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Category Archives: Events

ULCT expresses gratitude to all those who sacrificed their time, listened to their neighbors, and sought to make their communities better by running for mayor or city council in 2011.

For those who came up short yesterday, we salute your effort and urge you to stay involved in your community.  For those who emerged victorious, ULCT congratulates you and looks forward to working with you.  Please utilize ULCT as a resource as you either begin or continue your service as an elected official.  We recommend that all local elected officials attend the ULCT Newly Elected Trainings in December, January, or February.  Regardless of if being a council member is a new adventure or if you want to sharpen your skills and knowledge, our Newly Elected Trainings will be useful to you.  They will be held:

Saturday, December 3, Logan City Hall

Saturday, December 17, Cedar City Hall

Saturday, January 7, Orem City Hall

Saturday, February 4, Ephraim City Hall

Saturday, February 11, Salt Lake City and County Building

Also, please watch for the updated version of the “Powers and Duties Handbook,” coming to a ULCT bookstore near you soon.  Powers and Duties covers every local government topic from budgets to ethics, from the Open and Public Meetings Act to impact fees, and from land use to business licenses.  It is a must read for every local government official (and, in our humble opinion, everyone else in Utah too)!

Again, congratulations to the new or continuing elected officials and thank you to all those who ran for public office in 2011.

By Susan Wood

50 miles on I-15 is really nothing.  Unless you’re stuck in rush hour traffic or diverted onto a Utah County farm exit by errant orange barrels, Provo is just a stone’s throw away from Salt Lake City. (Stone, rocket launcher, whatever.)

But To a Ute or a Cougar, there is proverbial dividing point along I-15 at the county boundary.  It’s Utah’s own Mason-Dixon Line.  Instead of blue versus gray, it’s blue versus red.  Utah has had its own line in the sand since the late 1800’s, when BYU was BYA and Utah was the Deseret Academy.

As a symbolic gesture, a friendly wager and a genuine effort of good will, Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker and Provo Mayor John Curtis are crossing that line in unison…. or thereabouts.

This rival ride is the Salt Lake/Provo City version of wagers like those we’ve heard so much about during Superbowls and World Series games. It’s like trading cheddar cheese plates for clam chowder bowl, bratwurst for barbeque, or roping one city official to sing his rival’s fight song mid-field.

For the fourth season in a row, Mayors Curtis and Becker will pedal away for their rivalry ride. Since the “U” won the last football game against the “Y,” The route will lead into Salt Lake City.  (Basically, it’s nearly all uphill on this one and some inner-office fans believe Mayor Becker may have the advantage.)  The route isn’t a straight shot this year, either (Check it out here).  Due to highway construction, the cyclists will be peddling through neighborhoods and traveling some winding bike paths.

Now, here’s the big warm-fuzzy part.  Unlike large crowds of high school lineman waiting to do the Haka (as demonstrated here) to revel in victory, everybody’s a winner in this cycling competition.  Riders are contributing cash to a cause that affects every city. Dollars will be donated to provide food to the less fortunate.  Organizers figure each dollar can generate seven times the value in actual food purchases.

Be ready to ride at Provo’s City Hall, 351 West Center at 9:00.  Gear up for the finish line several hours later at the SLC City and County Building.


Legislative Policy Meetings

We started of the week with a great Legislative Policy Meeting (thanks to those who were able to attend).  Continuing to follow our new meeting platform, we focused on just a few issues instead of trying to fit everything in to each meeting.  This meeting’s focus was on the recent legislative proposal to redistribute sales tax and also on recent Utah State Retirement findings that would require the payment of retirement contributions for part-time employees if they earn over a certain amount.  Each item received much debate.  Most expressing concern on redistribution concepts and requests to find more information on the retirement issue and look at legislation to prevent such issues in the future.


  • Broadband Deployment

The Governor’s staff was the first one to present to the Committee.  The focus of their presentation was on the two areas of the Broadband advisory council mission.  The first is the mapping of broadband availability in Utah.  They spoke on the progress they have made so far in this aspect.  The second was planning and coordination of future broadband deployment with an emphasis on getting broadband to the underserved and rural areas of the state.  They also mentioned this as an economic development tool for all of these areas.

Steve Fletcher from DTS then presented on what his department is doing to increase broadband deployment in Utah.  He spoke quickly on how this is an economic development tool and how that is important to Utah.

