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Monday, November 17, 2014


BETTE ARIAL - IRON LADY STANDS TALL

CALLS UPON FELLOW COUNCIL MEMBERS TO BUILD AMBULANCE ORDINANCE UPON A ROCK - A SURE FOUNDATION WHEREON PUBLIC SAFETY IS PROTECTED FROM THE MIGHTY WINDS OF PRIVATE BUSINESS

November 13th Council Meeting began in Administrative Conference Room where a young man sat next to his Mother/Home Teacher.  I was fortunate to be seated on his immediate left and able to take the measure of this young man named Dillon Alexander. He was dressed in a suit, white shirt and tie, displaying a quiet, respectful demeanor. I learned that in support of his ongoing education, Dillon had been invited by Mayor Pike to address the Council and follow up with a question. Dillon stated that he had an interest in the birth of our nation and founding fathers. He identified his favorite as being Thomas Jefferson and how he served as the voice of the people.
Dillon’s question concerned Federal, State and Local government and how each branch served to protect citizens and the Constitution of the United States. Mayor Pike assigned each council person to speak on one of the identified forms of government.  To their credit each was able to provide a satisfying explanation as to how government functioned. Dillon having been edified left followed by a very proud looking mother. (Councilwoman Arial, Area Representative for U.S. Senator Mike Lee presented Dillon with a flag that had been flown over the Capital Building in recognition of his scholarly accomplishments).

I may have been mistaken but I thought I heard the City Manager and City Attorney sigh with relief when they had not been asked a question by Dillon on how they chose to enforce City Ordinance’s. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part that he had done so.  I did hear a small voice whisper to me…..Now Ed, ease up on them after all they still have to consider approval of an ordinance setting standards for Ambulance Service in the city…..AND consider approval of an agreement for dispatch and ambulance  services with Gold Cross Services, Inc.
Dillon, had innocently raised the issue of Protecting the People at this time and place, seemed to me a divine intervention. Arriving at the precise time the People’s Public Safety was on the line in the form of Ambulance Service.  The interest being so great on this issue the meeting was moved from the Conference Room to City Council Chambers.  As the body of people entered the Council Chambers they joined others already seated. I noted State Senator Steve Urquhart serving as the High Powered Influential Attorney for Gold Cross Ambulance seated and waiting with Mike Moffitt, Chief Honcho of Gold Cross. His counterpart, City Attorney, Shawn Guzman Defender and Protector of City Elected Officials first and foremost (I believe protecting the Council comes before protecting the Public’s interest) was a late arrival followed by the Council. I fully expected Mayor Pike and his right-hand man, Councilman Almquist to find a way to voice their support for Private Business Interest and by extension Gold Cross Ambulance. I don’t think I am speaking out of turn by describing both as strong supporters of the free market system and individuals well acquainted with State Senator Urquhart. (Councilman Almquist serves as Mayor Pro-tem in the absence of Mayor Pike and they appear to be closely aligned on all issues).

Ergo the timidity and delay in getting an agreement and ambulance ordinance passed, as evident by the fact that it has taken almost two years to get to this position.
 
This agenda item appeared slow to move forward and somewhat cumbersome. All the players in position, Mayor Pike called the meeting to order. It was acknowledged that Attorney Steve Urquhart had met with City Staff and all issues and concerns presented in earlier public meeting had been thoroughly reviewed, discussed and hashed out to a point where both parties agreed to the final wording of the nuts and bolts of proposed agreement and ordinance.

It was agreed that City is solely empowered to dispatch ALL Emergency 911 Calls. Any disagreement that may have existed concerning dispatching of None Emergency Calls was finally resolved in favor of the City Dispatching ALL calls for service. (Excluded were calls from hospital inter-change – Out of area calls from different part of State).  Wording that is to appear on the Agreement with Gold Cross and Wording on City Ordinance was resolved.

My friends, I believe it is important for you to know…..Without the strong and unyielding determination displayed by Councilwoman Arial…..Demanding the Public be given top priority in WHO is to Dispatch and WHAT wording is to appear on Agreement and Ordinance…..Public Interest….. May very well, have been, watered down by those lacking the WILL and COURAGE to resist peer pressure intended to favor private business interest.

