Saturday, August 31, 2013

Orem Ballot wording on referendum won't include UTOPIA.

The Utah Supreme court ruled against including specific reference to UTOPIA in the
ballot wording for the ballot for or against the proposed property tax increase on the ballot
in the November election.

Despite the fact that all legal documents regarding UTOPIA indicated the funds for
UTOPIA were backed by sales tax dollars, the Orem city council voted in August 2012
to raise property taxes to meet the UTOPIA payments now due.

The ruling on the ballot written by Orem City Attorney Greg Stephens will be:

"On Aug. 15, 2012, the Orem City Council passed Resolution No. R-2012-0014, which adopted a budget for fiscal year 2012-13 and adjusted Orem's property tax to raise an additional $1,700,000 per year for municipal operations. The Orem property tax on a $187,000 residence would change from $192 to $242, which is $50 per year. The Orem property tax on a $187,000 business would change from $350 to $440, which is $90 per year. The property tax adjustment will take effect only if approved by voters. Are you for or against the property tax adjustment taking effect?"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Letter to the Editor: WHY UTOPIA? Grant Turnblom. Deseret News.

If UTOPIA is such a great program why is it that only 11 cities out of some 240 Utah municipalities have Utopia service?
UTOPIA was scheduled to be completed in three years around Orem. It took about nine years to get to our neighborhood. I found out that at present, only about only 38 percent of the city is covered by UTOPIA. Why has it taken so long? I am sure that if UTOPIA were a private company, it would probably gone belly up long ago.
Why were Orem residents not allowed to vote for or against UTOPIA when it began? Surely we citizens should have had the opportunity to either accept or reject the system in the beginning?
I learned recently that a court order is needed to put the word "UTOPIA" on the ballot. If this is not done, a phrase such as "municipal operations" would be used in order to cover up a negative vote on UTOPIA and mislead people in voting for the continuation of the system's wasteful maintenance.
So why UTOPIA?
Grant Turnblom