “If in doubt, find out”.

2. The City Manager should be demoted and his salary cut and a letter placed in his personnel file. If he disagrees and makes a problem for the City, then terminate him forthwith.

3. The Chief of Police should be given the opportunity to retire with a letter in his personnel file. If he does not agree, then terminate him forthwith.
This may sound pretty harsh for the Chief of Police, since in Heber City, the City Manager Micro manages the Police Department as he does others, but this would have been a golden opportunity to stand fast on a principle the Chief should have known of and followed.

There are members of the City Council that feel that it is time to take action. The problem is, there are other members of the Council, that would prefer to sweep the problems of the past and the current ones under the rug. They have done so before by their inaction, so doing the same thing with the aforementioned problems should come as no surprise. They will wait for the Mayor to wink or nod and they will come to life fighting for the privilege to man the brooms. It is an amazing transformation. Do not be too disappointed. They promised to do certain things, but found out it was safe to do nothing.

Here are the letters that were read by Mr. Horner and Mr. McDonald during the Thursday meeting of May 5, 2011.
NUMBER 1:

After reading the findings of our city attorney it became very clear to me that there were multiple policies, laws, ethical violations made.
Officers used public equipment cars gas guns computers etc. for personal gain. To me this is considered misappropriation of funds. However, they did this under the direction of the Chief of Police and the City Manager. Both the Officers and the Chief of Police should have known better. It is the responsibility however of the City Manager to make sure that everyone in the city follows policy and upholds the law.
It is a great concern that nobody is willing to admit any wrong doing. In not admitting anything is wrong then there are no assurances that this will not happen again in the future. In fact they want approval to do it again right here tonight.
It really bothers me that the City Manager allowed the breaking of policy's and state laws. He does not have authority to authorize action without the consent of the council, such actions are harmful to the city.
The Police Department is held to a higher standard in order to build public trust. I have been told that the Officers take an oath to uphold and enforce the law. I find that this situation is contrary to this oath. The Public's trust has definitely been jeopardized by these actions. Every police officer needs to understand the seriousness of these actions and work hard to rebuild the public's trust.
I feel it is a higher offense for the Chief of Police who is the leader and administrator of the officers in this situation. He is responsible to follow all policies and laws and to keep his officers in compliance at all times.
I also feel it is the City Manager's Job to oversee the Chief of Police and to see that the City and all agencies in it are in compliance at all times of the state statues and city policies. It has been brought to our attention that he did approve this particular event. Which means, it came to him and he failed to have the officers and chief of police follow the laws and policies in place at the state and the city. The city Manager is responsible to conduct the city business in an ethical manner, I do not feel that the city was represented in an ethical manner by our Manager.
The severity of these evens leaves’ me no other options than to recommend disciplinary actions for the City Manager and Chief of Police.