I therefore have dubbed Councilwoman Arial as the Iron Lady of St. George…..Closely supported by Councilwoman Randall.  The women on the Council were the stalwarts and as young Dillon alluded to, “The Voice of the People”. KUDOS to both.

To a lesser degree Councilman Bowcutt and Hughes made meaningful contributions. Mayor Pike and Councilman Almquist appeared to serve as traffic cops pointing out items to be considered and logically applied. (I believe they knew when to pull their horns in on a hot issue).

I would be remiss not to mention the fact that Attorney, Steve Urquhart and Gold Cross President, Mike Moffitt, were for the most part silent throughout this final process. Mr. Moffitt proved to be cooperative and willing to work with the City in a spirit of harmony and cooperation…..Committed to providing a high level of service to the citizens of St. George and surrounding communities.

Thank you.  ED BACA

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I CAN’T DANCE DON’T ASK ME IN ST. GEORGE YOU CAN ASK AND YOU CAN DANCE

PUBLIC PLACES REQUIRE A PERMIT FOR HEALTH AND SAFTEY REASONS

SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES ARE EXEMPT ANOTHER CASE MADE FOR CODE ENFORCEMENT REFORM

November 6th City Council Meeting brought forth the bad rap the City received from members of the community that even extended to Saturday Night Live television show concerning Public Dancing.  It put into focus the statement made by former city councilman, Randy Wilkinson who was in attendance during public presentations and patiently waited to present his request for changes to his Mixed Use enterprise…….Randy looked at the council….. Commiserating with what the Council has to endure simply said, “I feel Blessed not to be on the council”.  It made me chuckle and the council warmed to the thought that someone felt their pain. By the way Randy’s request to modify the plans on Joule Plaza was approved and hopefully we will soon see a ground breaking event.

Tiffany Barnes, standing before the council with a large contingent of supporters seated behind her (Not all youth. Included a tinge of Older Folks) got right to the point. Tiffany’s emotions caused her voice to break and eyes to tear up as she explained she represented city dancers…..to state their case…..”Remove any need for permits for dancing”.  I took it as a plea to Council, Say It Isn’t So (We can Dance in City of St. George) and the Council replied…..You Can Dance in Saint George”. Tiffany acknowledged Money and Breach of the Peace issues…..Explained Dancers were seeking answers and questioning the FRIVOLOUS city regulations. Tiffany stated…..Certain Rights were being violated…..Right to Assemble…..Freedom of Expression…..Leading to a waste of Tax Dollars to enforce regulations that caused her group to essentially lose the vision on how to retain a sustainable dance experience for all youth.  Tiffany solicited Council to present their reasons for restricting dancing…… Suggesting that their concerns could be tabled to allow them to come up with solutions to Council input. (Human Relations Commission Needed).  We are no longer just an LDS community. We are diversified and need to listen and pay attention to all concerns.

Councilman Almquist acting as Mayor Pro-tem informed Tiffany and her following that the City does not have an Ordinance against dancing. Permits are required.  Dancers replied “We should not have to jump through hoops to dance”….. “We should not be told we can’t dance”.  I was encouraged to hear Councilman Almquist is knowledgeable on City Ordinances. (Some Readers may be heard to say)……Why is he picking on my Stake President? Let me say, I am not…..However, I am holding My City Councilman…..Who happens to hold the office of Stake President accountable for his actions. I wish to hear his stated position on Code Enforcement and how he and the City should conduct themselves when implementing and enforcing city ordinances.  The Dance Issue serves to substantiate public confusion created by vague and ambiguous City Ordinances….. Without applying tacit admission of neglect or wrong doing on the part of citizens or city…..Highlighted is the need for the city to stop dodging the issue of Code Enforcement Reform.  Houston We Have a Problem”.  Perhaps we should ask NASA to help solve our Code Enforcement Problem.  We can’t continue to go about denying a Problem Exists on how City Ordinances are perceived and misunderstood.  Mayor Pike promised that a review of ALL city ordinances would be conducted and his promise was supported by present Council Members. They need to stand up and be counted and do what is right for the people of Saint George and those that do business here.

