As Utah cities weigh the important decision of whether to continue negotiations regarding the UTOPIA network, the Utah Taxpayers Association has aggressively stepped up to criticize almost every aspect of the proposal.

While it is the association’s right to act as a “straw man,” giving the appearance of an independent voice, the people of Utah have the right to know the association is acting once again on behalf of its large telecommunications company members who see UTOPIA as a competitive threat.

If the association represented the taxpayers generally, it would be stepping up to offer careful and critical commentary as well as suggestions only an organization with its exceptional skill set and expertise can advance.

The association will say such information is confidential. If it is not willing to be open and transparent as to its key sources of funding, then its voice and input on this issue should be considered in question and be largely ignored.

Lewis Billings