Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Powder Mountain Update: Powder Mountain Dispute Isn't Even Close to Being Over Yet

Judge Ernie Jones: "It's not going to matter what my ruling is. It's probably headed to the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals."

The Standard-Examiner carries an excellent story this morning regarding yesterday's Powder Mountain court hearing. According to Di Lewis's morning report, the Powderville citizens' post-hearing legal posture is nowhere near so bleak as we earlier presumed.

Rather than simply ruling against the Powderville citizens and the Weber County Commission outright, Ms. Lewis reports that Judge Jones has seemingly thrown the problem right back in the Commission's lap, with an oral ruling from the bench that the Commission still retains discretion in the matter of preparing an initial Powderville Mayor/Council candidates list. From this morning's Std-Ex story:
While Jones said the commission does have some authority to create the list of candidates, he also said the list must be approved by the developers. The developers are still able to strike names from a commission list if they have a legitimate reason, Jones said, but did not specify what qualifies as a legitimate reason.
And we found this passage, also quoting presiding Judge Ernie Jones, to be particularly revealing:
Jones said he understands the importance of the decision, but issued his opinion Tuesday because he expects the case to be appealed.
"It's not going to matter what my ruling is. It's probably headed to the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals," Jones said.
We believe Judge Jones is probably right about this. In their current current post-hearing legal postures, neither petiitioners nor respondants will be satisfied with the interim result. All parties to the proceeding reportedly suffered at least a partial defeat. Assuming the accuracy of Ms. Lewis's report, (and barring any possible voluntary compromises between the parties,) it's likely that all litigants in this proceeding will be headed to the appellate courts, once Judge Jones's formal written decision is issued within the next couple of weeks.

We'll keep our eyes peeled. As soon as Judge Jones's written decision is made publicly available, we'll be sure to post it here.

For those who are still looking for a quick resolution to this ridiculously attenuated brouhaha, we'll offer this simple advice:
"Don't hold your breath; this matter isn't even close to being over yet."
Your savvy reader comments are invited... as always.

1 comment:

Tom said...

The sad part is that this whole mess is a result of an insider clique of Republican power brokers, headed up by the defeated former speaker of the house Curtis, who passed this horrid legislation to begin with as a gift to their developer cronies, and then when their crookedness was publicly exposed changed the law but made exceptions, once again to their insider pals. In other words these crooked legislators chose their insider cronies over the people they are supposed to represent.

All in all, a very sad indictment and blight on the Utah State Legislature

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