The current form of our Tooele County Government has a direct impact on the overall quality of our life we share within Tooele County today, 20 years from now and 50 years from now.
Therein lay my personal measure of choice and success: Today for our community, 20 years for our children, and 50 years for our grandchildren.
With that measure, cross-examined against the research and analysis we performed within the Tooele County Forms of Government Study Committee, it became clear to me that the county’s current, 3-member commission form of government, has reached the end-of-useful life for our citizens. Within this end-of-useful life, county citizens are already beginning to suffer the consequences of the weaknesses found within a 3-member commission form of government.
The time has come in Tooele County when population numbers, diversity and interests have exceeded the legislative representation capabilities of a 3-member, full-time, non-districted commission. Additionally, county growth has made it impossible for the same 3-member body to provide sound, executive leadership within proper spans of control, sound organizational management structures and acceptable executive quality standards.
After more than one year of study and collaboration, my belief became simple. Provide Tooele County with:
• The greatest amount of local legislative control and accountability within reason and constraints.
• Expand the county legislative candidate pool by making the positions accessible to a larger population of citizens. This includes access for retired individuals wanting to serve on a part-time basis, business owners desiring to serve without shutting down their businesses to do so, full-time employees in the private sector, and homemakers.
• Elimination of unresponsive legislative political career paths and legislative career seekers.
• Establish a Love-of-Community legislative body, over those having political career seeking aspirations.
• Skilled and educated professional executive leadership that arrives at the door with experience and proper training, not a 4-year, county subsidized “on-the-job” training program.
This is our time of change. I believe the time has come for a 5-member, districted, part-time legislative council that is more accountable to not just Tooele County citizens but each councilmember’s neighbor. Further, the time is here for a full-time, professional, county executive who is a county employee directly accountable to the 5-member council. I believe this choice will provide for our citizens today, for our children 20 years from now and into the future for our grandchildren.
Richard Mitchell served as chairman of the Tooele County Form of Government Study Committee. He is an aerospace engineer with over 39 years in U.S. defense systems as a project engineer, program manager and college instructor. He is a resident of Rush Valley and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.