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Comments about ‘Letter: Incorporate Millcreek’

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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 12:38 a.m. MDT

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

So, what is the real harm should Millcreek residents choose to be a part of America and not a part of a separate nation unto itself.

Would it’s schools be better, law enforcement better, water, electricity and gas cheaper, roads better, air cleaner, or any other benefit to the resident?

Or would it simply be a new venue for unscrupulous politicians to rob the taxpayer?

Perhaps it could become a gated community and shut out the riff/raff of the poorer sections of the valley and reserve the beauty and assets just for it’s own elite.

slamar
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr Steensma, I must object to your claims that a) the township law is allowed to expire and b) Millcreek would be cannibalized by neighboring cities. These arguments are frequently used by proponents but have no validity. The county has specifically addressed both of these concerns on their website millcreekballot.com:

Regarding the township, let me direct you to Question 14: Will the protections of township borders from city annexation afforded by Senate Bill (SB) 73 end?
COUNTY: "According to the District Attorney’s review, the protections of township afforded by SB 73 do not have a sunset date and will continue into perpetuity. The sunset provision of July 1, 2013 at the end of SB 73 is not in relation to townships."

Regarding annexation (cannibalization), see Question 15: Is it true that if Millcreek does NOT become a city it will be annexed by other neighboring cities?
COUNTY: "This past year the Utah State Legislature passed SB 73. With the enactment of SB 73, before a city may annex any portion of a township an annexation petition must be filed, certified and approved. Any annexation petition can only be started by the property owners of Millcreek Township."

slamar
Salt Lake City, UT

Incorporation is not a good idea...it's a terrible idea. I currently get all the services I need, and the county does a great job. It makes no sense to add a city layer (buildings, salaries, administration, new codes/laws/zoning, etc) to simply contract back to the county, UPD, and UFD for what we already have. Nothing is broken so there's nothing to fix. Proponents have only manufactured unfounded problems and then have pitched a city as the solution. This is another reason to Vote No on incorporation.

slcgal
Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Steensma: The truest statement in your letter is "Millcreek... (is) a live and vibrant community." Everything is good in the Millcreek Township community and we want to keep it that way.
Besides your belief there is a "cannibalize" conspiracy, what compelling reasons are there to create a city with a city with a city hall, staff with salaries and paid benefits, offices, vehicles, utilities along with salaries and staff support for a mayor whose salary will be $202,000 and 6 city council members with salaries (please see the June 6, 2011 Feasibilty Study, page 39.) The Feasibilty Study and an impartial presentation of the Millcreek ballot issuse can be found at (millcreekballot.com) This website was prepared with representatives from both the pro and con side.
Please take the initiative to study the relevant issues and the arguments for and against one more time.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

One question:

Why?

I just don't understand why incorporating would be a good idea? Why is it necessary? Why???

If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

In the 1970's Salt Lake County chose not to consolidate with Salt Lake City (such as the City/County of Denver or St Petersburg)- the alternative was wall-to-wall cities.

40 years later: Kearns, Magna and Millcreek are the only hold outs.

Every time county government spends one second worrying about Millcreek's urban services, it is one second less that they are focusing on their real job or providing overall regional county wide services.

If Millcreek is going to use urban services they should be forced to annex or incorporate and do it themselves just like everyone else - and if they don't do it themselves - the entirety of Salt Lake County voters or the legislature should do it for them.

The only choice Millcreek should be making is whether to incorporate or annex - period. The status quo must go.

Farmintown
Salt Lake City, Utah

Counter to Intelligence, your reasons don't hold. The 'urban' services are in fact provided primarily by Service Districts with independent governance from the County (where the County and many cities sit together on the board) today and are also subscribed to by many cities. UFA (fire) and UPD (police) are the primary ones, sewer, garbage and water is mostly from SLC Corporation. So we have a mayor of the county, who serves all the county. Just because we prefer minimal government and the 'non-urban' scene isn't justification for outside power mongers to dictate our fate. 125 years of County living has and will continue to work fine. We enjoy superb services and our total property tax assessment is in the lower midpoint of all the cities of the County, notably West Valley, Cottonwood Heights and Salt Lake City higher, with Murray being lower due to its immense retail base contributions. All cities except CH charge franchise taxes and fees and then all but one at the top rates of 6% for energy and 3.5% for phone and cell phones. We are just fine and supporting our own way, leave us alone vote NO to incorporation!

