In response to Lynn Jackson’s column about the recall petition (Moab Sun News, Aug. 27, 2014), I wish to make clear that the petition was not drafted over political squabbles, it was drafted over evidence of misconduct.
County Council chairman Lynn Jackson may attempt to shift the view away from his conduct, and toward an objective that he hopes may garner him some support. However, this petition is premised on a series of potential violations of the bylaws of the Grand County Council, Utah Law, and the ethical expectations of his constituents. Jackson has attempted to silence dissent, censor opposing viewpoints from his own, and marginalize those who he disagrees with. This conduct, however, is a minor component of the recall premise. It gets much worse.
At the Aug. 19 County Council meeting, Jackson appeared to acknowledge that he may be engaged in undisclosed activities.
I filed an informational request regarding his involvement in the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition (SCIC). According to Grand County Attorney Andrew Fitzgerald, Jackson fought the public release of certain correspondence regarding the SCIC. I will be eternally grateful to Fitzgerald for over-riding Jackson and ordering that his correspondence be released to the public.
According to released emails, Jackson has been attending invitation-only, highly confidential meetings in Vernal. While away from Moab, Jackson has been secretly lining up the ducks for a new Book Cliffs highway, and then coming home and downplaying the issue. Those who have expressed concern are told to not “get their shorts in a wad”.
Additionally, communications between Jackson and SCIC attorney Eric Johnson provide the true rationale for the SCIC. In reaction to concerns over loss of local control, Johnson replies: “for a regional project, it seems best that the regional body should make the decision, rather than to give the legislative body of each county the right to override and veto projects …”; and: “consider the Intermountain Power Agency [IPA]. The IPA Board considers what is best for all. Some decisions may be less favorable … in some Utah communities, but if those decisions benefit the whole, then all are bound by the decisions of the IPA Board.”; and: “how will the Coalition Board be substantially different than not having a coalition, if every regional project must receive 100-percent approval from the county legislative body of every county touching the project? Local issues could trump regional interests.”
Grand County IS the local issue that is going to be trumped!
And, if all that weren’t bad enough. At an April board meeting of the Canyonlands Healthcare Special Service District, Jackson, purportedly, under his authority as chairman of the Grand County Council, gained access to a closed meeting. In one fell swoop, Jackson potentially violated the bylaws of the Grand County Council, Utah Administrative Code, and possibly even the Utah Criminal Code. The Utah Attorney General’s office is investigating.
For many, this is deja-vu. Grand County has been through this before. And, we know how to deal with it.