NUMBER 2

PRIDE SECURITY MEETING SUMMARY
A few thoughts and points on the Pride Security Investigation
1-There is a city police department policy in place that requires each officer to have a secondary employment agreement form signed when employed as a security guard or an officer of the peace with another entity or agency that is not associated with the city. The policy describes the powers, duties and requirements of the officer and their employer and it has strict rules and regulations that must be followed by the officer and his non-city employer. This policy also provides a legal document that helps gives immunity to the city from any lawsuits and claims that may occur from the officer's secondary employment. Was the policy of the city
carried out to have this agreement in place? Unfortunately the answer is no. Both the C.M. & C of P. have openly admitted that they failed to follow city policy. I ask you then, what is the consequence for not following city policy? Should there be accountability for not following policy? Who are the city employees that are responsible for making sure that the paper work is done? When those in charge of an operation purposefully do not follow through with what is in the city's policy, should there be reprimands? The reason I am asking you to consider these question, is because the city was put in a position of a high liability risk. They should have never been placed in such a dangerous position. I believe this is a serious offense. If one of the officers would have been injured, whose workman’s compensation would have been used? If an incident had happened, whose liability policy would have been used to cover the lawsuit? I tell you that there is no question concerning this matter, the responsibility would have all fallen on the city. The city's insurance policies were used without permission and we were lucky that a claim or lawsuit was not filed. This Policy was not kept and the policy was broken by the Chief and the C.M. by not having this agreement signed.
2- A security guard is not the same as a peace officer of the city. As an officer of the city, he has all the state and city authority to act. A security guard is limited to what he can do when it comes to his duties and authority of employment. So once a Heber officer is not employed by the city as a peace officer of Heber City, his authority to act is limited because he is not employed as an on duty officer of the city. If you are not under city employment and are doing part time security work, you can only wear the hat of permitted authority that you are employed under. One cannot assume the rights, privileges, and duties of both positions at the same time, which will cause in entanglement of what authority the officers have. This applies even when one is wearing the color blue of the city during the secondary employment from the city. This may have been the one of the problems in the case with the train. There was a misconception to the public that officers who were employed as security guards by the train, where on duty peace officers and they were not, but hired as private security guards. Technically this is impersonating a police officer and isn't this against the law?
3-On city policy's- it has been stated that no policy was broken because there was not one in place. When there is not policy in place does it allow anyone then to action and set new policy? Whom has the authority to write or approve of any policy of the city? It is the city council. If there is no policy in effect, than you cannot do it. You must have the city council's approved authority before you can act, when there is no policy in effect or in place. Since the actions taken by the Chief and the C.M. did not have a city police policy in place, they should not have taken any action and by doing so they broke city policy by creating their own policy, without the council's approval. They should come to the council and asked for permission to override any city policy in place and not take it upon themself to a create new one.

4- We can they conclude that with no contract or agreement in place with the city, that the officers were acting on their own accord and as a private sector business. The officers were using public equipment and services to aid themselves in their personal business and for their own personal gain, creating unfair advantage over the other private sector businesses. It is very apparent that they were acting on their own because they were seeking secondary employment from their city employment and this cannot be classified as public services for following reasons.
a- their security services for the train were not performed under the city nor did the city proclaim this to be a public service. When money was given to them personally it no longer, could be called a public service, nor did they or the person in charge have the authority to proclaim it as a public service. Public service is paid by tax payer's money which needs the city councils authorization.
b- the officers received outside monetary compensation for performing their work. If what they did was a public service they would not have received compensation or when the compensation was paid out directly to them, it would have gone through the city's payroll. The city was not involved in the compensation pay out, so this was not a public service provided by the city nor was the city employed to perform the service asked by train. This is a complete separation of the city , from the officer's secondary employment with the train.
5- The officers when contracting for employment must be like every other citizen and must be licensed with the Federal, State and Local governments. If they were under employment of the city, then the exemptions and immunity would apply but they were not under the city but acting on their own. Someone needed to have a license according to state law 58-63-304. If the chief was registered or licensed, than all the rest would fall under his employment and would receive the exemption from having a state license. Since the chief does not have a licensed Security Company, then each individual officer was performing as a separate business and each one of them needed to be licensed separately. The fact is none of them are or have ever been licensed to perform security work as a business outside their city employment. They were not employees of the train either or they would have received W-2 forms. So what is the penalty or consequences for not following the state law? The state law 58-63-301 says a license is required to engage in the practice of a contract security company and a peace officer must be employed by a licensed contractor. The State exemptions of 58-63-304 do not apply or give them any immunity from not being licensed. So what does the council do when they know the state law was broken? Should we report this to the State?
6-The police officers were engaged in the use of city equipment, vehicles and officers uniform while off duty. It is clear that this issue with the train was not a city operation or was the city employed or contracted to perform the duties requested by the train. Therefore, if it was not a city sanctioned action, then who was it that used the city's resources and who give permission to do so? The city never was reimbursed for its resources? We do know that there is policy of the city that says the city will be reimbursed $ 100 per day fee for each vehicle used, so who is the party responsible to pay for it? The city needs to be reimbursed for its resources. The city policy on use of Vehicles says: employees assigned city vehicles shall use the vehicles for city business. The City and the state also have a policy that public equipment should not be used for private gain or profit. Both of these city policies were broken. Someone needs to pay a penalty for this or risk termination like the officer in S.L.C. did.

