Friday, March 05, 2010

Standard Examiner: Powder Mountain Issue Still VERY Far From A Resolution

Our psychic sense tells us we'll be hearing something very crabby from Gentle Ozboy on this topic very soon

The Powder Mountain dispute is back on the front page of the Standard-Examiner this morning with this Dan Weist story, which is the first report we've gotten since yesterday's Rep. Froerer sponsored HB 218 public information session on Capitol Hill:
Powder Mountain issue still far from a resolution
This morning's story offers little information that we didn't already know, except for the following:
Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, brought the proposal back this year, and the bill again is waiting for possible action in the remaining days of the session.
But Froerer told about 15 residents and others at a Thursday meeting in the Capitol that this year was even more of an uphill battle.
To start with, the legislation never left committee after a tie vote.[...]
Froerer said some statehouse leaders want the people involved to settle the issue privately and not resort to legislation.
He was joined at the Capitol meeting by two other lawmakers who explained the complicated maneuvering to put the bill into motion.
Up until this point we'd assumed that Rep. Froerer had already worked out the procedure to move his bill forward to the Senate floor, notwithstanding its earlier failure in the Senate Government Operations Committee because of a tied 3-3 vote. Regular readers will of course no doubt recall our short 8:24 a.m. update of February 26, where we offered this comment from Rep. Froerer, in response to our inquiry about the bill's removal from the committee calender that 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.
Being concerned that Froerer's bill might be blocked from moving onto the Senate floor for procedural reasons related to the committee proceedings, we contacted Rep. Froerer this morning, and he assured us that his bill could be moved to the Senate for a vote with relative ease. But that's not the real problem he was alluding to in the upper quote, he said.

Get ready, folks... here's the kicker:

The real problem, Rep Froerer pointedly explains, is that the real estate development lobby has poured "at least $100 thousand" into killing this bill in the legislature; and that in order for his bill to succeed in the Senate, his bill's opposition will have to be met with commensurate lumpencitizen push-back. And here's the not so esoteric message Rep. Froerer delivered to us this morning, information that SE reporter Dan Weist did not report:

Ogden Valley citizens should be prepared to pony up at least $25 thousand to hire their own lobbyist; and this needs to happen very soon. Without the aid of a well-connected lobbyist, Rep. Froerer tells us that HB 218 is quite possibly toast. Email campaigns and repeated dunning phone calls won't cut it at this stage of the game either, Rep. Froerer informs us. The need for hard cash is the "unmentionable" element to which Rep Froerer was apparently referring, when he hinted about "more of an uphill battle," and "complicated maneuvering" it seems. Unfair as it is, that's how the "system" works, he candidly reveals.

That's your Utah civics lesson for the morning, gentle readers. We hope nobody loses their lunch.

Whether Ogden Valley citizens are at home this morning cracking open their piggy banks even at this moment, we do not know.

But our psychic sense does tell us we'll be hearing something very crabby from Gentle Ozboy on this topic very soon.

Update 3/5/10 9:11 a.m.: Ogden Valley Forum also has its own article up on this topic this morning, delivered with a slightly "chirpier" tone:
HB 218 - The Meeting At The Capitol
Update 3/5/10 10:58 a.m.: The above-linked OVF article has now been updated, with the addition of an interesting "tactical analysis" by prospective Powdervillian Steve Clark.

The World Wide Blogosphere of course awaits your ever-savvy comments.

18 comments:

Tony Soprano said...

Cash is King. That's how it's always been; and that's how it will forever be.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, I will give Rep. Froerer chops for honesty, for telling you that the Senate majority is being bought, and so the poor dragooned residents of the putative Powdertown need to get their guy down on the trading floor to start buying votes back. Question is, has he got the cojones to go on the record with that assessment of what's happening and say so for attribution to the SE, the SL Trib etc.? [Or did he say so on the record for the SE and it just didn't get reported? That would be interesting to know too. Your post suggests, but doesn't state outright, that Froerer told SE reporter Weist about the money, but that he didn't include it in his story.]

Ethics reform? Why, whatever for?

blackrulon said...

