While the mayor and a divided city council stick to their guns over a disagreement about potential appointees to the Salt Palace Advisory Board, Salt Lake City remains the only entity with no representation on the tri-government board.
In a meeting between the council and Mayor Palmer DePaulis Thursday, Councilmen Willie Stoler restated his objections to three appointees DePaulis made to the newly formed board.Stoler lead the "gang-of-four" coalition of council members Florence Bittner, Wayne Horrocks and Alan Hardman in a 4-3 vote Tuesday to stall two of three appointments.
The three appointees, F. Anthony Rampton, Marcia Price and John T. Dunlop, are all from Councilwoman Sydney Fonnesbeck's Avenues district and represent an imbalance of "geographic representation," Stoler complained.
"I have no problem with their qualifications," Stoler said Thursday, "but their all being from District 3 means six-sevenths of the community isn't represented."
Hardman said the mayor's 186 appointments don't reflect a "broad cross-section of the city" as required by city council policy, and said he would take a stand on Salt Palace appointments to change that.
DePaulis said he would not retract his appointees and defended his choices before the council, saying the three are qualified and fit criteria set by other entities on the board - Salt Lake County and the state.
Speaking to the council, DePaulis cited statistics showing that although appointments are heavily skewed towards two of the city's seven districts, his appointments reflect a trend toward balanced geographic representation.
"The trend is going in the right direction," he said, noting that appointments to District 3, the offending district in this instance, are next to the lowest among appointments to other districts.
Hardman, noting the proposed Salt Palace appointments were all from District 3, said the statistics used by DePaulis were "happenstance."
No council member recommended Salt Palace nominees to the mayor, DePaulis said, although Horrocks said he recommended two names to DePaulis following the city council meeting Tuesday.
DePaulis said leaving the board, which makes policy at the Salt Palace, without city representation isn't in the city's best interest.
But Bittner, acknowledging the board is a "very powerful" one, said she won't be swayed by pressure to make appointments quickly.
The council will consider the appointments formally at a council meeting Tuesday night.