Summary of City policies broken by the City Manager and Chief of Police:
1- The Police Department's current policy between an officer and their secondary employment was broken. This is the responsibility of City Managers & Chief of Police to make sure city policies are carried out to the fullest extent. If the C.M. & the C of P are not required to up hold and follow city policies, how can their subordinates be expected to do the same? The C.M. & C of P are positions of trust and are held to the highest standard of accountability, perhaps more so than any other position in the city. As such, the consequences for violation of these polices are greater and need to be enforced.
2- Misuse of public funds and endangering the city by making it vulnerable to lawsuits have been exhibited by actions taken by the C.M. & C of P. These things they acted on their own part without approval of the city council to use city Insurance policies for autos, liability, workmen's comp. This has proved to be a very poor business decision by C.M. and put the city in a very precarious situation. This is no small matter. Should the city have fallen victim to lawsuits and claims, it would have induced a great and needless loss for our community.
3- Using public and city resources were used for personal gain and profit without permission of the City Council breaks city policy. These actions were incredibly unethical. The officers were paid directly by the train and received a personal gain for using city resources such as vehicles, uniforms, and other security equipment, which is in violation of city policy.
4- The city policy stating the approved use of city vehicles has been broken. Use of a city vehicle in accordance with non-city business is the misuse of public property.
5- Acting without the city council's authority by waiving city policy fees for reimbursement during use of city resources for non-city business is the misuse of authority and public funds.
6- Without proper authority or council approval, the C.M. & C of P over stepped their bounds as employees' of the city by implementing their own policies. Granted, the policies currently in affect are admittedly inefficient, and provide loop holes left to personal interpretation. However, despite these flaws, before a course of action is taken concerning such an issue, it MUST be brought before the city council for approval. If there is no policy in place or you have questions, concerns, or there exists uncertainty concerning any of the current policies in state or not; it is inappropriate to proceed on your own discretion. These actions are well outside of the authority of the C.M. & C of P to do so.
7- The Chief of Police has been operating a personal business without a City Business license. City policy on how a business is to operate was broken. Nowhere does it state in city policy that the Chief of Police is exempt from having a city business license.
8- State Law was broken by the Chief of Police for lacking proper registration and licensing for a security company and being engaged in private security work. The fine for such an offense is an upwards amount of 10K for no current license in place.
9- There are possibilities of State and Federal laws broken on how compensation was recorded for income.

Course of Disciplinary Action: The excuses or reasoning used by the C.M. and the C of P. that I forgot to do it or it was not intentional done or other cities are doing it, or we could not find a city policy in place are not legitimate, justified reasons for their course of action and to override the poor management decisions that lead to misuse of public funds, misuse of insurance policies and not following city policies. Common sense
and a basic amount of ethical and moral values would have told anyone that this was not right.
1- Verbal reprimand for both the C of P and C.M. for their actions taken. From what has been said tonight should be sufficient for the verbal reprimand. And as part of this reprimand, the council would like to know out how many days that city equipment was used for this operation and how much it cost the city for not being reimbursed for it. I would also like to know the total amount each officer was paid and how the train filed their compensation payment with the state and Fed's,
2- Written letter that will go into the C.M. permanent files, that states every city polices that was broken under his management of the city , along with the note that he allowed public resources used for personal gain and use.
Probation for 1 year for the C.M. for giving authorization to the C of P. to proceed, for putting the city in harm's way, not following city policy and over extending his bond to wave fees. If there is any other incident during his probation period it could lead to termination of employment.
It is very clear that our City Policy on Secondary employment with an officer needs to be cleared up and new policies need to be put into force. We need to write an Inter- local agreement and it must be signed and put into place with each entity or agency we work with. The Mayor, Council, City Manager, City Attorney and Chief all need to be involved with this to make it work . The recommendations given by our City Attorney are an excellent starts, along with adopting the recommendations by Utah Chiefs of Police.

