Hot off of their misinformation campaign to residents, the Utah Taxpayers Association is now rattling their legal sabers at UTOPIA and Brigham City over the Special Assessment Area (SAA). The UTA is claiming that participants were deprived of due process because the terms were not explained properly and that there wasn’t a public hearing. These claims, however, are a matter of pure fiction. Many of the comments I’ve read indicate that the terms were explained and paper copies of the agreement provided via mail by the city. The initial meeting held in November to form the SAA was a public hearing and was well-attended.
What’s interesting, however, is that it was Qwest that initially filed FOIA requests with Brigham City to see the terms of the SAA, yet the UTA is the one making legal threats. My suspicion is that, after getting their butts kicked in court, Qwest wants to use the UTA as their proxy in these fights. The UTA refuses to disclose how much money individual members contribute or what influence any members exercise, ironic considering that they are protesting that there hasn’t been enough sunshine in the process.
The most galling part isn’t the lying and misrepresentation. At this point, it appears to be par for the course. No, what irks me the most is the UTA characterization of Brigham City residents as simple-minded fools just waiting to be duped by the first slick salesman that appears on their doorstep. I’ve met many residents and city employees from Brigham and I can tell you with complete certainty that they’re no dummies. They go to city council meetings, read the papers, and get informed on issues in a way that I wish their urban counterparts would consider trying out. (Seriously, I’ve found rural voters to be some of the sharpest tacks out there, especially when it comes to local politics.) How the UTA thinks it can simultaneously insult the intelligence of and purport to represent taxpayers is beyond me.