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Mayor thinks Better Bountiful group just a ‘squeaky’ wheel
Feb 08, 2017 | 3018 views | 4 4 comments | 229 229 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor: 

On the subject of whether or not to build a new city hall, there has been a consistent message put forth by Mayor Lewis and the city council that the Better Bountiful group is just a squeaky wheel and that they are not necessarily representative of Bountiful city residents.  Although I felt strongly that was not true, I didn't really know for sure. I mean really, how could someone really know how the majority of residents feel about this matter?  Up until early December, I did not know.  But boy do I know now.  

I was one who spent countless hours going door to door through various Bountiful city neighborhoods.  I personally knocked on hundreds of doors presenting the referendum to residents for their signature.  I even took a neutral stance on the matter and simply told those I spoke to that the referendum wasn’t to vote for or against the city hall, but was to simply provide residents the opportunity to vote yes or no on the idea.  It is no longer only my opinion that residents are against the idea of spending $15M+ on a new city hall.  I now know for sure that the majority of Bountiful residents are against the idea.  

Of the hundreds of signatures I gathered, I only met one person who was actually in favor of the idea (and ironically that person wouldn’t sign).  Roughly 99 percent of those I presented the petition to didn’t just sign their name in favor of referring the matter to voters, rather, they spoke of their frustration with our city leader's decision and thanked me for taking the time to do what I was doing.  It was a great experience for me and solidified what had previously only been an opinion on the matter.   

Gathering signatures was not a difficult thing.  Residents were anxious to have their voice heard and to have the opportunity to vote.  There were many not associated with the Better Bountiful group who came out of the woodwork to help gather signatures.  On a matter as big as this one, Bountiful residents should have the right to vote.  They certainly did their best to let their voices be heard through emails to council members and attendance to meetings.  Given the city council’s unanimous decision to proceed, it is clear they didn't hear.  Paying attention to the thousands of residents’ signatures gathered in a very short time would be the right thing for our council to do and I for one sincerely hope they will do so.

Lastly, and on a personal note, may I say that my involvement in the Better Bountiful group has been fantastic.  I couldn't be more proud to be associated with such a great, fast growing group of people.  There have been attempts by the Mayor and council members to publicly question and discredit Dean Collinwood and others I have been working with. This is deeply concerning to me and is indicative of a culture that must change from one of being closed and autocratic, to one of openness with more public involvement.  Thank goodness there are citizens who care enough about accountability and sound fiscal principals to give countless hours of their personal time and energy to such a great cause.  I look forward to my ongoing involvement in this group that started out with a dozen and now represents thousands.

 

Bryan Anderson

Bountiful

Comments
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BountifulBoy
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February 13, 2017
If there's something I've learned in life, it's that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I'm glad to know that there are groups like Better Bountiful who are willing to help bring out the voice of the people and help the city understand the people do not want to spend this money on a monument to man. If there's another thing I've learned in the 22 years I have lived in Bountiful is that the squeaky wheels of basic infrastructure (roads, business development, etc.) have not been addressed, thus the need for this squeaky wheel to get a bit louder.
BrHutch
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February 11, 2017
Happy to be a squeaky wheel. And now that it is a squeaky wheel symphony we are making some beautiful squeaky wheel music.

I made a statement in a council meeting a while back...I said something to the the effect that i couldn't find anything good about this plan. I have a correction to make, while the financial and physical benefits still are not aligned with what the city needs, I do have to give credit for a victory of getting the residents involved.

I stand by that the largest problem in the city is the lack of resident involvement and influence. This new city hall plan just happens to be the latest symptom of this issue.

78c10
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February 10, 2017
Ever since the meeting when the council unanimously approved this city hall plan I haven't been able to get a couple things out of my mind.

The first is how the council, and specifically the Mayor acted during that meeting. Having raised 9 children, and am participating in raising 4 or our 28 lovely grand children I have a pretty good idea how they act when they have done something wrong, or are trying to "convince" themselves that what they did was ok. With each and every justification that was labored through, it was easy to see really how unsure they were about their position.

The second thing that stuck with me came from an article that the Mayor wrote I believe sometime before that meeting, he asked for respect for the leadership. While I feel like a relevant statement could be made about respect being earned...the point that has lingered is the tone of the article. It was almost as if they were blaming the animosity they felt on those that had a different opinion than them and were being vocal about it. The reality is that the animosity has been earned by the decisions the group has made, and how they have treated the situation. Can you beleive they worked on this for years before the public was even involved.

My wife and I just hope that the hard work the many people put in on the petition have in some way reduced any doubt that the Mayor and Council had that just a few oppose this...
Attorney@Law
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February 08, 2017
Thank-you, Mr. Anderson, for your letter. Somehow this reality is being lost on the leaders of Bountiful and it is really getting old. I just saw this story in today's edition of the USA Today and other national newspapers (Miami Herald, Daily Progress, etc.) and others who picked up the Associated Press' story on this matter.

Unfortunately, this may end up giving Bountiful a black eye as potential residents may choose to move somewhere else when choosing where to move. That is very unfortunate and is solidifying the public perception that the leaders in Bountiful just don't care. That's really too bad.

Sometimes it really does seem like governmental leaders can't see the forest through the trees.
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