The ULCT staff spoke next, and gave a quick history as to why he was placed on the board.  Lincoln spoke on the fact that some coordination of fiber deployment is taking place currently.  He later spoke on the fact that coordination and trading of fiber is going on currently due to the stand out effort of certain individuals.  He later commented that they might want to formalize some of the trades and efforts that are being made by a few.  He also affirmed these efforts need to be done with both public and private entities.  He also spoke to the fact that this is a great area to enter into public private partnerships where both parties will see a benefit.

Lynn Yocum from UDOT presented on all the good things that they have been doing at UDOT as far as making smart roads.  She gave a few examples of trades that have taken place and helped UDOT expand their reach.  By doing this she has been able to do more with less as mandated by the governor.

Mike Peterson from UEA gave a presentation on their current infrastructure.  He showed the state and all of the schools and libraries they have connected.  He then spoke on the E-rate program and how they are able to receive nearly two dollars for every one that they use on long term leases from private entities to connect their buildings.

The presentation was good in educating legislator on the Broadband deployment that is currently going on in Utah.  It also gave them a scope of the importance of Broadband to Utah.

  • Natural Resources – State Parks

The Natural Resources Interim Committee discussed the future of Utah state parks.  The Legislature reduced the Division of Utah State Parks & Recreation’s budget from FY 2010 from $12.2 million to $6.7 million in FY 2012 and the legislature wants to wean state parks off of the general fund via privatization, staff reduction, and turning park management over to local governments.  Every local government contacted by the Division, however, declined management due to the financial obligations.  The Division’s director and dozens of supporters advocated for renewed funding and two legislators opined that the value of state parks cannot be quantified and expressed support for legislative funding of state parks.  Nevertheless, other legislators voiced concern that federal budget cuts would continue to strain the state budget.  Many cities and residents depend on the economic benefits and cultural value of the state parks.  Consequently, ULCT will monitor the state park dialogue and how much the legislature promotes relinquishing state parks to local or private control.

  • Sales Tax Distribution

The Revenue and Tax Committee briefly discussed sales tax distribution.  Due to time constraints, the committee did not take public comment and instead pushed the item to November’s interim agenda.  The committee did, however, get a brief explanation of a possible bill from Rep. Greg Hughes and Rep. Jim Nielsen, which would change the local distribution formula from 50-50 (50% point of sale and 50% population) to a 50-25-25 (50% population, 25% point of sale and 25% total wages within the city).  Numbers were provided as a part of that presentation and further analysis will be done by ULCT staff to better understand the full effect of any proposed change.  Cities have expressed deep concern over the proposal and the ULCT will continue to work with the Legislature to make our concerns known.

Other Meetings:

  • Meeting with Legislators on ULCT initiated pawnshop legislation to deal with unintended consequences to a bill from the 2011 session
  • Meeting with Legislators on a bill to modify the land-use code dealing with rentals to multiple families (number of unrelated individuals that can live together)
  • Meeting with legislators on retirement issues referenced above
  • Meeting with UDOT to discuss B&C allocation issues

Upcoming Meetings:

The week of October 24th will be a busy week for the ULCT with our land use taskforce reconvening to discuss proposed legislation for 2012. We will also be meeting with SL County on township/duplication of services issues in Salt Lake County and cities within SL County, and the Utah Intergovernmental Roundtable summit, which will focus on the future of agriculture in Utah.  We will have a full report on these and other meetings of the week on Friday.  Until then, enjoy your week.

Please call if you have any questions.

Your ULCT Legislative Team

The Utah League of Cities & Towns is pleased to announce the 2011-2012 Newly Elected Officials Training.

This half-day seminar is targeted at those who have just been elected for the first time and starting to wonder just that they got themselves into. This training is also a great brush up for any official, new or old, elected or appointed and we encourage all to attend.  All sessions will begin at 8:00 am and will wrap up no later than 1:30 pm.

The training sessions will be held in the city hall of Logan, Ephraim, Provo, Cedar city and Salt Lake City. The schedule is posted on our calendar.

Please watch for information coming in the mail in the next week. We will also be sending information regarding the 2012 Local Government Officials Directory.

