The Salt Lake City Council voted by a narrow margin to stall two appointments to the newly established Salt Palace Advisory Board, making the city the last to appoint representatives to the tri-government board.
The board, made up of three appointees each from the city, Salt Lake County and the state, will steer policy at the Salt Palace, which could undergo significant changes in the future, especially if a proposed additional arena is built nearby.The state and county have already seated members, but following a motion by Councilman Willie Stoler, the council voted 4-3 to send consideration of two appointees by Mayor Palmer DePaulis back to the Committee as a Whole.
DePaulis criticized the move, saying the city is already behind the state and county.
"It puts us in a terrible position of not having representation on the board,' he said.
Stoler objected to appointees John Dunlop and Anthony Rampton because "it just so happens they're all from District 3," Councilwoman Sydney Fonnesbeck's district.
"People in my district also pay taxes," he added.
Stoler said he didn't believe the two were unqualified, but he objected to the fact that they didn't reflect balanced geographical representation.
But DePaulis said "geographical representation, in my view, is very parochial" and defended his other appointments as offering balanced geographic representation among the city's seven districts.
"If he wants to send a message that I'm not geographically balanced, it doesn't hold,' DePaulis told the Deseret News.
This is the second recent glitch in the nomination process.
Last month, council members Florence Bittner and Stoler objected to Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Chabries being seated prior to council approval. The two voted to approve Chabries, but not until they objected to what Bittner called the "rubber stamp" role expected of them by DePaulis.
The vote left what has become known as the "gang of four" pitted against the three remaining members. Council members Bittner, Stoler, Wayne Horrocks and Alan Hardman voted to stall the nomination. Council members Fonnesbeck, Tom Godfrey and Roselyn Kirk voted not to send the names back to committee.