Now if this is not enough on City Ordinances….. The second segment of Comments from the Public urged the Council to adopt an ordinance intended to protect the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community from discrimination. Matthew Jacobson stood before the Council…..And stated, I was Born and Bred in St. George and I am part of the Arts Community…..My Roots Run Deep and, I am Gay. Matthew’s mother was present and she was to stand next to her son during his presentation…..However, it was not to be as his mother received a phone call from the Hospital where she is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow morning requiring that she be excused.  All could feel the love between mother and son. Matthew’s presentation contained statistics and his personal experience of discrimination…..Having lost his job when employer learned that he was Gay. Matthew asked Council to follow example of the LDS Church. Light the Way to Fair Treatment. Matthew ended saying, think of “How well we perform not just who we love”.

Patricia Kent, past candidate for City Council addressed the Council stating she was 63 years of age and has worked in many capacities. She has experienced Race Discrimination, Gender and other forms. Patricia’s opposed the request made by Matthew and LGBT…..Citing that the Constitution protects all of us, inclusive of race and gender issues and property rights.  Patricia opined that City does not need an Anti- Discrimination Ordinance that will discriminate against Employers. Patricia softened her remarks saying her family includes homosexuals. “I do not support their life style”. They are pushing their life style on us, the majority. Laws of the land exist…..Follow them, this is their recourse.  Side Note: State Senator Steve Urquhart, Attorney representing Gold Cross Ambulance delayed implementation of City Ambulance Ordinance by questioning wisdom of City Government Infringing on Private Business.  As State Senator he placed before State Law Makers….. Anti-Discrimination Bill protecting LGBT Community….. It appears Steve deems it OK to infringe on Private Business in one regard but not on another. Can it be, when it concerns client, Gold Cross Ambulance, government should be restricted?  I can’t help but wonder why and who in City Government supports him at expense of Public Safety.                                     Thank you, ED BACA.

Monday, November 3, 2014

AMBULANCE ORDINANCE ELUDES CITY


STATE EXCLUSIVELY LICENSES AMBULANCE PROVIDER AND BY AGREEMENT CITY AND AMBULANCE COMPANY CAN GO WHEREVER THEY WANT TO FASHION CITY ORDINANCE

October 30th City Council meeting had ONE item on the agenda. The task at hand was for the City to work constructively with the Gold Cross Ambulance to set standards for ambulance services in the city. It doesn’t seem too difficult since both parties worked for nearly two years to do so. The State of Utah picked Gold Cross Ambulance to service the City of Saint George thus putting to bed the turmoil of two years past when Dixie Ambulance was called to task for alleged inefficiencies……ultimately ending with the closing of Dixie Ambulance and unfortunate bankruptcy proceedings.

I feel it important to mention this as I believe the City contributed to the demise of said business…..If not intentionally…..Surely for lack of attention or failure to recognize a call for relief and or assistance. Once the State of Utah was pressed to act upon reported concerns it was, in my opinion, too late for the City to act in a responsible way. Staying true to form those in a position to have done something meaningful ran for cover. A pitiful excuse was offered that it was the State of Utah’s responsibility to oversee and enforce laws regulating ambulance service. It reminded me of an old song “I didn’t know the gun was loaded”, and I’m so sorry my friend.   

Regardless of the reasons or causes for the failure of Dixie Ambulance the end result is the same. It is dead and gone never to return. The City has thus been presented with a golden opportunity to amend perceived inaction and to create a new and improved ordinance that will protect citizens. As I looked upon the determined faces of Mayor and Council I was impressed to study the face of City Manager Esplin, who appeared silent/subdued yet attentive. Not until the end did he speak leading council out of quagmire of inaction.

