Thursday, February 25, 2010

House Bill 218: Live Audio From This Morning's Senate Committee Session - UPDATED

Listen up , folks; and monitor the results of your handiwork, as Rep. Froerer's HB 218 bill appears as the first item on this morning's 8:00 a.m. Senate Government Operations and Political Subsdivisions Standing Committee agenda
UPDATE: Bad News... HB 218 stalls in committee by a tied 3-3 vote

For the benefit of those readers who'd like to listen in on this morning's Senate Government Operations Committee hearing, wherein Rep. Gage Froerer's H.B. 218 (Municipal Disincorporation Revisions) is item #1 on the committee calender, we're once again pleased to offer a live audio link. If all goes according to plan, the below audio link should automatically go "live" around 8:00 a.m.:
realPlayer Audio (Pre-recorded)
MP3 Audio (Pre-recorded)
(We've now replaced the "live" link with the above recorded copies, for those who'd like to listen in after the the hearing is completed.)

We'd also like to again thank our many readers who submitted their supportive emails to Rep. Froerer and SGOPS Committee members during the last few days. Thanks to your vigorous efforts, the a hefty volume of correspondence reached the desks of the six committee members.

Listen up , folks; and monitor the results of your handiwork!

Update 2/25/10 9:00 a.m.: Bad news, people. After considerable lengthy testimony and discussion, this bill has now stalled in committee. Senator Liljenquist's motion to hold the bill for further study failed, due a tied 3-3 vote. Senator Greiner's subsequent motion to pass the bill on to the full Senate then likewise failed by the same vote tally. According to Chairman Knudsen however, there will be one final opportunity to bring this bill back for further committee deliberation during the current legislative session, which means that we citizen-lobbyists have further work cut out for us.

The three Senate committee members who voted in opposition to moving this bill forward... Liljenquist, McAdams and Robles.

Looks like it's back to the drawing board, folks.


Dan S. said...

There are four Republicans and two Democrats on the committee. The three votes for the bill were all from Republicans. The two Democrats both voted against it.

As a Democrat I'm ashamed, and I hope Mr. Curmudgeon feels the same. Perhaps he can use his party connections to help educate Mr. McAdams and Ms. Robles.

OgdenLover said...

It is also important to write to thank the three Committee members who voted for the bill. No one likes to work in a vacuum. A thank you now may help ensure that they vote for the bill when it comes up again.

ozboy said...

With the exception of a few little plot twists and turns, the script is being played out just as written. The phony Froerer will come out as the battered and bruised hero who loses only after a heroic fight to defend his home folks. The developers and their hand maidens in the state legislature will chalk this up in the victory column and Froerer's home folks will take it in the shorts.

This same lame plot line has been played out by the sleaze balls in the legislature too many times to even count. They keep playing the citizens for suckers cause in fact they are as demonstrated by the way they keep returning these same low lifes to the legislature.

Gangbusters said...

This is the result when you depend on the culture warriors at both the County and State level. This case should have been in Federal Court long ago.

It may have resulted in a ruling that would have overturned the onerous effects of HB 466 and restored the civil rights of the Powderville homeowners

Ray said...

Well, I sent another email to the 3senators who opposed this. Even though I can't use my vote against them, I can use my voice and pocketbook should the opportunity arise.

Curmudgeon said...

On it.

Curmudgeon said...

Just finished listening to the tape. Sen. Robles asked no questions, and took no part in the debate so I cannot comment on her thinking --- presuming she was awake long enough to do any.

But I can say something about Sen. McAdams, who did speak. His objection to the bill is that it would be retroactive legislation and would raise "another cause of action" --- that's lawyer talk for "would lead to the developers suing over the new law if we pass it."

It's not a trivial point but it's not a compelling one in this case because what's at stake here are fundamental freedoms. This is not a dispute about whether a new road should be built or how many condo units should be allowed at Powder Mountain. This is a dispute about whether people who will be the inhabitants of a new town have a right to vote on whether they wish that new town to be created. A fundamental right. Not a privilege that may be graciously accorded them if Sen. McAdams feels like it this morning. A right.

And it is about whether residents of that new town, dragooned into it by legislative incompetence in 2007, have a right to vote for the Mayor and Town Council that will govern and tax them for two years.

I seem to recall that "No taxation without representation" was once thought to be not only a fundamental but a characteristically American value.

Let us presume that Sen. McAdams is right. Let us presume that if this bill passes, the developers will sue, claiming losses due to the legislature's having passed a retro active law.

If Mr. Adams had had a sound education in American history [sadly, he had to settle for a degree in Political Science from the U. after which the best he could manage was a law degree] he would have known how to reply to developers who threatened to sue if the legislature acted to preserve the right to vote and to be taxed only by representatives of their choosing for even a hundred --- even one --- of Eden's citizens:

"Sue and be damned! What's at stake here are fundamental liberties.

This legislature must stand with the people of Eden whose liberties were stripped away by our own carelessness. The people of Eden should not have to hold pot luck dinners to raise money to go to court to plead with the justices to preserve the liberties we carelessly --- shamefully! --- took from them.

This is a mess of the our own making and it is our job to clean it up. If our choices are only (a) to have the citizens involved go to court at their own expense to try to regain the fundamental liberties we took from them on the one hand, or (b) to adopt this law and risk the state having to shoulder the burden of the mess we created, then the second option is the one decency, honor and, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind" require us to choose.

That's what I expected to hear from a Democratic senator. But we didn't get that from the pettifogging Sen. Adams We got instead nit-picking spinelessness. That the pain involved in losing the right to vote and in submitting to be taxed by an un-elected mayor and council will fall in no way on Mr. McAdams own constituents in SLC makes his craven timidity in the defense of fundamental freedoms all the more reprehensible.

Laura said...

Curmudgeon, Well stated.

My heart is so heavy.

I just emailed the three opposing Senators. I also sent out a plea to anyone and everyone to please email them tonight.

To the guy who thinks Gage is just playing us....I won't say what I'd like to say for the sake of decency. Gage has truly cared and his actions are honorable.

It's not over yet. I hope you're a praying people out there.

ozboy said...


I do believe your cause is just and righteous. However, I think you might be a little naive in relation to Froerer and Utah Republican politicians in general.

One of the very biggest problems in the current Utah government is the inordinate power and influence that the real estate industry has gained over the state legislature and most local governments during the last decade. The very law that has created this havoc for the fine citizens of the proposed Powderville town is a perfect example of their perfidy and control over the levers of state government. They have pretty much re-written most of the state laws that govern land use, and they have done it in a way that totally favors the developers and real estate hustlers. They put very large amounts of cash into the political process in support of candidates who have pledged their undying support to their cause. This money has been very corrosive to the democratic principles that our government is founded upon.

Gage Froerer, in spite of his apparent championing of your cause, is a full on, certified and bonafide member of this real estate cabal. He is a big part of the problem, any "solution" that he has any part in crafting will most likely end in you and your neighbors in the Valley getting scammed and abused and his real estate cronies raking in millions. Just the notion that he and Greg Curtis are bargaining over your future sends chills up my spine. It would be very much like two cats debating over the future of the mice they have cornered. These two real estate hustlers are only interested in how to eat you and make the most profit off your land in doing so. They are not interested in your civil rights, they only see you and your property as lunch.

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