I wonder how much effort Rep. Froerer put into his bill after the last session. Did he do any work to get support for his bill before the session began or just ignore the hard work necessary to get support to pass this bill?

Zipper said...

The problem is, Gage Froerer should have been aware of this strong opposition long before now. Allen Christensen is a Senator and a co sponsor and together they missed the obvious negative signs earlier in the game.

ozboy said...

I told you the way it is from the git go! Is that crabby enough for ya Rudi?

These arrogant bastards in the legislature are so sure of themselves and so dismissive of the sheeple who keep electing them that they don't even try to hide their corruption any more.

UTAH IS A PAY TO PLAY STATE! This latest crap from Froerer only confirms that, as if we really needed any confirmation!

The fix was in on this scam from the start. The script was written a long time ago by these immoral creeps that run the legislature and the state, and Froerer's finger prints are all over the damn thing.

There was never any good intent for this bill to pass into law and Froerer has just been playing his constituents to make them think he is on their side. What a crock of crap, he has never been on their side and never will be. He is a card carrying member of the Utah Real estate mob, he and Greg Curtis are cut from the same cloth and neither one of them gives a damn about citizens rights, especially if they come into conflict with developers raping of the land and making millions.

This bill is just so much mush for the masses, always was, always will be.

If the citizens of Eden need to raise any money, it should be spent on taking this BS to the courts once and for all. For all the reasons that Mr. Curmudgeon pointed out, this is almost certainly a nasty violation of their civil rights.

Curmudgeon said...

For me, one of the most telling points in the SE story was this: "Froerer said some statehouse leaders want the people involved to settle the issue privately and not resort to legislation."

Amazing. Just amazing. The legislature created the steaming pile of horse manure known popularly [and accurately] as "The Developers Dream Bill" in 2007 that stripped eighty or so Utah citizens of what most of us [I hope] consider fundamental liberties --- in this case, the right to vote, and the right to not be taxed except by a government we elect. The Developers Dream Bill gave developers the power to create a town by petition without the prior approval of a majority of its residents, and it gave the developers the sole right to appoint the new town's Mayor and Town Council, which unelected government would rule --- and tax --- the residents for two years.

Funny, I seem to recall learning back in school that "no taxation without representation" was once thought to be an important principle in the founding of the United States. Guess they don't teach that anymore in the schools the House and Senate leaders attended.

And so, having created the steaming pile of horse manure by knuckling under to the demands of real estate lobbyists, and having dumped the pile upon the heads of 80 or so Utah citizens in the upper Ogden Valley, the Senate leadership says its the residents' job to clean the mess up.

The hell it is.

The dragooned prospective residents of the town are holding pot luck suppers to raise the funds to challenge the Developers Dream Bill [so stinky a bit of peddling Utah citizens' liberties to realtor lobbiests that the legislature, embarrassed in 2008 revised the law so what happened in Powder Mountain could not happen again. But they didn't fix the propblem for the Powder Mountain town's residents.]

Those people should not have to hold pot luck suppers to go to court at their own expense to try to preserve the fundamental freedoms the Utah legilsature sold out from under them to please the lobbyists who treat them to expensive dinners, and Jazz seats and take them on golf trips and contribute to their campaign coffers. Cleaning up this mess it made is the legislature's job. And the Froerer bill will do it. All it does is give the town's dragooned residents the right to vote immediately, once the town is incorporated, to un-establish it --- the right to dis-establish the town they never voted to create in the first place, before the out of state developer-picked town council and mayor can tax them to line the developers' pockets. Even the dim bulbs who lead the Utah House and Senate should be able to understand that.

The Committee should send the bill to the floor and the Senate should pass it swiftly, so the legislature can, finally, and years late, clean up the mess it created.

Tiny Britches said...

Just for clarification on the update, Steve Clarke is not a prospective Powdervillian. He is however one of the many valley people working hard in support of those valley residents who were roped into this mess!

Zodiac said...

Let's wake up! It is clear the legislative dead beats fear a decision from the Utah Supreme Court. It is possible they will rule against HB466 and it's onerous
result.

