Dear Editor:

I appreciate the opportunity to add my own comments to a few letters to the editor that have appeared in recent issues of SUN that have involved me.

First, while I am grateful for the continued support of the many who have encouraged me in my campaign for Kane County Commission, I have to clarify that I am not running a write-in campaign effort. Please do not write-in my name on your ballots this fall! 

I fully support our Constitutional Republican form of government and the method of leadership selection that goes along with it. I also fully respect and accept the decision that was rendered by the participants at this years county GOP nominating convention. 

Some have felt it was a denial of a right to select their leaders, but as Dustin Cox correctly pointed out in his letter, the delegates were chosen by their neighbors and peers to represent their voices in this part of the process. Get involved with delegate selection when caucus time rolls around again, and better yet, be willing to serve as a delegate. It is a very rewarding and fun experience!

Second, I take issue with the misinformation provided by Mr. Vann concerning my involvement with the Kane County Land Use Ordinance. Similar allegations were circulated by the Taxpayer’s Association of Kane County just before the convention as well.

During my years with Kane County’s Land Use Authority (Planning and Zoning), we operated off of two fairly distinct ordinances. The first ordinance was approved several years before my term began, and the revised ordinance was adopted in 2007. The revisions dealt primarily with Utah statutory changes to LUDMA (Land Use Development and Management Act) as well as new case law, and were impressed heavily upon Land Use Authority members during UCIP (Utah Counties Insurance Pool) training sessions in 2006.

The ordinance has undergone several minor technical tune-ups since that time, the most recent being February of this year as Sterling Codifiers brought the Land Use and Subdivision ordinances up to “code” specification, without further changes to the substance of the text therein.

 I believe what Mr. Vann is referring to, was a short document that was titled “Adjustment Ordinance.” It was scheduled (unbeknownst to myself) for public hearing at a planning meeting several months ago. I was made aware of this so-called “ordinance” only after some (rightly) concerned people started calling me with their questions. Upon reading the document, it became obvious things were gravely wrong with it and it was nowhere near ready for a hearing or even appropriate for inclusion into our county code.

 The concepts this document attempted to address should have been placed on a work-session agenda for input by Land Use Commission members and the public before it was ever considered for public hearing.

To set the record straight for Mr. Vann and any others who may be interested, I am not the author of this document, nor did I know of its existence before my phone started ringing. Upon reading it, I had it removed from the agenda for that month’s Land Use meeting as an “unworkable” document and subsequently facilitated the informal public meeting to hear their concerns over it.

 With that being said, I will close by publicly congratulating my opponent in the race for Commission Seat “A,” Dirk Clayson, along with Jim Matson, who together are to be our new county commissioners. I have known and worked with them both in the past on many different issues in both government and private matters, and feel very good about their qualifications and ability to lead. I also feel fortunate to be able to call both of these gents my friends.

As the Land Use Authority now works its way towards a fresh vision with our ordinance, we look forward to their input and advice, and they can count on our assistance and cooperation as they transition into their positions next year.

Sincerely,

Jim Baker

Kanab