Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for February 17, 2010
Commissioner Heaton wants to save Russell home
Commissioner Doug Heaton said he has worried and lost sleep over the demolition of the Russell home located out by the Sand Dunes. The home was constructed without a building permit, without proper water, electrical and sanitation standards, in an improper subdivision of land that is not recorded. “I’m struggling with the moral and constitutional aspects of tearing down this man’s home.”
Heaton read a two-page statement outlining his reasons why he could not support tearing down their home and leaving them homeless. “Legislating wisdom was precisely what the founders were trying to avoid. Government intrusion into the personal decisions protecting people from their own failures and accepting public liability for private irresponsibility are all part of the formula that leads to tyranny. I must make a decision whether to uphold an ordinance which clearly dictates that this man’s home be destroyed by the same government that was created to protect his rights...”
Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw said the building inspectors gave them several years to come into compliance. Nothing has been done. This needs to go to court for due process. “We cannot let people come to the county and not comply with our laws. Everyone in the county becomes a victim because they are in compliance.”
Chris Dvorak commented, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse. When we moved here we checked into laws.”
Heaton said his purpose is 1) to save the house, and 2) to rectify an ordinance that needs some work. “I’m asking the commission not to tear his house down until I have a chance to work on this.”
Deputy Assessor Ryan Maddox said there are multiple layers to this: illegal subdivision, building codes, ordinances, etc. He said to please come to his office for input.
The consensus was to postpone a decision until the next meeting when Commissioner Daniel Hulet is present. Hulet was excused for a family funeral.
The commissioners will review county boards and commissions for terms and when positions come available. They want to see that each upcoming vacancy has ample time for notification. That will be discussed at the next work meeting. They believe all seats need to apply.
Two terms are ending, plus another vacancy is open, on the Travel Council. After the above discussion, the commission decided to advertise and give the public an opportunity to apply. At the same time, the current members whose terms are ending may re-apply if they want to continue serving.
After discussion on the process for filling seats that come vacant, approving a member for the Land Use Authority Board was postponed until Commissioner Hulet, who is over that board, could be there. The position had not been advertised, but there was one application from Samantha Stadtlander. “I followed guidelines. This is inappropriate and unethical. I expected to take a seat today.”
Commission Chair Doug Heaton said the position needs to be posted. And “I’m not going to argue with you.”
Ms Stadtlander left stating, “I will want to see the resume if someone other than me is appointed.”
Two personnel in the Sheriff’s Department qualified for promotions: Bert Reeve was promoted to Corrections Officer #2 grade 18-C and Rod Willis was promoted to Detective grade 22-E. The department is losing Detective Dan Watson, who has taken the position of Fredonia Town Manager, after 15 years with Kane County.
The commission approved a cooperative agreement between the Water Conservancy District, Kanab City, Kaibab Properties and Kane County to align a road for accessing Jackson Flat Reservoir.
Dave Owens, Kane County Attorney Jim Scarth and Human Resource Director Rhonda Gant reviewed a new proposed policy for employee misconduct, sanctions and appeals hearing procedure. It will be a new addition to the employee manual. Action was postponed until the next meeting.
The commission denied an appeal by Emery Motor Sports regarding three years of back taxes on a boat amounting to $42,000. The boat is at the Bullfrog Marina. Apparently, when registered in Carbon County, they exempted the property taxes. The owners live in Carbon County, but the boat is registered in Kane County. The State Department of Motor Vehicles notified the owners they were not exempt from property taxes. By denying the appeal, the owners now have the opportunity to appeal to the State Tax Commission. Commissioners said they have no information to set value on the boat.
During the MBA section, Deputy Sheriff Tracy Glover had contracts for the Construction Manager and the Architect ready to sign for the Public Safety Facility. The commission also approved a $10,000 request by Glover for test drill holes to check for viability to install a ground source heating system. The cost of $300,000 will pay for itself in five years at $60,000 savings per year. The approved contract with architect Joseph Linton Development was approved at 7.76% of total construction costs.
Two business licenses were approved: DVD’s Now, Duck Creek, and A&C Handyman Services, Glendale.