And so it began…..The strokes of good intentions paving the way to consider amending Title 3, Chapter 2, Article F: Setting standards for Ambulance Service in the city. The spotlight was placed on City Attorney, Shawn Guzman who proceeded to walk us through each and every aspect of the proposed amendment. I must say that he did an admirable job of conveying 18 months of work that presented the intentions of the city to protect citizens……Putting into words for all to see a level of oversight and accountability previously found lacking. I thought it to be a step in the right direction…..Especially in light of the City’s reluctance to discuss or admit to the need for Code Enforcement Reform.  In my mind’s eye I could see the Mayor and City Attorney digging their heels into the ground not wanting the public to see or hear any connection with the fact that Code Enforcement Reform is in play and certainly wished to avoid any semblance of appearance that City is admitting the need for improvement, thus weakening their defense in fighting allegations put forth in the Class Action Lawsuit filed against the City. (Sir Walter Scott, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive). The proposed ordinance having been summarized, Mayor Pike called upon each Council Member to submit clarification questions or to provide salient comments. Councilman Bowcutt asked about number of ambulances required to be in compliance with State Standards and duty of local government in establishing standards. Councilman Hughes asked about Local Law having precedence over State Law, prompting Fire Chief Stoker to state that the City can be more restrictive but not less restrictive than State Law. Councilwoman Randall initially stated that she had nothing for now, but latter stated that what was written a year and a-half ago “I had no part in writing what was under way before I got involved.” I was left with impression that Randall wanted to avoid any appearance of bias especially as she had been owner of Dixie Ambulance. Latter in response to Gold Cross Attorney, Steve Urquhart…..Randall stated “I am not sure you have found anything you agree with” and referring to Gold Cross dispatching its own calls, “We can’t have that….. Salt Lake City dispatching….. Where is ambulance?” Referring to number of available ambulances and calls for service, Randall stated “Population has not dwindled and it is not resolved, where you are (Ambulance) and each private call you are at. Like it or not I believe Randall is clearly, emotionally involved with issue of regulating Ambulance Service. Understandably so…..I believe Randall is knowledgeable in the field of Ambulance Service and can effectively contribute to the process…..If she is not predisposed to denying the “By Agreement” clause referred to in State Law. I fear that Randall may have inadvertently revealed that she has already decided against Gold Cross dispatching their own private calls for service no matter what may be said to mitigate the difference between “Emergency 9ll Calls” and Private Non-Emergency Calls.

Gold Cross Attorney, Steve Urquhart presented the fact that this was the first time he and his client had met with the council and suggested State Law had not been complied with in that the ordinance had to be adopted By Agreement of both Parties. Mr. Urquhart stated the law must be adhered to. There then was a mixing of Apples and Oranges when attempting to separate and identify the difference between Emergency Calls (Apples) and Non-Emergency Calls (Oranges)…..Further complicated by inserting the need to not infringe on Private Business (Folks, follow the money-Private Calls). The Mayor said to the Council “We are all Business People. Mayor Pike invited Gary Stone, operations manager, Intermountain Healthcare at Dixie Regional Medical Center (Who also employees Mayor) to share his expertise as it relates to Business and Ambulance Service (Great contribution). To clarify a Private Call for service (NO Red Lights or Siren) may unexpectedly become an Emergency Call (Requiring Red Lights and Siren.) Dispatch has responsibility to direct emergency units running with Red Lights and Siren to prevent collisions of units utilizing the same space believing they have unimpeded access to intersections and roadway. The infringement of Private Business Interests having been made I will take the liberty to speak on behalf of Dispatch and state unequivocally that Protection of Life and Property should always take precedence over Private Business ventures.                    Thank you, ED BACA

Saturday, November 1, 2014

PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH…..MORAL VALUES


October 23rd City Council meeting cancelled in order to permit Mayor and Council time to attend inauguration of Dixie State University President. When you figure that they are only part-time employees…..Combined receiving only approximately $165,000 per year…..With benefits, Retirement, Insurance and Traveling expenses……It is only fair that they take time off to attend functions of great importance to community.
Certainly the public should not expect Council to take time from social events to address pressing issue of Code Enforcement. As expected the issue is slowly fading out of public view with the class action law suit filed against the City, being slowly dragged through the court system with delaying tactics intended to numb public consciousness. The issue of Right and Wrong is no longer of any importance. Welcome to Zion and the Real World of City Politics…..Where Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics can comfortably be ignored and hidden from public view…..Under the guise of You Know Us and can Trust Us to Choose the Right.  All the while lulling us into a false sense of security….. Bewitched, Beguiled and Bewildered by smooth talking politicians (Never thinking that we will compare their Sunday activity to what they do the rest of the week) we merely go along accepting the denial of effective Code Enforcement. Truly, a reflection, of the plague, that consumes our nation in these trouble times.
Some might say…..Ed, why are you beating a dead horse on this issue. Well, I learned that recently, St. George City Councilman, Gil Almquist attended October meeting (Illegal Immigration CCII) in which he spoke from the audience about essential requirements of Employment Verification and the application of the Washington County Ordinance 2011-1014…..Coming from a man that, in my opinion, has been silent on application of City Ordinances raises a red flag.  His failure to respond publicly to allegations concerning his application of City Ordinances (Which he has sworn to uphold) screams double standards leading, I believe to moral decay. What is the difference between a person hiring illegal workers to keep his costs down so he can low bid competitors and get jobs…..With that of any person who gets a pass on Code Enforcement and can operate his business cheaper that his competitors?  Hypocrisy or Pandering….. for political support?
We as a people are gambling…..Playing Russian Roulette with City standards and values. It puts me in mind of a saying I read on a plain piece of paper placed on a wall. It simply said “Try a Little Harder to be a Little Better” It was signed Gordon B. Hinckley. We can ALL take a lesson from this, even Mr. Almquist.
By the way have any of you heard from Councilman Hughes…..The other person the Mayor was to appoint along with Councilman Almquist to oversee the reform of City Ordinances. Perhaps they have chosen to bask in the glory of accomplishments found in Switch Point or All Abilities Park, Animal Shelter in hope, that the public would remain passive and submissive (Ignorant and uninformed)  seeking only the good things in life…..Absent of the greater responsibilities of stewardship for blessings received and need for Code Enforcement Reform.
My friends, thank you for your patience and understanding of my efforts to keep you informed.  Please don’t forget to vote.                            ED BACA

