The constitutional right of the people of Utah to petition their leaders has come under increasing attack as the visibility, and potential success, of Count My Vote increases. Good government groups Alliance for a Better UTAH and Utahns for Ethical Government have issued the following statement in response to legislation that would weaken Utah’s petition process:
U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-1) announced that both the Senate and House have approved funding for the construction of a new maintenance hangar at Hill Air Force Base for the F-35 stealth fighter jet. Operational maintenance will be performed inside the hangar by the 388th Fighter Wing based at Hill.
In his recent State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama spoke about his signature domestic achievement, Obamacare. He predictably declared that his health law is working as advertised, despite all the problems with the website, the millions of Americans who have had their health insurance dropped as a result of the law, and the skyrocketing costs that have made health care unaffordable for many. To anyone taking an objective view, Obamacare is a disaster.
Holcim representatives, including Holcim Plant Manager David Fletcher, met with Morgan City Mayor Jim Egbert and City Councilwoman Shelly Betz to present a check to fund new restrooms at Riverside Park.
In the last five years, Morgan County has employed four different individuals in its top planning spot. Tired of the turnover and desiring top notch planning expertise, the Morgan County Council discussed Tuesday the open planning and development director position left vacant when Charlie Ewert accepted a planning position in Weber County last week.
In search of companies that may want to locate in Morgan County, Morgan County Councilmen Robert Kilmer and Austin Turner traveled to the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show held Jan. 14 to 17 in Las Vegas.
The issues surrounding the interlocal recreation agreement tossed around for years among Morgan County, Morgan City and the Morgan County School District may actually be coming to an end now that the school district has removed a claims and liabilities section.
Morgan County is accepting applications for a new full-time planner after Charles Ewert, planning and development department director, gave his notice of resignation after accepting a principal planner position with Weber County. His last day on the job was Thursday, Jan. 30.
In the 2013-2014 school year, the Morgan County School Board collected $6,400 in fees for use of the Trojan Century Center. In the same time, the district paid $17,067 in utilities for the building, $6,300 for supervision of the building, $4,416 for custodians to clean the building, and another $2,300 for supplies and repairs, said District Business Manager D’Lynn Poll.
The facility is used by both students as well as community members. As such, it is difficult to compute what percentage of utilities was paid for community use vs. district use.
Board member Ken Durrant said heating and cooling of the building would be the same no matter who was using it. When students leave the building, the facility must still be heated and cooled, he said.
Poll said the biggest cash out of the district’s pocket that can be tied to community use was for supervision. However, the fees collected for use of the building was enough revenue to pay for that supervision, she said.
Despite the recent excitement for recreational and economic development opportunities that may come with redeveloping the Weber River, local ditch companies that rely on the flow for irrigation purposes are not as enthusiastic.
The political and economic climate lately has many in Morgan asking about their local businesses. It is a common occurrence to read weekly and even daily “Who does appliance repair in Morgan?” and other similar posts on local facebook pages. It is clear Morgan wants to shop local, and many residents don’t even realize Morgan is home to over 600 businesses.
Although same-sex couples could have obtained a marriage license from the Morgan County clerk between Dec. 23 and the morning of Jan. 6, none did. And because of a Supreme Court ruling Jan. 6, it is not likely to happen again until a federal appeals court can rule on whether the Utah law banning same-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
There is an air of change in today’s political scene. Local businessman John Barber hopes that he can affect which way that wind blows by giving up some of his retirement hours to serve his fellow residents in Morgan with a run for Utah Senate Seat 18.
Representatives from the city, county and school board recently re-evaluated their wish list for possible future grants, moving a bridge over the Weber River at the end of Young Street to the top of the list. Restoration of the Weber River near the fairgrounds is second on the list, redevelopment of Como Springs is third, and Commercial Street building improvements is fourth.
Recently, Senator Mike Lee hosted a roundtable with Utah citizens, experts, government officials, and community activists on the growing crisis of immobility among the poor. The event is a continuation of Sen. Lee’s “Let’s Talk” series he began in August, taking him around the state to hear directly from Utahns about the critical issues facing the state and the country.
Senator Mike Lee introduced a tax reform plan that would replaces much of today’s complex tax system with a new, simple structure that provides solutions for America’s ongoing opportunity crisis and ends the discrimination of parents in the tax code. The Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act is a pro-family, pro-growth plan that incentivizes social mobility, promotes middle-class economic security, and improves opportunity for all Americans.
Jaden Ingle is a political newcomer taking on incumbents Shelly Betz and Ray Little for a four-year position on the Morgan City Council.
“I fully believe that it's time we have new ideas and new minds in our city government to help revive Morgan, and help it to grow to what it's fully capable of becoming,” said Ingle, 19. “I'm running for this position to try and help Morgan to grow, and to solve some issues the city is currently facing.”
Ingle would like to eliminate needless spending and keep utility costs at a reasonable range, which would in turn benefit business in the city “so that they can last for more than a year.”
Ray W. Little brings much political experience to his campaign for a four-year position on the Morgan City Council. He faces off candidates Jaden Ingle and incumbent Shelly Betz for one of two available seats in the Nov. 5 election.
In addition to serving on several city, county and state committees throughout the years, Little has served on the Morgan City Council since 1994.
In the past couple of years, Little said the city council has been most influential getting some new businesses located on Commercial Street. He looks forward to solidifying the location of a hotel in the city, something the council has been working on for years.
Incumbent Shelly L. Betz is one of three candidates—including Jaden Ingle and incumbent Ray Little—running for two, four-year positions on the Morgan City Council.
Betz moved to Morgan City in August of 2006. As part of her job, she regularly attended both planning commission and city council meetings.
“I found I really wanted to serve and thought I could bring some new perspective and additional energy to the council,” said Betz, 48. So, she ran for a city council position and has been serving since January of 2010.