Curtis Wells finally has come clean, admitting that he played a central role in the state legislature’s move to invalidate Grand County’s chosen form of government. Unfortunately, Mr. Wells exhibits neither remorse nor shame for his wrongdoing. To the contrary, he takes apparent pride in having broken the public trust. He thereby thumbs his nose at the voters of Grand County, his fellow representatives on the County Council, and the norms of fair play that sustain our democracy.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wells’ confederate Lynn Jackson, as quoted in the same article, defended the power grab by saying, “I don’t know what percentage there is but there is a significant number of people in the community who don’t like this form of government, including myself.” But that is disingenuous, because the public record contains solid evidence on the matter. In three separate referendums, Grand County voters affirmed their support for our form of government by landslide margins.
Mr. Jackson’s role in this sorry affair, though no less disgraceful than that of Mr. Wells, at least was that of a private citizen, someone without a fiduciary responsibility to the public. That is not the case with Mr. Wells, who misconstrues his responsibilities as an elected representative. In the article he expresses the belief that he represents only the opinions and interests of those who voted for him and that it was perfectly reasonable to pull a fast one on those who did not. That position would be a stretch even if Grand County had the partisan political system that Mr. Wells and his cronies schemed to foist on us. At the very least, Mr. Wells should be removed from his role as the council’s liaison with the Utah Association of Counties. Other avenues more proportionate to his offense include censure and recall. Perhaps not coincidentally, the latter remedy has been stripped from voters in the very law that Mr. Wells, behind the scenes, helped to craft.