 

THERE’S SUNSHINE, BLESSED SUNSHINE WHEN THE PEACEFUL HAPPY MOMENTS ROLL


October 16th City Council Meeting proved to be most inspiring from the minute I sat down and had the pleasure of visiting with Tim Martin, who represented Inter-Faith Council of Church’s here in Saint George as a standing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS.  He was here today to give the invocation that begins each council meeting…..Routinely rotated among participating church and individuals in the community. Since all elected officials are members of the predominate Church I feel it important for the public to know that Invocation Honors are shared equally among all participating church’s and individuals desiring to do so. Those interested are invited to contact City Hall.
HAPPY MOMENTS….. Were immediately realized when Ron Jensen, representing Biggest High School Cycling League presented the organization established in 2011. Mr. Jensen artfully presented a pictorial and verbal description of his life……Describing his penchant for participating in commonly known High School Sports. Walking us through his childhood activities……Leading to his marriage and fatherhood…..Connecting the expectations he had for his children to adopt and practice HIS love of sports and competition…..Depicting the resistance and unhappiness encountered by his children in being placed in sports not of their choosing ……A picture of willing participation vs that of expected compliance…..Until he discovered MOUNTAIN CYCLING.  Connecting and developing a FAMILY Oriented Activity…..A healthy form of exercise that embraces the Open Space that surrounds our community and brings a family closer together. Mr. Jensen’s uplifting, positive presentation was so good the Mayor was prompted to invite Mr. Jenson to come back and do it again. It brought to mind Hymn…..Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine when the peaceful happy moments roll. (Words of Eliza E. Hewitt).
The happiness and merriment expressed by Mr. Jensen via recognition of family values lead to the Biggest High School Cycling League.....NOT the strenuous dangerous forms of Mountain Bike challenges you see on T.V. but a local use of open space that is easily accessible and manageable. Mr. Jensen proudly stated that as of 2014 High School Cycling League had 1,094 members……A Co-ed activity for student athletes…..by class…..Junior, Senior, age grouping for example. In practice Mountain Cycling activity consists of a 4 to 6 mile lap of cross country local scenery. The National Cycling Association will be hosting State Championships locally. Thank you, Mr. Jensen for your efforts in service to the youth of our community and in helping to boost local economy.    
The City then requested a Public Hearing to consider amendments to the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Budget. Sixteen points were brought up…..Mostly house cleaning issues impacting the General Fund and Capital Funds. The public was invited to come forth and express any interest or concerns regarding budget items. I regret to inform you that no citizen participation took place thus allowing the Mayor to close the Public Hearing.
The City requested Council to consider approval of a reimbursement agreement with the Washington County Flood Control Authority for the Washington Fields Trail and Drainage project. (Newly formed organization of City and County Government established to address flooding issues of interest and concern to all). All Council members voted to approve expenditure covering area south of newly build Mall Drive Bridge. Councilman Hughes spoke glowingly of this newly formed group citing importance of addressing Flood Control issues. Councilman Hughes is not only in the Mortuary Business which is often referred to in council meetings but is believed to own property in Washington Fields area where he raises cows. Perhaps Flood Control will help to keep his feet dry as the water table is known to be high in his area. Maybe raises cows for Rodeo?

