Thursday, February 25, 2010

Powder Mountain Update: Time For The Lumpencitizens of the "Demo" Persuasion To Unleash "The Full Court Press" - UPDATED

Its time to edumacate a couple of seemingly backward UTAH Demo Senators/Senate Committee Members who are seriously confused about the local "Powderville" issue, wethinks

For those readers who are just logging on to Weber County Forum right now, you probably haven't heard the bad news. As we reported in our earlier WCF article of this morning, Gage Froerer's politically bi-partisan HB 218 got stalled in committee today, when the two Democratic Party Senators on the committee, (of all people whom we'd assumed would would naturally "cross the aisle" and approve this bill in committee, and vote in support of Sen. Jon Greiner's motion to give the bill a favorable recommendation, and to move it forward,) inexplicably pulled the rug out from under the "Powdervillians, and stalled this bill with their mind-boggling "nay" votes.

Time's running short here, People. Rep. Gage Froerer informed your WCF blogmeister this afternoon that HB218 will again return to the the Senate Government Operations & Political Subdivions Committee for a new vote again tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.!

In this connection we'll urge all Utah Democrats amongst our WCF readership to chime in now on this subject... Yes RIGHT NOW. Be sure to trot out your official Demo credentials, especially if you serve as a Demo Executive Committee Member, or as a state or county DEMO delegate, or as any other Democratic party Mucky-muck.

Its time to edumacate a couple of seemingly backward UTAH Demo Senators/Senate Committee Members who are seriously confused about this local issue, wethinks:

Here are the contact links to Democratric Party Mssrs. McAdams and Robles, the ones who blindly missed (or ignored) the "Powderville citizens' call to action" in re today's committee vote, and in an extremely cowardly and "bootlicking" way, joined forces with neoCON GOP "develop at all costs" leadership"in taking the legs out from under" Rep. Gage Froerer's HB 218:
Ben McAdams (Democrat, so-called)
Luz Robles (Democrat, so-called)
Don't let the cat get your tongues, our Utah Democratic Party-affiliate friends.

Be sure to contact Mssrs. McAdams and Robles, and "splain to them exactly 'wha'sup.'"

Update 2/26/10 8:24 a.m.: We just received this somewhat cryptic missive from Rep. Froerer, re the scheduling of today's followup committee hearing, (for which we'd hoped to provide more live audio this morning):
Not on the agenda for this AM. We are expecting a letter from the Developers that would stay the litigation and the incorporation if this does not happen we will request to go directly to the Senate Board. I am waiting to hear from the County.
We'll have to confess we don't quite know what to make of this. Perhaps however, that heretofore elusive "settlement/development agreement" -- (the one which would "resolve" this whole kerfuffle) -- is hastily coming to fruition in some obscure Weber County Commission back room... even as we speak [wink].


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.

ozboy said...

Great comment Mr. Curmudgeon. Hopefully you sent it to McAdams hisself. If this guy is the best the Democrats can put forth, we may as well have more Republicans in the legislature.

Zodiac said...


I think your analysis is correct in most respects. I also think that the failure to vote to restore basic rights goes much deeper in the psyche of most Utah politicians.

They are unwilling to make what should be an obvious and easy choice regarding basic citizens rights over the ill conceived law that allowed this to happen.

blackrulon said...

I am not a lawyer but I have a question about Powder Mountain development. Could denying the citizens of Powder Mountain their basic voting rights be considered a civil rights violation?

Laura said...

Please don't contact these Senators with the same attitude the article is written. I can't even imagine how frustrated everyone is but at this point we need diplomacy. Attacking will only cause them to stand firmer in their resolve. Instead email NOW. Call NOW! Find out what their concerns are! Resolve them! BEG them! Let me feel you are real and in need!

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, Laura. As a card carrying Utah Democrat, I expect both intelligence, commitment to Democratic principles, and courage in defending them from my party's legislators, however few of them there may be. Pisses me off when I don't get it. And I let them know.

Both of them on this committee should give back their per diems for today. Neither one of them did their jobs. For example, when the developer's lickspittle Curtis --- who was in the legislature as a Republican leader when the Developers Dream Bill passed in a rush in the final hour of the 2007 session --- told the committee that "there are people in the Valley who are opposed to any development" on the mountain, as if that mattered, somehow, I didn't expect the committee Republicans to call him on that. But I expected the Democrats to. They didn't.

Neither asked him this: "Mr. Curtis, if there were no people in the Valley who opposed all development on the Mountain, would that change your stand on this bill, would you then support it?" And when he said no, as he would have, to have said this: "Well then, your statement about there being some people in the valley who oppose all development hasn't got squat to do with whether the people dragooned into Powder Mountain Town without a vote have had their rights trampled by the legislature you were a part of, does it? Not diddlysquat."

And what did we get from the Democrats on the committee on Curtis' straw man? Silence, except of course for a cringing "Oh! Oh, my stars and garters! Why the developers might sue if we protect the residents' right to vote for the government that will tax them! Oh! Oh!" from McAdams. [Hard to tell from the tape if he required smelling salts to revive him.]

But then I guess I'm just biased. I don't think invertebrates should be allowed to serve as Utah State Senators. Especially as Democrats.

Danny said...

Let's not let pass without comment Sen. Jon Greiner's motion to give the bill a favorable recommendation, and to move it forward, as Rudi mentioned.

Greiner does do some good in the Senate, which is about all one can ask of a politician.

Email the people involved.

Then, if it fails in committee again, move it to another committee or find another way to get it to the floor of the Senate.

On another subject, those who think the Great Recession is almost over should consider the graphs in the attached article. Ignore the text. Just think about the graphs. They are horrendous. The people who say we are coming out are hacks and liars. We are only in the eye of the storm.

The Facts

ozboy said...

Any agreement worked out in some political back room - out of the light of day - with Greg Curtis and Gage Froerer, two real estate hacks who are in on the fix, is bound to end up with the citizens and tax payers getting screwed in favor of obscene profits for the Curtis and Froerer puppet masters in the real estate game.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz raises the key question: what did the WC Commission agree to give away to the developers to entice them to give up the incorporation? If the answer is "nearly everything they would have been able to do if they'd created the company town of Powder Mt and run it themselves for two years," then I don't see how the public good will have been served. The developers would have successfully used the PMT potential residents as hostages to extort concessions from the WC Commission. I'm hard put to see how paying off extortionists is in the public interest.

I don't know that that's happened or will happen. But Oz's concerns that it has or will are not trivial ones.

Grizelda said...

We all should remember there is much more at stake here than the town incorporation and the civil rights of the affected homeowners.

This battle against the zoning request was enjoined initially based on the inevitable destruction of our density (Units) plans along with the increased pollution, traffic, water usage, and safety issues.

The OVPC came up with 19 conditions to recommend to the Weber County Commission to protect our Valley . That is why Powder Mountain filed the incorporation. They wanted to bypass any
County controls on these serious issues.

We all need to stay focused on why we in the Valley opposed this over the top plan.

Biker Babe said...

just a thought -- if the bill gets killed and the incorporation goes through, in addition to the development, infrastructure, pollution, traffic -- they will need to have fire and rescue (who would foot the bill?) at the TOP and BOTTOM of PM road, plus added helicopter service to pick up the many "off-road" drivers down the hill .. and who is going to get all those rolled beemers out of the gullies



blackrulon said...

Do our local state senators have enough influence to do anything regarding this bill? Do they even want to influence the outcome or is it merely a show for the voters without any real desire to do anything?

Laura said...

Last night, we contacted them and Robles said she and McAdams both would vote yes if and when it went through committee again.

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