Monday, January 25, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Powder Mountain Town Issue on Two Dockets

Three reported news developments (actually)... and a further call to citizen action

Thanks to this morning's Di Lewis story, we learn from the Standard-Examiner that there are three important new developments in the Powder Mountain Greedhead Developer v. Ogden Valley Lumpencitizen Saga:

1) Now that the Powder Mountain lawsuit has reached the Utah Supreme Court on appeal, final briefing is reportedly due to be complete by the end of the week, and oral arguments will evidently be conducted under an expedited schedule. Even in a best case scenario however, we believe it's fair to speculate that a final Supreme Court decision won't be issued for at least several more months, so the pending litigation does provide additional breathing room for accomplishment of the second news development mentioned in this morning's story:

2) As regular WCF readers are already aware, House Legislative District 8 Representative Gage Froerer will be soon introduce legislation (Senator Allen Christensen is the Senate co-sponsor) designed to remove the requirement for a 24-month waiting period prior to a municipal disincorporation election, allowing the voters of the town to decide immediately whether or not a town is in the best interest of the majority of citizens and property owners. This may prove to be the best solution for prospective "Powderville" citizens in a practical sense, provided that Mssrs. Froerer and Christensen can rustle up the necessary votes. For those readers who'd like to chime in with their support for this legislation, we'll offer several avenues by which our readers can take action.

a) If you haven't already signed the Citizens' Electronic Disincorporation Petition, please click on the preceding link and take a minute of your time to do so now.

b) If you'd like to directly contact the bill's sponsors, here are Representative Froerer and Senator Christensen's contact links:
Gage Froerer - House District 8
Allen M. Christensen - Senate District 19
c) For those Utah residents who reside in other House and Senate Districts, be sure to check out the full Utah House and Senate Rosters:
Members of the Utah House of Representatives
Members of the Utah Senate
In this connection, we remain astonished that the Powder Mountain disenfranchisement issue hasn't gained much public traction outside Weber County; and with that in mind, we'll urge our readers across the state to let their own legislators know this isn't merely a "backwoods" local issue.

d) As an added bonus, we also provide a handy link to this little online utility, for the benefit of those readers who may have forgotten which particular districts within which they reside:
Utah Legislator Lookup
For those who decide to directly contact their legislative representatives, we encourage you to specifically urge a vote in favor of Representative Froerer's H.B. 218, Municipal Disincorporation Revisions. Also be sure to include your true name and address. And for those readers who'd like to pad it out a little bit with some powerful argument and rationale, here's a handy refresher course regarding the issues and history involved in this situation:
Introduction to the Powder Mountain Town Voting Rights Issue
Let's get to it gentle readers. The last time this identical bill was introduced in the legislature, it received a decidedly cool reception from developer-friendly Utah legislative "leadership." Let's not let this happen again. Today is the first day of the 2010 legislative session . Lets get those legislative email in-boxes boxes filled up, and those legislative telephones ringing off the hook.

3) In mid-August we announced the the Powder Mountain jackals were turning on each other. Sadly, we learn from this morning's Std-Ex story that an apparent settlement between the formerly warring Powder Mountain ownership factions, and a re-alignment of ownership between these interests hasn't defused their heavy-handed, anti lumpencitizen attitude even a little bit:
Froerer had been trying to work out a compromise between the parties to avoid legislation or further litigation, but the parties are too far apart to reach an agreement, he said.
A complete meltdown betwixt and between the predatory developer carnivores who apparently own Utah Legislative leadership was a little to much to ask, we suppose. Of course an amiable settlement between the "Economic Wolves and Sheep" was something that we never reasonably expected to be in the cards either.

Who will be the first to comment?


Curmudgeon said...

I had forgotten that it was Killpack who ended the legislative session in the Senate last year an hour early in order to prevent a vote on Froer's bill. I wonder how many rounds the Powderville lobbyists bought Killpack to pay him for that one?

Danny said...

Re: Killpack.

How come nobody talks about what it was Killpack was doing in SLC while he was getting drunk?

That's the real story. And that's why he quit. To keep that from coming out.

There are no real reporters anymore.

Cathy McKitrick, look into this. But don't do it for the notoriety. Do it for the FUN.

BTW, it Froerer gets his bill passed, I will eat all the bad things I said about him. I said, "IF."

What a wonderful thing it would be, if the UT S Court sticks up for freedom, noting it was NEVER legislative intent to disenfranchise citizens of this state!

Curmudgeon said...


What a wonderful thing it would be if the USC decided that even if the legislature intended to disenfranchise citizens, the state constitution will not permit it to do so.

Danny said...

Given the amount of bad faith shown by the Powderville Jackals, unwillingness to negotiate, to compromise, to act human, etc., one hopes that the UT Supreme Court, in addition to finding against the Powderville Jackals, will also find they are not entitled to any consideration from the State for having followed a crooked path laid out for them.

My guess is that will be the issue:

"But we thought we were acting in accord with the law. So you have to give us muuuuunny! We are injured!"

They injured themselves. Please, let Powder Mountain go into foreclosure so someone else can buy it and run it like neighbors and human beings.

Curmudgeon said...


I suspect you may be right about the compensation matter. If they lose the incorporation case, they may well sue the state. And win. That would not sit well with me either, but if it comes to that, the responsibility for it [or blame if you prefer] with the state legislature.

Thomas Paine said...

What seems lost in all this, is if Powder Mountain loses, the winners will be the citizens that were forced into the town and lost their civil rights. It would be an affirmation of the rule of law and that individual civil rights trump greed and avarice.

Dee said...

Utah Legislature Watch will be following this story. We have posted the issue at our blog:

ozboy said...

Danny - I think your pledge to eat your words "IF" - is a pretty safe bet, so don't break out the salt and mustard just yet.

I will lay a Ben Franklin on the line that Froerer's bill never passes. I think he only threw up the bill to appease his angry constituents in the Valley so he could demonstrate how much on their side he is. I also think he did so with the full knowledge that his Real Estate and Developer pals in the Legislature are in on the scam with him and will insure it never becomes law - just like last year. It is an old, sleazy and well practiced game the Republican gang on the hill has been playing for many years.

ozboy said...


Your first comment on this thread from a couple of days ago seems even more on the mark considering the latest development as reported by the Tribune this morning.

The article is about the infamous Mark Walker who resigned from the legislature last year over ethics violations. He was at the drinking party and in the car with Killpack when the bust went down. A day later he resigned from his brand new and cushy job with West Valley City after three days on the job. He apparently never even showed up for work on that new job, yet collected a $5,000 buck payoff from the city when he resigned!

The question of course is why the hell would he resign such a feather bedding job that paid so well if there wasn't something mighty fishy with the whole deal?

Yes indeed, I think our pal Danny is definitely on to something here.
There is a skunk in the woodpile somewhere!

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