Monday, February 18, 2008

How our legislature has been taken over by Realtor/Developers

Warm greetings friends and neighbors,

I just thought you might like to hear what I have been trying to tell you from another person, Cary Hobbs. His commentary was taken from the Salt Lake Tribune. Thanks Cary, I don't know how I could have missed your fine and painfully truthful article.

Privatization bill would crack open Fort Knox for developers
Cary Hobbs
Article Last Updated: 02/02/2008 12:12:32 PM MST

The last several sessions of the Utah Legislature have sought to pass various measures attempting to limit the authority of our cities and locales to control their own destiny.

One of the first bills was an effort by former Senate President Al Mansell, a major real estate industry figure, to limit or prohibit local planning and zoning functions that affect developers.
Last year saw the disastrous bill by Mel Brown, giving developers the ability to incorporate their property into their own city without any input from the county government or neighbors, and without even requiring agreement by any of the other 100 required named landowners.

We have three of these monstrosities pending in court actions in Wasatch country, and House Speaker Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, has refused to allow any "fixes" to the bill so far this year.

This year we are faced with the most insidious bill yet: a bill to privatize any government activity or property that competes with a developer or entrepreneur.

Craig Frank, R-Pleasant Grove, has introduced bills that require cities to sell their golf courses to developers, close and sell their fitness centers, close equestrian centers so the "private" sector would not face competition.

Obviously this is like cracking Fort Knox for developers who are salivating over some of the choicest real estate in every municipality. Frank was quoted as saying "we need to step back and determine what is government's responsibility and what is private sectors." (The Salt LakeTribune, Jan. 29). Let's do that.

The principles of the Republican Party and democratic government in general have always been to have decision-making at the level closest to the people. For the state Legislature to dictate how our cities are run, how we choose to zone and plan, and what life-enhancing benefits we choose to offer in our communities is dead wrong. Un-American.

Our community facilities are operated and priced to serve all the citizens - the elderly, the poor, teenagers, as well as the top 2 percent of money earners who, with their tax cuts, can afford gated communities and exclusive and expensive golf if they choose.

Our children grow up in communities with opportunities to do something other than "hang out" at the Wal-Mart. The open spaces and trees of our golf courses enhance all our lives whether we play golf or cross country ski or just look at these beautiful parks.

Recreational facilities raise the property values of a community. They enhance our quality of life. Most importantly they represent the desires of the people who live in a community. That is a proper role of government.

What is not proper is for state legislators, who perhaps haven't even been to the communities they are seeking to dominate, to pass laws about what we can or can't do in our home communities. It's not proper to turn our jewels and treasures into multiuse developments or private, expensive, exclusive facilities.

It goes against everything the formerly Grand Old Party ever stood for. It is bad policy.

We know that the huge contributors expect a payback. We know that the largest groups represented among the legislators are developers and people whose business is real estate.

We know that this group of legislators has shown us they will never pass conflict of interest laws or ethics rules, so it's up to us to find people concerned with "the people" and not concerned about making money for themselves or their friends.

House Bill 75, House Bill 76, House Bill 120 and Senate Bill 45 sponsored by Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, must be defeated. Call your state representative or senator and demand they keep to the proper role of government. If you don't, your family's quality of life in our beautiful state may shortly diminish forever.

If I may borrow a phrase from Rudi..."gentle readers", friends and neighbors we just HAVE to wake up and vote these Realtor/Developer legislators out of office. If no one else will run against Representative Gage Froerer. I will and I am "for the people" not for any special interests. Please spread the word as delegates will be chosen very soon. We do not need more of the same. We need ethics reform, property tax reform, campaign finance reform, and it will take several years to right the wrongs already done to "we the people" by this nefarious and highly financed Realtor/Developer mafia.

Spread the word. Tell your neighbors and attend neighborhood caucuses. Our literal future and our grandchildren's future depends upon you and how you vote.



1 comment:

Viktor said...

Spread the word Hell!

I say get a rope!!