By now the public is aware that the Council approved a conditional use permit to allow the building of a 5 story Holiday Inn with a height of up to 69 feet adjacent to the Dixie Center. Two building pads located in front of the soon to be built Holiday Inn may be used for 2 Restaurants.
Mayor Pike reported that discussions are continuing with University and School District to bring a school within 2 years to the Sun Bowl site. Appraisal of the Ball Field west of Sun Bowl is in progress. It appears that this Council has made up its mind to make available to the Lions Club a new Sun Bowl, without the benefit of Public input.  Elections matter.  Thank you, ED BACA.

DEVOTION TO DUTY EXEMPLIFIED POLICE DISPATCHERS MOTTO PROCLAIMS


“DISPATCHERS SAVE SECONDS – SECONDS SAVE LIVES”

October 9th City Council Meeting served as eye opener as to what it means to MAGNIFY YOUR CALLING.  My friends, at my age and with the many years I have spent in Public Service…..It takes a lot for me to get excited or be overly impressed with a City Employee….. Merely Doing His or Her Job. After all it’s what they get paid to do and what is expected…..No more, No Less.  
City employees routinely report to work each day 24/7 and carry-out their assigned duties. We take it for granted…..As a matter of course that they will be there for us. (We need to be there for them with appropriate Bench Marks for salary & benefits).
This Council Meeting brought forth the Men and Women that comprise the SGPD DISPATCHERS. YES, I was amazed and excited to see and learn that in fact….. State of the Art equipment has been placed in the capable hands of highly qualified individuals. Entry level testing for Dispatchers and ongoing training assures those entrusted to provide Life Saving measures are up to the job. I attest to you that this position IS highly stressful requiring multi-tasking skills, a quick/alert mind and a resilient body.
Being the largest city in this neck of the woods places a duty and responsibility on SGPD which our City Government has recognized and embraced. City leadership thus has authorized SGPD to serve as the leader of Public Safety Dispatch Services…..Working in conjunction with Washington County and surrounding communities…..SGPD DISPATCHERS serve with distinction in making sure help is there when YOU need it.
Did you know that SGPD Dispatchers process 250,000 incoming calls per year with SG City having 80,000 calls for service…..Not to mention the number of outgoing calls required to help those in need. 95.5% of ALL calls are answered in 5 seconds……Far exceeding expectations. 

GPS is a game changer for Dispatcher’s…..Capabilities exist to see on screen where call originated.(Before and After call received) Cell phones have made it possible to see in real time where emergency units are to respond or where they are located. State of the Art equipment is located within OUR Police Department and Fire Station 7 connecting entire State of Utah to SGPD Dispatchers. A total of 96 Channels are available to bring our community into the State Wide loop of Emergency Services.
This of course makes possible a more effective inter-connecting Ambulance-Emergency Medical Dispatching Service. Mayor Pike reported that in two weeks or about the 30th of this month the final agreement with Gold Cross Ambulance will be presented to the Council for approval. It’s taken a long time but the City will now be in a better position to monitor and evaluate Ambulance Service. It was time well spent and the hard work of the City Attorney’s Office is appreciated.

This Council Meeting in my estimation was a BIG STEP into the world of TRANSPARENCY for City Government. For you see the Council Agenda presented by the Mayor and City Manager not only revealed SGPD Dispatchers but also made transparent the terms of the proposed purchase agreement with Island Trading Company, LLC, for property owned by the City (Our Public Property) located adjacent to the Dixie Center.  Approx. 13.4 acres sold at price of $10.50 sq. ft. 10% Down Payment. ($60l, 000 at closing) City is to finance balance at 4% interest with 10 year Pay-out.  (One year, from closing date to start payment).  Also included is option to buy 2.7 acres of additional property located nearby at $12.00 sq. ft. Intent of Council/City Manager….. Is that said property to be compatible with Dixie Center and entrance to city. (Zoned C-3 City intends to cross off uses we don’t want to see in this particular area). Buyer has 90 days for corrections and is to come back for final approval. (Buyer requested to use re-use water at site. Development is to be entertainment based, possibly a Restaurant or Water Park).
Folks, we need transparency to continue….. Transparency helps the City to keep its skirts clean and protects the public from abuse of power. We need to know what in the world is going on with the delay of Code Enforcement Reform and The Airport Board and the Power and Energy Board. I have come to suspect that a Human Relations Commission is being stymied as it fosters TRANSPARENCY.                                                                   Thank you, ED BACA