Friday, April 29, 2011

COVERING FOR EACH OTHER

A recent article in the local paper criticized a member of the Heber City Council for making an issue out of the fact, the Heber City Police participated as a private security group.
Everyone must understand, that every police officer in order to make a living has found it necessary to hold a second job. We ask them to risk their lives, but we do not want to pay, we would rather put the money in new buildings and salaries for those that do little except spend money and make deals. But the kind of work the Police do in their off hours has become the issue for the last couple of months in Heber City.
The problem came to a head last Thursday, but was not reported as a factual presentation, since according to a number of people, the local paper did not have a presence at that council meeting. It is suspected the article was written by either the Mayor or the City Manager and then rewritten by the reporter. This is not uncommon. It has happened more times than not. The public just does not know. The articles they write are not unbiased and contained items that made certain ones look good by design and likewise make others look as if they are a problem.

At issue in the last City Council meeting was a report by the City Attorney addressing issues involving Pride Security and the Heber City Police Department.
One of the issues, is whether the Heber City Police broke any laws in obtaining the Security Contract with the Heber Valley Railroad.

According the article in the local paper, it was the City Manager and the Mayor who responded to Councilman Horner after he suggested that rules and policy had been broken.
The City Manager and the Mayor made it a point to say that City rules had not been broken, so in effect, it was no harm, no foul.
But wait a minute! State rules of conduct were broken and where does the City Manager and the Mayor get off in condoning the Police Department working as security personnel and in that employment using City vehicles, tax dollar purchases such a weapons, radios in police vehicles and portable radios and so forth?
The Question that should be asked of the City Manager and the Mayor is: “If you can condone this, why are you so upset when an employee wants to use the backhoe or a dump truck to clean his or her yard?
It is obvious, that perhaps no rules were broken as far as the Mayor and City Manager were concerned. But where is their concern over the use of items purchased by tax dollars.
Mr. Mayor and Mr. City Manager, you are wrong. You knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. And now you want to justify your actions by saying no rules were broken as far as the City was concerned. What we need in this matter is honesty not politics. If this is your belief, then perhaps your resignations would be in order since you saw no problem or cared. The minutes of a number of meetings, where there was a presentations by the City Manager with the blessing of the Mayor, shows a lack of concern, accountability and transparency and in some cases the Council was told just enough to get the vote. Which left the council with problems, so much so, that when they have been asked about certain items, statements have been made, that “if we had known then what we know now, we would have not voted for the project or the change“. So how much more will the citizens find out, that you have dismissed problems with “no harm no foul.”?

The public needs to read the following which is page 10 of an opinion by the City Attorney involving the police department and a conversation between the Mayor and the manager of the Heber Valley Railroad. What you will read is an employee being pushed into making a decision, not on friendship, but a train board member, speaking to one who would have a miserable life, if he failed to follow the suggestions of said board member.
And the last paragraph is of great concern, since it shows the need to save ones employment so he must “go along to get along“, and he wants all us to believe he was not influenced? You be the judge. Keep in mind, that problems like this are common place with the City Manager and the Mayor. They see no wrong in their decisions and will go to great lengths to cover, misdirect, and misspeak in an effort to save themselves so they can avoid public scrutiny which is the very thing they need.
The big question is how much longer before we see an end to this gang of two with the help of two other yes men on the council. We have lost millions, there are businesses in the valley who will no longer work for or with Heber City, due to actions of the City Manager and the Mayor.
Heber City is incapable of balancing a budget. There are to many sacred cows. To many promises and way too many cover ups. There is a need for some action to stop this mess and get the City back on an even course. The morale of City employees, the police department and others is so low, that one can only conclude now is the time for a leadership change, new direction and getting serious about problem solving.


The following is from Page 10 of a report from the City Attorney entitled EXECUTIVE SUMARY.


3. Pride felt that after it was hired by the Train in 2009 for security, representatives of the City approached personnel of the Train and applied some pressure that caused the Train to hire back the City officers the next year without Pride being given a chance to bid for 2010.

