To The Editor:
The Utah State Legislature should be embarrassed! In spite of years of loud complaining about “federal overreach” in resolution after resolution, they have turned around and repeatedly treated Utah’s counties as if local government and ordinary voters are not competent to manage county affairs. It was not enough that the state outlawed counties’ ability to set their own standards for nightly rentals and ORVs, they have now retroactively outlawed Grand County’s form of government. H.B. 224, just signed by the governor, does just that. It requires that Grand County change its form of government whether we want to or not. This action was taken with full disregard of Grand County’s voters deciding in a regular election to not even study changing its form of government. This is big brother at his worst.
One also has to wonder how it is that the legislature decided to write and pass this complex piece of legislation. Did folks who wanted our form of government changed but were unable to convince the voters that this was a good idea lobby for this bill? Did the Utah Association of Counties, to which Grand County pays substantial dues, track this bill? Did they advise our elected officials of its impact on our county? Who knew about it and when did they know?
The whole thing runs contrary to the belief held by many that the best government is the most local. We don’t need Salt Lake City telling us how to run our affairs.