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

"The 'urban' services are in fact provided primarily by Service Districts"
So it shouldn't be too difficult for you to replace those service districts - or faux city government- with an actual city government which actually has formal elections for its leaders etc.
Incorporate or annex: Just like other responsible communities in the Salt Lake Valley have done

Farmintown
Salt Lake City, Utah

My wording wasn't clear, the Service Districts are Not part of the County, but the governance boards of these districts are made up from appointments by the cities elected officials and areas served. Many of the cities use these districts so as to 'consolidate' services rather than duplications of the same by each city. Adding layers to do the same thing over and over (new cities) is wasteful spending at a time we need to figure out how to reduce spending and increase efficiency. I love our rural County lifestyle, vote NO to more bureaucracy and franchise taxes.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

"I love our rural County lifestyle"

LOL

There is nothing rural in Millcreek - that is the point - it is all suburban development that is more dense than most incorporated cities
So incorporate or annex - dump the multiple layers of special service districts and actually run your own city with actual real elections and representation (instead of appointments) like most other URBAN areas in the County do. (Other counties generally simply do not allow urban development outside of incorporated cities.)

If Millcreek doesn't fix itself - the Legislature should.

slamar
Salt Lake City, UT

Well CI, looks like you better take your single vote and cast it for incorporation. Sounds like you're convinced a city is the answer. I'm with Farmintown and the majority that will be voting No on Nov 6th.

Farmintown
Salt Lake City, Utah

CI, look at the map of the proposed city of Millcreek, nearly 3/4 of it is in fact Millcreek Canyon, virtually a wilderness except for a few cabins, restaurant and a Boy Scout Camp. An area from the Jordon River on the west to Summit County on the East. But you thought I was trying to say "country" and not County. The majority of the proposed city area is rural and that brings up a good point, why? What do the incorporaters have in mind for Millcreek Canyon, why was it included, why stop on those ridge-lines, will they expand to the city of Alta in the future? Do we want to be the only city in Salt Lake County that allows (and maybe charges an additional fee) a rifle hunt for deer? Maybe they can charge a new walk-your-dog tax or take over the canyon from the Forest Service and generate (at someone's expense) 'new' revenues. Vote NO and stop this power grab!

StateTheFacts
SAlt Lake City, UT

CI -- possibly another alternative to annexation or incorporation is consolidation? Currently in the SL Valley, we see 16 or 17 separate cities (fiefdoms), all with mayors, councils, staff, some have separate police and fire protections. On its face it appears to be significant redundancy of executive and administrative costs. Each citizen of these cities pays tax to cover their respective city government and they pay tax to assist with the expenses at the county level. In addition, citizens in these cities vote for both city and county elected officers. Why? Millcreek city will become another double representation with double taxation. If you take time to analysis total tax cost for each city vs the unincorporated area, you will find nearly all the 16 cities (except one or two) charge their citizens more total tax than unincorporated areas. The question and debate should be metro-government vs wall-to-wall cities. Fighting over the remaining three large areas in the unincorporated area is a waste of time, resources and negative energy.

StateTheFacts
SAlt Lake City, UT

I agree the County should be in the business of regional cross boundary services; i.e. UPD, UFA, snow removal, garbage collections, services for aging, animal control, etc., and let individual neighborhoods with elected officials decide local planing and zoning. Of course the local neighborhoods must operate under a comprehensive UDOT, transportation and communication plan. But to add one more fiefdom in this valley is not prudent or smart just in the name of because others of done it; why should we be stupid and do it as well. By defeating millcreek city, we should push our local leaders to look at the metro-gov model so successful in other parts of the countryy. VOTE NO to city of millcreek

Sginsberg
Salt Lake City, UT

Everywhere I go in our Township, I wear my No to city of millcreek. It is heartening to be able to correct the misstatements made by people such as the author; Mr. Steensma. If it weren't so serious, the claims posted on the "yes" posters would be laughable: Local Control? You betcha, at what cost? No annexation? Becoming a city won't prevent that. Lower taxes? What about sure to come franchise taxes? It is in the best interests of all the citizens of Millcreek Township to remain as we are.

Skyline77
Salt Lake , UT

Mr Farmintown: Facts seem to elude you. You made the statement that the County taxes are at the mid point of all cities in the valley. You correctly state that WVC and SLC are higher than the county provided services, but those are the only two.

If you update your facts, you will see that services from the County, UFA and UPD costs significantly more than all cities, except WVC and SLC. This year the county moved $4 million of UPD fees to property taxes, so now the "County's" taxes are approximately 33 percent higher than Holladay, Cottonwood Heights or Taylorsville (and this includes any additional revenue they may receive from franchise taxes).

Do the math! I believe the NO to Incorporation folks are the only ones spinning a story and flexing their muscle to maintain a bloated and non-responsive County government that cannot really focus on the local needs of a community. Voting for the Incorporation of Millcreek is the only rational decision.

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