Finding: During May of 2009, when the “Thomas the Train” security contract was awarded to Pride by the Train, instead as had historically been done, some officers complained to the Heber City Chief of Police. In May 2009, the Chief contacted Craig Lacey HVRR and inquired as to why the change. He implied he was disappointed and emphasized that his officers depended upon that extra work
to supplement their income, and had done so for many years. Perry Rose acknowledged that the Train had always been afforded the local officers in the past. Money was paid directly to officers. No officers have or currently individually work as security officers by themselves. Any such employment is either through Heber City or another private security company.

Subsequently, Lacey and the Mayor, in the course of a regular rail road business meeting were talking and the topic came up. Lacey indicated to the Mayor that he had not made the decision regarding the 2009 hire, but that a woman from his office had set up the event contract with Pride, but he had [not] approved it.

The Mayor indicated that with the shrinking budgets and the officers not having been given any raises, and the minimal over-time opportunities less attainable, he was being approached by officers and the Chief. The Mayor expressed concern and disappointment that the Train had not used the City Police as had been done historically, and asked that the Train consider the City with any other bids in the future. There were no other contacts by the City to the Train. Lacey called the Chief just prior to the 2010 season and offered the security work to Heber City Police.


Pride then contracted HVRR about hiring the Police over them.

Lacey indicated that he did not feel undue political pressure to hire Heber City over Pride nor did he feel pressured by any City officials in considering whom to award the security contract. Lacy

10

It is important to keep in mind, the meeting between the Mayor of Heber City and Craig Lacey of the HVRR was in conjunction with a board meeting. Here you have one board member speaking with the Manager of the Train. For Mr. Lacey to say he felt no pressure, is like saying since the police were on the street, in large numbers, there was no pressure to not speed.

As for the Thursday meeting of the Heber City Council where the Mayor and the City Manager say there were no Heber laws broken, what about state laws which not only should leaders had known about, but such laws had been brought to the attention of the City Manager by Pride Security . The City Manager and Mayor made a conscious decision to ignore the laws either out of not wanting to know, which is serious, or out of a “I don’t care attitude which is just as serious for the liability that could have come to the City. There will be some who will say, there was no problem, but these are the same people, that when problems happen are either no where to be found or are busy looking for scrape goats.
No laws broken, but it was ok for the tax payers to pay for the equipment used. Are there principles of right and wrong here, or is this politics as usual with a large helping of lets cover for each other?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A WORD ON A MESSY DEAL

After looking at a lot of the bills produced by the legislature, it looks like the citizens for the most part were on the loosing end. Money was an issue, as well as education and they did surprisingly well on these two issues. But there were a number of feel good bills that were passed into law, that in the end will cost taxpayers even more. The process this year came under the microscope. For some this was thought to be something new, Speed bills through. but research tells a different story. This year was just the year, the legislators got caught on two very important issues, HB116 and HB 477. Citizens are angry and they have every right to be. Instead of solving some pretty serious problems, legislators took it upon themselves to make the problems worse. As a citizen I am still angry over the process and how it was done and when the actors were caught, their reaction.

The last word on HB 477:

Contrary to a popular belief by some, HB477 was a travesty of justice, not because people were as interested in reading e-mails and text messages as legislators would have you believe, but HB477 was the beginning of the end for citizens to have access to all the records, past and current. The law passed, signed by the Governor and later done away with, was a smoke screen for the real reason, a frontal assault on the ability of Citizens to know. It was also the beginning of the empowerment of local government to follow the legislature and choke the life out of the ability of local citizens to have access.

A thought on the Legislature:

Can it be said, that Representative Lockhart is any different than Nancy Pelosi? Can it be said, that Senator Waddoups is any different than Harry Reid? All four participated in ramming forward legislation that had not been read by those who were going to be voting on it. It was almost the same in the Utah Legislature as in the Congress in Washington. “We need to approve it, so we can find out what is in it.”
The Utah Legislature has demonstrated they are no different than elected leaders on the National Level, except, the Republicans were the heroes in Health Care Legislation and here at home, it was the Democrats who voted no. Our State Legislature was disgustingly simple minded to believe, they were able to pull this off without a whimper from anyone. they were willing to vote for a bill they had neither read nor had an Idea what was in it and admitted to their acts of commission, and were more than willing to dismiss the publics right to know with the wave of a hand.