COMING OF AGE: A TOURIST COMMUNITY DRIVEN BY THE $PIRIT

October 2nd City Council Meeting presented the Coming of Age for the City of St. George…… The City clearly identified itself for what it IS…..What it has BECOME (Under the Command of the longest tenured City Manager in the State and perhaps the nation)….. TOURIST TOWN, USA. Fortunately we can still see and feel Spiritual Elements that created City….. Although standing for Principals appears to be declining as evident by City’s refusal to admit  politicizing of Code Enforcement Practices…..It’s now OK to schedule events to coincide with General Conference…..Work ethics dedicated to Pulling and Pushing the Cart forward remain…..Diversity ($ making ventures) dominate…..Pushing City Employee  Issues aside is OK. City Manager is sustained by Council placing Seal of Approval….. Ready to subsidize Lions Club with 2 Million of Public $ so they can say they are keeping Cultural Values alive…… Strong cultural base supported by the Business Community makes it possible. (Until such time as citizens demand an increase in number of Council Members you can expect no change in who controls City Council.)

The packed Council Chamber was alive with excitement of coming events……The cogs in the Cart Wheel could be heard comfortably straining, carrying the City forward…..The Pioneer Spirit of the PEOPLE is alive and well……Attracting Tourist/Visitors from distant lands (Brought here by the Marathon Race, Huntsman Senior World Games and the Beautiful Land known as America….the Land of the Free.)
City Manager leads the charge with loyal Staff….. (All appeared comfortably familiar with task at hand and mingle nicely with visiting friends.)  City Manager was seen to smile and interact more openly than usual……Expressing happiness and pride in what was unfolding as he helped to host those representing our Sister City from Japan. (For the moment, gone was the Autocratic Demeanor he has developed with almost 40 years of service as City Manager.)  A welcomed observation, for those of us that watch the behind the scene manipulations of city government and recognize the significance of his accomplishments. (You don’t last 40 years as City Manager without having a strong presence and influence on those elected to City Council and in helping to get them elected…..including the selection of Department Heads who perform above expectations.) Little to no change with replacement of Figurehead, former mayor as long as City Manager Esplin remains in power……Pretty impressive. Kudos to Mr. Esplin.
This meeting featured the Huntsman Senior World Games and the City’s Annual Marathon Race. (That bring in Millions of Dollars to City coffers.) Top billing was given to ARTS (All forms)…..Todays agenda included “Awarding the Bid for the Renovation of the Electric Theater” to the tune of $3 Million. An amount exceeding the $2.2 Million budgeted for the continued development of the “ARTS”…..Intended to supplement the City’s Ability to generate sales tax revenue. (Establish and maintain attractive Tourist activities/enticements.)
The public may occasionally need reminding…..The City is an Incorporated Business Entity……Acts in concert with Chamber of Commerce goals promoting profitable business ventures. However you may feel about the transition taking place, you can bet that the people appear to have accepted the fact, that there is more to life than work and going to Church. TOURIST TOWN, USA appears, more worldly each passing day.  It’s a fine line the City is walking, combining making money and helping those in need and being of service to others. Spiritual Values appear to be waning…..The fabric that helped to create and bind this community together is being tested.
This theory is supported by City Manager when he stated…..Financial support for the Electric Theater is made possible by the City selling acquired property and is able to place money raised in the General Fund…..Thus giving the City latitude on where and how it spends money. (We all know who works in the DARK and who works in the LIGHT.) As a matter of practice sales and purchases of property IS done BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. It is problematic that the Public is kept in the dark on such matters. The previous Council Meeting ended with the Council moving to a Closed Session for the purpose of discussing the Sale of Property. The accepted practice…..Ever increasing, seems to support the fact that, the Spiritual Side of Community, that we hang our hat on to protect us is diminishing.
One is led to believe that people come to City seeking only recreation and to party. Surely in our minds we can see Cart Wheels of past turning to bring people here for a greater purpose. If they are to judge us by the honesty and integrity of our city government will they come to the right conclusion?

Thank you, ED BACA