Friday, February 22, 2008

Powder Mountain Update: Kristen Moulton is Assigned to the Powderville Disenfrangisement Story

Better late than never, we hope

We're quite delighted that the Salt Lake Tribune's Kristen Moulton has finally stepped up within the last few days, to report on the Powderville Town Incorporation land-grab. She's an outstanding Utah reporter, and hopefully, her intelligent reporting doesn't come too late. The people of Utah need to be informed about our Utah corporo-fascist problem. If anyone can do that, it's Ms. Moulton.

From today's article Kristen reports about the effects of Tuesday's House Committee hearing, during which Committee Vice Chair Gage Froerer (who chaired the meeting) essentially told a pack of citizens from Ogden Valley: "just shut up."

We incorporate here the key paragraphs from Kristen's article:
A House committee Thursday endorsed a makeover of the law that guides town incorporations.
But lawmakers turned a deaf ear to Ogden Valley residents who want the new law to block Powder Mountain's incorporation.
The bill, HB164, proposed by Rep. Melvin Brown, R-Coalville, would replace HB466, passed with little discussion at the end of the 2007 legislation, a measure one representative - Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden - acknowledged Thursday was a "major screw-up."
Please listen to the recorded hearing transcript now, gentle readers. If you take the time to hear it, you'll find that this House Committee didn't even address the "disenfrangisement issue." Perhaps Rep. Froerer didn't realize that the lumpencitizens would be listening in when he treated them so rudely. These people on the committee listened quitely while the Ogden Valley citizen-activists, who'd gotten up early in the morning and travelled to the capitol to address what they assumed to be an open-minded standing committee, (and who would hear and consider their concerns) -- got shut down by "Acting Chair " Gage Froerer -- who awarded their citizen activism, by limiting the last two of them to "one minute."

If you have an ounce of political passion, gentle readers, listen to the audio transcript here.

After that, you can become "ticked off," along with your blogmaster.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I listened to Gage shut his constituents down, quit amazing.

It appears the Gage is only interested in jacking up the value of the properties in the Ogden Valley to help pad his real estate commissions.

It's time for a new breed on the hill, we need representatives who will listen to their constituents instead of the pigs waiting at the public trough to feast on the taxpayers dime, and stomp on their constitutional rights.

We also need to replace those clowns on the Weber County commission.

I think this fall will be one to remember.

Bonnie Lee said...

What is it with these short guys? Jeeze, this little punk Froerer is acting like he went to the Matt Godfrey school of public relations!
I sure hope the good citizens of the Ogden Valley throw his little ass under the buss this November.

Curmudgeon said...

Interesting to me that none of the committee members --- I am sad to say the Democrat included --- addressed in any way the question of representation: that dozens of people stand to be carved into a town (a) without having any chance to vote on the matter (b) said town to be governed by town "officials" selected by the developers petitioning to create the town (c) that those officials, none of whom will have been elected by the population of the new town, will have taxing and police powers for two years, until, finally, an election is held.

These questions involve fundamental matters in American governance. The Revolution began over precisely such matters. "No taxation without representation" is, for Americans, not simply a slogan, but a fundamental concept of constitutional governance.

If the all-Republican Weber County Commission approves the application of the Powder Mountain developers to create [without a vote of the proposed new residents] this new town, and so approves the appointing of town government by the developers [with no vote by the residents to select their town government] --- as I suspect the Commission will, elected Republican NeoCons not being much interested in the principles of constitutional government these days --- then I hope the residents affected can find the resources, or some legal foundation that is interested in constitutional government and the preservation of the most fundamental concepts of American liberty like representative government to provide them, to challenge the entire existing act on constitutional grounds.

And I also humbly suggest to my Democratic legislators from Weber County that when the current bill reaches the floor for debate [the current bill, as it stands, will in no way prevent the creation of Powderville sans vote, or the naming of its government without election], that they raise unshirted holy hell in debate about the denial of the fundamental right of representation to those residents of Ogden Valley being hustled unwillingly and without a vote into a resort village to be run for two years by un-elected officials named by the developers. We are Democrats for god's sake. If we can't stand up for the right of representation, what the hell will we stand up for?

I suggest that my Democratic representatives from Weber County offer an amendment to the pending bill to require (a) a majority vote of the proposed residents of the developer village before the town can be created and (b) requiring that, if that majority vote approves the town's founding, that the town's officials must be elected by the residents, not appointed by the developers.

If the Republican majority wants to go on record with their votes opposing permitting residents to vote on whether they want to form a town or not, or on record opposing permitting residents to elect their town officials, then let 'em. But force the issue and make those Republican NeoCon "the people be damned" SOBs and their real estate developer puppet-masters say so. On the record.

What's going down in the proposed Powderville is a dirty business. Democratic state legislators should have the backbone to stand up, on the record, and say so, and to propose amendments to make it right, and to vote on those amendments accordingly.

Once again, speaking as the Yellow Dog Democrat that I am, if elected Democrats are not willing to fight for the principle of representative government, what the hell are they willing to fight for? It doesn't get much more basic than that.

Dr. D said...

Curmudgeon

Amen, Amen, Amen.

danny said...

Curm,

I agree. For me it comes down not to party, but values, and what they will fight for.

It seems it is easy to find people who say they believe in the same things as me.

But it is rare that they will have the courage to stand up for it.

And it is rarer still that they will proactively agitate for what they believe. That is why I respect some of the people here on this forum so much.

Now we must convince the county commissioners to deny the present petition, so the next petition will fall under the new law that hopefully is forthcoming.

Rather than throw rocks after the fact, let's make a difference now, with letters and phone calls.

Curmudgeon said...

Danny:

By all means. Call them. Email them. Everyone in Weber County interested in this should, regardless of party. The Commissioners [in theory] represent us all, not just their developer cronies with the deep pockets.

As for the partisanship on my part: I'm a D. I figure it's my job to make sure MY people are on the right side of this, both because it's the right side, and because it would be good for the Weber County Democrats to be there. Being on the right side of things is good tactics. Always. Conceding the high ground to the other guys, or just not contesting it, is never good tactics.

I figure it's up to Rs to get their own people on the right side of this. I'm working on the Ds.

the lovely jennifer said...

Where's the Monkeywrench Gang when you need them? Reward posted for the whereabouts of George Hayduke & Seldom Seen, et al.

TLJ

Bill C. said...

Jenifer, it's not yet time for the monkey wrenches, this bill will be debated on the floor now. Every member of the legeslature needs to understand what is at stake for these folks and their lack of the basic lack of representation or say in this un American taking. This isn't the same as an edict from Brigham Young to the faithfull during the 1840s and 50s, Bramble Curtis and Valentine don't carry any devine authority, in fact they continually behave in the most unholy self serving mannor.
If the Mormon church, which claims it rarely meddles in state affairs felt compelled to speak out against flavored drinks containing alcohol, I wonder if this scenario wouldn't justify some sort of statement. Afterall, which is truely more egregious?

the lovely jennifer said...

Seems to me that the MW Gang never waited for things to happen on the floor ...

TLJ

p.s. I believe one of the gang is a Mormon,too

Grizelda said...

The sad fact is the Legislature blew it on this issue twice, once when it passed the insidious HB466 without a dissenting vote and later when it passed the bill that was to rectify the damage done by HB466. They left the Ogden Valley Citizens out to dry.

It would be poetic justice if this winds up in a Federal Court and the legislative folly by the Utah Legislature is overturned. That would be a big poke in the eye for the culture dominated legislature of Utah. The national media will love it.

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