Say ‘No’ to coalition...
Aug 14, 2014 | 1592 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Grand County Council is currently poised to contractually bind Grand County with six other eastern Utah counties, as part of a group dubbed the “Seven County Infrastructure Coalition.” The purpose of this coalition is to jointly develop large infrastructure projects, such as resource haul roads and oil and gas pipelines, both within and outside Grand County.

The coalition would act as an independent political subdivision separate from local government. Only if Grand County joins the coalition will the coalition gain additional authority within Grand County.

As the agreement is written, the coalition may propose a cross-jurisdictional project that affects Grand County. In this scenario, even if Grand County votes against the project as a coalition member, the coalition may still continue with the project. This is a serious flaw in the agreement and clearly against Grand County’s interests.

In a nutshell, the agreement would create a NEW governmental entity, NOT accountable to Grand County voters, that would have the power to build projects which would negatively affect Grand County.

There are two possible remedies to this problem. One is that Grand County not join the coalition and work with them on a project-by-project basis via interlocal agreements. The other is to request an amendment to the agreement that requires approval from every affected member county’s legislative body (regardless of whether the project is cross-jurisdictional or not). Both options would eliminate or limit the coalition’s ability to adversely affect Grand County.

If the other six counties decline to amend the agreement, that’s strong evidence that they place a high value on doing an end run around the Grand County Council. In this instance, Grand County would be foolish to join the coalition.

Grand County already has far too many independently operating entities. Control of this county is parted out in several directions. This has caused a lot conflict and confusion. Adding yet another independent political subdivision to the mix is not in the interests of Grand County citizens.

I respectfully request that the Grand County Council decline to join this coalition and instead make it clear that we will consider their projects on a case-by-case basis via interlocal agreements. This is the safest and easiest way to ensure that Grand County citizens maintain as much control over their own county as possible.

—Kevin Walker


Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.