13-MEMBER PALACE ADVISORY BOARD VOTES TO DISSOLVE ITSELF
DISBANDING WOULD LEAVE COMMISSION AND FACILITY'S MANAGEMENT WITHOUT CITIZEN ADVICE UNTIL NEW PANEL IS SEATEDA citizens board that advises Salt Lake County commissioners on policy and operations at the Salt Palace has voted to recommend that commissioners dissolve the group.
The 13-member Salt Palace and Fine Arts Advisory Board voted to dissolve itself even though a new nine-member board that is to take over Salt Palace advisory duties has not been seated - and may not be for some time.The new board has yet to be seated because of a squabble over appointments by Salt Lake City and because the state hasn't given legislative approval to their appointments.
Commission Chairman Bart Barker said the County Commission will probably dissolve the board as soon as board members send commissioners a letter officially requesting the action.
The dissolution of the board would leave commissioners and Salt Palace management without citizen advisers until the new board has been constituted and could lead to a budget deficit at the complex, Barker said.
`It's true the board has only an advisory function, but (commissioners) gave its advice a lot of weight," Barker said. "We had agreed not to arbitrarily ignore (the board's) advice, and they carried a lot of influence with us."
The board will be replaced under terms of an interlocal agreement between the city, county and state that calls for each government entity to contribute to the funding of the Salt Palace.
Salt Lake County has lobbied the city and the state for several years to get help in funding operations at the county-owned facility. Last month the three entities reached agreement on an accord that calls for each to contribute an annual Salt Palace subsidy of up to $325,000.
The agreement allows each of the three entities to name three members to the new Salt Palace advisory board. But while the county named its three members in June, Salt Lake City and the state have yet to approve their members.
Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis, criticizing some city council members for being "politically motivated," left room for compromise in the squabble over city appointments to the Salt Palace Advisory Board.
The council's "gang of four," led by Councilman W.M "Willie" Stoler, rejected DePaulis' appointments to the board by a 4-3 vote, sparking some bad blood between the mayor and the council majority.
But DePaulis, has stood by his appointments, said Wednesday he would seek common ground with the council to bring city representation to the board.
"In the interest of the public, I'll do what I need to do," he said.
Stoler submitted four names he wants the mayor to consider as appointments to the board. Council members Bittner, Wayne Horrocks and Alan Hardman followed suit soon after they had joined with Stoler to vote down the mayors appointments.
Barker said because of a need for the new board to begin operation, he will ask that the new board begin meeting as soon as the Utah Senate has approved the governor's nominees - even if that means the city is not immediately represented on the board.
But that could cause another problem, the commissioner said. Salt Lake City may not pay its $335,000 Salt Palace subsidy for this year until its members are appointed to the advisory board. If the city withholds its subsidy until its members are seated on the board, the Salt Palace could run a deficit this year.
"I'm sure the city wants somebody there to watch over its money," Barker said.