A wise man once wrote: “Unprincipled men and women of power, when caught, always believe that apologies for their corruption is sufficient.”

Now the State Legislature has been caught, how many times have the citizens heard the word “sorry”. From the Governor who complained about the bill, but signed it anyway and from members of the House and the Senate comes a symphony of “Sorry”. Some are defiant still, and they are not sorry at all. Their sorry comes because they have been caught.
Many God fearing people know there is a difference between Godly sorrow and Worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow says, I will never do it again and the reason for my sorrow is I made a mistake and recognize it and caught it myself and offer no excuse. Worldly sorrow says, “I am sorry, because you caught me. And since I have been caught, let me fill your ear with the excuses and I will be much wiser the next time, so I will not be caught so easily.”
Citizens can figure out which “sorry” we are hearing now.

For people of principle, standing for those principles that are espoused on other days of the week is just plain everyday living. To suggest that somehow, during the week you are one thing and then are elected to the Legislature you are allowed to become something else, is ludicrous. One can only hope, that come the next election, instead of looking at party, political experience and all the other measurements that come into play, the electorate will look for principle.
It has been said, that when there is a dearth of principle, by those we voted into office, we are likely to get what we deserve

Sunday, March 13, 2011

WHERE IS THE END?

Recent discussions by a number of citizens in the valley, has led invariably to a debate on the question: Are citizens in the Heber Valley over taxed?
This leads to another question: How flush with tax dollars is Wasatch County, Heber City, Midway City and the Wasatch School District?
Rumors on that subject, for years have followed these organizations and they have done little to prove the rumors to be wrong.
The people of the valley are coming to the realization, there is a shortage of frugal officials with fiscal sense.
In recent years, it has become clear, the line separating “needs” and “wants” has almost become blurred, and it has not helped, that citizens have voted, not with transparency or accountability in mind, but based more on affiliations, family relationships and geographic concerns
Such allowances have empowered those with visions of grandeur, seeking power, political influence and employment at taxpayers expense, to enter office. And like a pest, once in, getting them out is next to impossible.

In recent years, some elected officials, along with entrenched appointed officials, have spent millions on pet projects, further obligating current and future generations into a cesspool of debt and unknown responsibilities.
And with all of this debt, now comes the promise makers, with a jovial back slap and a promise of future wealth. Agencies and organizations are now approaching tax supported organizations looking for a hand out, a transfusion by your tax dollars, to provide salvation in an effort to forestall the evitable.
In the business world, if you operate for a number of years and cannot produce a profit, there are at least two things that happen. The first, you go out of business. In the real world, there are no such things as businesses too big to fail or of such great importance that even though dead, we pretend they are still alive. The second thing that happens, is the board of directors, or the stock holders demand a change in the leadership.
It is amazing, how year after year, those in charge of taxpayer dollars, continue to fund with outright gifts or loans, enterprises that for a number of reasons, can not or will not make the necessary changes to fly on their own.
Never asking for evidence in black and white of their need. Never asking them to produce results, thereby ending such handouts.
This year is not going to be much different. The merchants of deception will make presentations to your elected officials with the promise of stupendous returns and multipliers, that one dollar of assistance will equate to thousands of dollars brought to the community and such benefits just cannot be measured by mere mortal men.

Elected officials must understand, the fact they have access to your tax dollars, is not an indication they can spend them on a fraud or a wink and a nod.
We are approaching spring, do not be surprised at the groups that will be making the rounds, seeking your tax dollars with the invisible promises of unmeasurable returns.
Supporting the activities in our valley, does not mean and never has, been the reason to spend tax dollars to prop up agencies and organizations.
If they are unable or unwilling to run on their own, then let them die. And for politicians who believe it is their mission in life to support such agencies and organizations, let them know how you feel and remind them, their disregard of reality will be a real issue in the next election and perhaps the reason they are in the spotlight now.