All three Salt Lake County commissioners have gone on record as saying they will vote to put a proposed change-of-county-government plan on November's ballot.
Randy Horiuchi, for one, opposes the plan but says he's OK with letting voters decide."I think, frankly, it is intellectually bankrupt . . . (but) this is America," he said.
All three commissioners affirmed their commitment Wednesday at the final public hearing on the plan. About 30 people showed up, many more than came to the two previous hearings, among them most of the movers and shakers associated with change of government - J.D. Williams, who sued the commission last fall in an attempt to force a previous plan on the ballot; Bruce Jones, chairman of a citizen committee that came up with the plan; and Rep. Richard Walsh, R-Union, whose aborted bill in 1997 started the whole process.
While the guts of the plan are pretty much set - changing from three commissioners to an executive and nine-member council - there are various details still to be worked out.
For example, former Salt Lake Mayor Ted Wilson, who presided over a similar change in Salt Lake City in 1979, applauded the inclusion of three at-large council seats, saying the Salt Lake City Council should have included some to make sure there were people whose constituents included the entire population.
"That was a big mistake we made," he said.
Wilson opposed "regionalizing" the at-large seats, a requirement that would force at-large candidates to be from certain geographical parts of the county. "You're making them serve two masters," he said. "You'll destabilize those people."
Commissioners generally favor regionalizing the at-large seats to keep all three from coming from one city or area.
Mike Montgomery of the Salt Lake County Republican Party Central Committee proposed the at-large seats to have six-year terms, not four, to reduce their county-wide campaign costs.
Many people at the hearings have expressed concern over the possible cost from increasing three commissioners to 10 council members and executive, including the cost of setting up and running separate offices. Nobody really knows what the cost will be, but County Auditor Craig Sorensen is working on making the best estimate he can, which will be available to voters before they go to the polls.