Thursday, November 08, 2007

Woods Cross Council must act on UTOPIA

I have become aware of a bill that will be discussed during the upcoming state legislative session. The bill is titled "MUNICIPAL ENTITIES AND CABLE OR TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES." This bill in its current form would cause some major hurtles for any city that wanted to join UTOPIA. It was supposed to be discussed in the Government Competition and Privatization Subcommittee interim meeting yesterday. The committee decided to "have staff work on modifying this bill so that it is more acceptable to all parties involved." They also said that they will discuss it again during the legislative session.
The major issue that I see with this proposed bill as it's currently written is that it takes decision making powers away from our local elected officials. It says that a municipality must hold two public hearings, instead of the one currently required. It also says that the city must hold an election to let the voters decide on whether to join the entity. Currently, the law says that a council may hold an election.
The changes to the bill also place limits on cities joining a municipal entity such as UTOPIA. Any city that has not joined UTOPIA by May 5, 2008, will have to pay for the state auditor to issue an audit report of UTOPIA stating that UTOPIA has had a positive net operating income for at least one year, among other things.
I have two major questions about the changes to this bill.
1) How would our City Council members feel if similar restrictions had been placed on the formation of the South Davis Recreation District? (I've already mentioned in a previous post, that the South Davis Recreation Center competes with private industry.)
2) How would our State Legislature feel if our national government leaders placed similar restrictions on their actions?

4 comments:

Justin Strunk said...

This is just another reason why the council needs to act quickly! I hope they can see the urgency and, as you mentioned earlier, get the public hearing out of the way and move forward.

As a former council member, what is involved in having the public hearing? Any chance of having the coucil make it happen on the 20th?

Thad said...

I'm not sure what the notification requirement would be for this public hearing. Some public hearings require that the city advertise the hearing for a certain period before the hearing is held. As long as this particular public hearing doesn't have any special notice requirements, it could definitely be done in the meeting on the 20th.

Justin Strunk said...

Who at the city would we ask about this happening on the 20th? The Mayor?

Thad said...

If it is going to happen, it's going to be the mayor and council members who make it happen.