Logan City Hall – 12/3/2011 (290 N. 100 W., Logan, UT 84321)

Cedar City Hall – 12/17/2011 (10 N. Main, Cedar City, UT 84720)

 Orem City Hall – 1/7/2012 (56 North State St, Orem, UT 84057)

 Ephraim City Hall – 2/4/2012 (5 S. Main, Ephraim, UT 84627)

 Salt Lake City & County Building – 2/11/2012 (451 S. State, Salt Lake City, UT 84111)

Urban Land Use Institute:

ULCT’s Jodi Hoffman, Meg Ryan, and Cameron Diehl (plus other city officials) attended the Land Use Institute conference on October 12.  Jodi presented a legislative preview of land use and water issues and moderated a discussion on HOAs.  Salt Lake City’s Neil Lindberg gave a case law update.  Spanish Fork’s Junior Baker explained the municipal perspective on billboard policy.  Ogden’s Mark Stratford detailed the municipal impact of the recent Jensen v. Jones water decision.  He said cities require developers bring water rights to the city before the city will approve the development.  The water right must go through the change application process at the State Engineer’s office, but often the city subdivision approval process is completed prior to the state engineer process.  The State Engineer may decide that the water right could have been subjected to forfeiture for historical or statutory reasons and thus only approve a portion of the water right.  Cities, however, would then be “on the hook” to provide water for the development.  Thus cities are concerned about the timing, the role of the State Engineer’s office as the investigator and adjudicator, and creating a more defined process in statute for what the State Engineer can and cannot do in determining the validity of the water right.


Broadband Advisory Council:

The Broadband Advisory council met and discussed progress that has been made with respect to broadband deployment to Utah.  Lincoln spoke to the council about a presentation that he will be making to the Public Utilities Interim Committee on October 19th.  Lincoln, with UDOT, UEN and DTS will be presenting on what is currently being done with fiber deployment by each organization and how they are currently sharing fiber.  The rest of the meeting was presentations given to the Broadband Advisory Council by UEN and Utah State Library.


Governors Advisory Council for Optimization State Government

The meeting was held up at the State Capitol and discussed the different areas that needed agency alignment.  There were two areas that we at the League were asked to look at and see if there were benefits to consolidating or realigning. The first area would be in the interaction between local governments and the DABC the second area is creating a better collaboration of fiber deployment between all branches of government.  We suggested DABC create an “Outreach/interface” subcommittee along with a “How to” handbook for economic development.  As far as fiber deployment we talked about some small efficiencies that can be made with fiber deployment.


Joint Highway Committee Meeting:

On Friday, Lincoln attended the Joint Highway Committee meeting in Vernal, UT.  This committee is charged with the disbursement and prioritization of certain transportation funds within the state.  Lincoln provided a brief legislative update on transportation issues and took the opportunity to discuss critical municipal transportation issues with Sen. VanTassell of Vernal and Sen. Okerlund, of Monroe…ensuring that any transportation funding increases be shared with local governments for ongoing construction, maintenance and preservation.


Internal Meetings:

In addition to the meetings listed above, staff also conducted three internal meetings this week to settle in on our legislative strategy related to land use issues, justice court issues, and issues related to local tax authority.


Upcoming Meetings:

Next week will be a busy week for the ULCT with our monthly Legislative Policy Committee meeting on October 17th, Legislative Redistricting meetings on the 17th and 18th and Legislative Interims on October 19th.  We have several items on the interim agenda and will report on those issues in next week’s report.


Please call if you have any questions.

Your ULCT Legislative Team


Members of the ULCT Legislative Policy Committee will be meeting next Monday at 11:45 at the Utah Local Government’s Trust (55 South Highway 89, North Salt Lake) and lunch will be served. Here are some of the pertinent materials and the agenda for the upcoming meeting:

October 2011 ULCT Issue Synopsis

Oct 17 LPC Agenda

Sales Tax Distribution Slides

Doug’s Economic Forecast

Economic Development Slides

Legislative Questions for Guests

Many presentations from our 104th Annual Conference are now available here. Check them out!

Last week ULCT staff and city employees from West Valley City took some bullets for local governments at the annual paintball fundraiser of Sen. Mark Madsen.  In our loyal defense several of us walked away bruised and battered, but the interests of the ULCT were well served.  It provided a great opportunity to meet with several legislators (Sen. Mark Madsen, Sen. Stuart Adams, Sen. Howard Stephenson, Rep. Carl Wimmer, and Rep. Curt Oda to name a few).  While we were all there to have fun, it created a great opportunity to discuss some key municipal issues as well, including municipal land-use issues, housing regulatory issues, and sales tax distribution issues.  All-in-all, a great event and great opportunity for local governments; thanks Wayne and Mark for helping us defend the cause!!

ULCT will host its 104th Annual convention September 14th-16th at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City. The conference will feature speakers Doris Kearns Goodwin and Douglas Brinkley as well as entertainment from magician David Blaine!

The entire conference program is available as an app for mobile devices and computers at

Tomorrow (April 7th) is the last day to RSVP for Midyear! Join us for presentations and workshops revolving around technology in government and don’t miss keynote speakers Peter Leyden and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw!

Click here for more information and a registration form or call the League at 801-328-1601

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