That scares the heck out of these culture driven goof offs. It could result in a nation wide media frenzy about the legislature in Utah failing to protect the civil rights of their own state citizens.

IMA BELIEVER said...

One little facet of the captives' problem with Powderville, the anticipated huge increase in real estate taxes, has an easy solution: don't pay the increase. The county never does anything about delinquent taxes anyway, and the town will be in the proces of dissolution by the perps themselves as soon as their development agreement is adopted and executed by their puppet council, so why pay the taxes?

When the town goes away before it really gets going, the captives can petition the county for a reduction in the taxes on the basis that the increase should never have taken place anyway; surely the commissioners will be sympathetic and abate the increase, the penalty, and the interest. Surely.

The alternative, of course, is to let the county hand the perps all the free increased density they want, and the town goes away. Easy. Only problem is, that solution spells the death of the Valley. Oh. Hadn't thought of that. But that solution doesn't require growing a spine, as not paying the town tax increase does. Anybody have one?

Mach man said...

Hate ta say I told ya so...

But you know what I am thinking...

Vote for anyone. Anyone at all but a Realtor or Developer and we will begin to rid ourselves of this oppression for profit.

Danny said...

This all sounds very strange to me.

We are using the bill to force Powder Mountain to back off their sociopathic behavior, while at the same time claiming that it is a non-starter. So apparently, we are bluffing, while making plain that we are bluffing?

All the while, Froerer says the bill can go to the floor with ease, but we need to come up with at least $25,000 in Utah State Legislature bribe money.

At the same time, we note Greg Curtis stating the obvious, that if the county gives in and allows Powder Mountain to rape the land and all county residents with a dry and splintery broom handle by giving them what they want on zoning, then Powder Mountain will quit acting like SOBs.

Really? No kidding.

All evidence of the deep, penetrating corruption all around here in the moral Hellhole called Utah.

Anyplace else, this bill would pass on simple grounds of morality and fairness. Anyplace else ...

Danny said...

(But we do need to appreciate the Weber County Commissioners for standing up to Powder Mountain on this. They are the one candle in this darkness.)

Joe Friday said...

Seems to me there is grist enough in this whole sorted story for a Pulitzer Prize winning expos'e on graft and corruption by the UAR in the land of Saints.

Problem is just finding a reporter with the balls or whatever to write the story and then convince the SE editors to print it.

The SE gets most of its advertising revenue from these same bottom feeders in the Utah Association of Realtors. As does most every news organization in Utah.

So good luck with that! It is a near perfect racket with everyone making money except the people who they claim to protect in their bogus mantra..."The UAR protects private property rights".

Jennifer Neil said...

So, what they're saying is instead of listening to what the constituents want via emails and phone calls - they want us to fork over $$$ to get them to vote for the bill?

Are we still in America?

TLJ

what will it cost us said...

If Froerer doesn't have the power to convience fellow legislators to vote for his bill and straighten out this mess then we need a new canidate, maybe a Democrate.

Isn't it kind of late to try and hire/bribe this bill through.

Curmudgeon said...

JN:

You asked "Are we still in America?"

No. Utah.

Jennifer Neil said...

Curm - we haven't gained sovereignty (sp) yet ...

TLJ

nicely done said...

ozboy said...

The fix was in on this scam from the start. The script was written a long time ago by these immoral creeps that run the legislature and the state, and Froerer's finger prints are all over the damn thing.

There was never any good intent for this bill to pass into law and Froerer has just been playing his constituents to make them think he is on their side. What a crock of crap, he has never been on their side and never will be. He is a card carrying member of the Utah Real estate mob, he and Greg Curtis are cut from the same cloth and neither one of them gives a damn about citizens rights, especially if they come into conflict with developers raping of the land and making millions.

YOU SAID IT! Take a look at what happend with HB 141 regarding access to public waterways...and how he snaked around that...didn't see him bringing up the lobbyists that fought that...opps...forgot...those where his buddies...not to mention he lives on the South Fork...what a coincidence.

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