Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 27, 2017
Commissioners’ ears

County commissioners are elected to serve. Their duties require sitting in the same room and hopefully, listening to a variety of groups and individuals, regardless of whether they agree with them or not. How do we know when they are listening?

The commissioners encourage everyone to become involved.  They have begged for applicants to voluntarily serve on various appointed boards, committees and commissions to help them lighten their own loads. They are responsible for choosing who will be appointed from all the applicants. Who better to look at, then to see how well they listen to those whom they appointed.

Recently, Ordinance 2017-10 was reviewed by the Tooele County Planning Commission, and was then sent before the county commissioners with a recommendation of 6 “against” and 1 “for.”  The planning commission is composed of a variety of individuals, each picked by the commissioners. Do they have the commissioners’ ears?

Residents from Lake Point attended a public hearing regarding the ordinance and brought up solutions to the current concerns within the written ordinance. From attending the hearing, I observed approximately the same ratio as the planning commission. Over 85 percent against the ordinance. Do they have the commissioners’ ears?

Immediately after the public hearing was closed on June 20, the county commissioners voted on the ordinance, with no talk among themselves concerning what they had just heard. Results: 1 against and 2 for, so it passed. Who did the commissioners listen to? Was it the planning commission? The residents who took time to be involved through the process? Or the applicant who has benefited tremendously by this ordinance?

How do we know when they are listening? When we see results from the messages we share. It should, at a minimum, generate a dialogue among the commissioners, immediately witnessed before the public, before a motion is even entertained on the matter. Good government should show they are listening, recap what they heard, and express reasons for their decisions, even when it’s opposite of the voice of the planning commission and/or the residents.

Jonathan Garrard

Lake Point

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