opts in on regional council idea
By Molly Farmer
March 14, 2006 | NEWTON -- The Town Council voted in
favor of supporting the creation of a regional council
to represent the residents of Cache and Franklin counties
and the issues they face.
H. Craig Peterson, Cache County councilman, presented
the project titled Cache Vision 2020, to the members
of the town council Thursday night. Peterson focused
on the projected benefits such a council would offer
the residents of Cache Valley through enhanced communication
and awareness of issues.
"Our point is, let's talk," he said.
The regional council, which is expected to form by
June, will consist of 15 members including mayors from
all over Cache County, as well as one from Franklin
County in Idaho, Peterson said. It's important to include
the residents of Franklin County, he said, as 70 to
80 percent of its non-agricultural employees work in
Cache Valley. Cache Vision 2020's theme, "Our valley,
our solution," represents the goals of the regional
council, to let residents from all corners of the valley
collaborate and recommend solutions for valley-wide
problems, Peterson said.
The motion didn't pass without some skepticism, however,
as concerns from the council and audience were raised.
Mayor Clair Christiansen asked how the recommendations
generated by the council will be enforced. Peterson
said that while the regional council will be an advisory
board only, with no authority or jurisdiction, its composition
of elected officials will help it serve as an influential
organization that can facilitate change. Fourteen of
the 15 uncompensated members of the council will be
current elected officials, with the exception of the
president of Utah State University.
The focus of the council should be to come up with
solutions to the issues of the area, rather than having
people in Salt Lake impose their ideas on the valley,
Peterson said he and local attorney Gary Anderson,
also present at the meeting, were proposing the regional
council to all towns in the valley. They weren't interested
in lobbying for money, he said, but wanted the support
of the mayors of the valley, as they could be the mayors
comprising the council.
The regional council will serve as an outgrowth of
a current interlocal agreement that doesn't include
Franklin County residents and which, Peterson said,
hasn't done very much.
Christiansen said he didn't think there was anything
to be gained by not supporting the regional council.
Councilman Greg Jorgensen moved to have the proposition
adopted and it was seconded by Maughan.
In other matters, the council heard from Ilda Berge,
representative of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, about
a statue to be displayed in Town Hall. The sculpture
was sculpted by Newton resident Marion Hawes and depicts
a scene from the founding of the town. The art is to
be presented at the next town council meeting in April.
On a motion from Maughan, the council unanimously
voted to have the minimum wage of all city employees
raised from $7 an hour to $8 an hour. The court clerk's
wage was increased to $9 an hour and it was decided
the treasurer's and recorder's wages would be addressed
at a later date.