appeal idea gets nowhere with Smithfield council
March 16, 2009 | SMITHFIELD -- The City Council didn't
even have a motion for a vote on adopting a single-person
appeal authority at Wednesday's meeting.
Just weeks after the Planning Commission voted unanimously
to recommend a single-person appeal authority to the
council, the idea went nowhere. There was a lot of tension
at the meeting and as each person expressed what they
felt was best, the tension seemed to grow. During the
meeting it seemed as though no one could agree on just
Local resident Jeff Gittins said he liked some aspects
of the idea but in general he was very against it. He
also warned the council against voting for it because
the new authority plan wasn't specific enough. "Be aware
that there are some vague things," said Gittins.
Gittins also said the document lacks definitions,
which means it could be used for "strategem." He also
told the council "approving this ordinance, the way
it is... would essentially be endorsing your own blank
Councilwoman Kris Monson said she didn't like the
idea of one person being the appeal authority, but likes
the idea of the power being given to a board of people.
Currently, the city has a board for appeals.
"I would personally rather have three or four people
making decisions together," she said.
Councilman Mike Oliverson said he shared the same
concern as Monson.
Smithfield would not be the first city in Cache Valley
to have a single-person appeal authority said City Manager
James Gass. Hyrum, Nibley and North Logan all have a
single-person appeal authority and it is the same person,
Christian Wilson, a member of the Board of Appeal,
said he likes the current system. "I do like what we
have right now," said Wilson. "I do like that it's not
one person making the decisions. I think it works really
well the way it is now."
Councilman Brent Buttars said it's a lot to ask members
of the community to go to a number of training meetings
for board meetings that usually happen only about one
time each year.
None of the council members said which system they
thought should be implemented. Instead, each one of
them that spoke said they thought both ideas had good
and bad things about them.
Gass, at one point, even said "Everything we talk
about has pros and cons." He also said he likes the
people that are currently serving on the board of appeal
but thinks they need to "tighten quality" of people
on the board. He said that one of the qualifications
could be that each person have some experience in land
Councilman William "Dee" Wood said he thought the
council should hold off on voting until another meeting.
Gass later said the same thing, which is ultimately