If you live in Utah County, you really should vote for Proposition 9, which would change the county's three-member commission form of government to a mayor and five-member county council.
Utah County is a booming, diverse, sophisticated county and it needs a government to match. County commissions are fine for small, rural, homogeneous counties. But the diversity and surging growth of Utah County requires a modern, more responsive, and more representative government.
If everyone represents everyone, as is the case with the current county commission, then no one really represents anyone. Residents of different regions of the county have no one that specifically represents their part of the county.
With five members elected from districts, residents will know who to call when they need to interact with county government. There will be much more accountability The Silicon Valley parts of northern Utah County are much different than the orchards and farms of Benjamin far to the south.
Even more important, a government as big and expensive as Utah County's should follow the U.S. and Utah constitutional models and have both executive and legislative branches. Currently, all power is concentrated in the hands of three people. They make the laws and then they carry out the laws. There are no checks and balances within the county government.
Utah County's government is anachronistic. It worked great when I grew up in west Orem in the '60s amid dairy farms, alfalfa fields and orchards. I used to hunt pheasants where Utah Valley University is located. Those fields are now covered by homes and businesses.
Utah County is a grown-up, big-time county. It will one day surpass Salt Lake County in population. Its current 625,000 residents need a mature form of government. What's more, the new government will be less expensive to operate. Vote for Prop 9.
Reader Response. Really, candidates, tell your field staff and canvassers to wear masks and follow proper pandemic guidelines when working neighborhoods. Knocking on door after door without a mask is a good way to spread the virus -- and a good way to lose an election.
Dave Schneider writes that he answered the doorbell at his home last week and found himself a few feet away from a young maskless man on his front porch. "This startled me, because almost always when I answer the front door the person outside -- be it a candidate's canvasser or someone selling pest control or someone from the ward dropping something off -- is either in a mask, or has stepped back down onto the porch steps to give some distance, or both (which is what I do when I'm out)."
"This man said he was canvassing for a candidate (turned out to be Burgess Owens). This made me really angry, not because he was a political person -- I'm a political junkie and pre-pandemic would usually engage with someone out knocking on doors, while my wife wishes I'd just take the pamphlet and close the door -- but because I'm not in Yost or Lynn, but in the middle of a subdivision in Murray, which, by Utah suburban standards, is pretty densely populated and, unless he randomly picked a place in the middle of the subdivision to start, he's been on at least a half-mile's worth of front porches before he got to mine."
Schneider chewed the guy out, noting that he has two high-risk people in his household. He sent messages to the Owens campaign to complain, but got no response. Even if someone doesn't like masks, it is highly disrespectful not to wear one when purposefully seeking contact with strangers.
* Sen. Mike Lee explains in the Deseret News why he will vote for Trump next week. He reviews Trump's accomplishments as president, says he has governed as a conservative, and adds: "President Trump is deeply human and therefore flawed. He says things I would never say . . . but . . . actions speak louder than words. And when we look at what President Trump has actually done . . . his record is strong."
* California has slowed the spread of COVID-19. After a brutal summer as one of the worst coronavirus hot spots, the most populous state in the country is once again being touted as a success story. Read the story HERE. The article does not address what lockdowns have done to California's economy.
Parting Shot. If you're the state auditor, "Frugal" isn't a bad nickname to have - especially if you can get it on the election ballot. Who could possibly resist voting for John 'Frugal' Dougall when they see it on the ballot? The state Elections Office says you can use a nickname on the ballot if it has been clearly associated with you. So, if you really want to win a political race in Utah, pick a good nickname early. Here are some suggestions: Mike 'Constitutional Scholar' Lee. Ben 'Moderate' McAdams. Mitt 'Trump Fighter' Romney. Chris 'Socialism Buster' Stewart, Donald 'I'm Outrageous' Trump. Joe 'I'm Normal' Biden.