Layton holding additional public meetings on UTOPIA and Macquarie

LaytoncitylogoIf you still have questions about UTOPIA and Macquarie, Layton wants to make sure you get some answers. Per a letter they sent to residents, they’re holding two public meetings next week.

The meetings are as follows:

  • Tuesday July 15, 6:30PM @ Layton High School Auditorium, 440 N Wasatch Dr
  • Wednesday July 16, 6:30PM @ Northridge High School Auditorium, 2430 N Hillfield Rd

Updated List of Macquarie-related Meetings

I’ve just received an updated list of what meetings and votes are currently scheduled to take place regarding Macquarie’s proposal to UTOPIA. As always, theses are subject to change and could be added to. If you hear anything, let me know and I’ll update accordingly.

Public Meetings and Town Halls:

  • June 3 @ 7:00PM, Lindon: Lindon City Center, 100 N State St, Lindon
  • June 4 @ 7:00PM, Tremonton: Bear River High, 1450 S Main St, Garland
  • June 5 @ 5:00PM, Orem: Orem Senior Friendship Center, 93 N 400 E, Orem
  • June 5 @ 6:30PM, Murray: Doty Education Center, Building 6 of the Intermountain Medical Center, 5121 S Cottonwood St, Murray
  • June 5 @ 7:30PM, Centerville: Centerville City Hall, 250 N Main St, Centerville
  • June 17 @ 7:00PM, Lindon: Lindon City Centr, 100 N State St, Lindon
  • June 17 @ 7:30PM, Centerville: Centerville City Hall, 250 N Main St, Centerville
  • June 19 @ 6:00PM, Orem: Orem Senior Friendship Center, 93 N 400 E, Orem

Votes:

  • June 5 @ 7:00PM, Layton: Layton City Hall, 437 N Wasatch Dr, Layton
  • June 18 @ 6:00PM, Payton: Payson City Hall, 439 W Utah Ave, Payson
  • June 24 @ 6:30PM, Murray: Murray City Hall, 5025 S State St, Murray
  • June 24, Centerville: Centerville City Hall, 250 N Main St, Centerville
  • June 26, Orem: Orem City Hall, 56 N State St, Orem
  • June 26 @ 7:00PM, Perry: Perry City Hall, 3005 W 1200 S, Perry

Some of these are cutting it pretty close to the deadline to respond of June 27. Payson is reportedly interested in finding out more, but their years of not attending board meetings with any regularity has left a huge information and expertise vacuum within the city government. I haven’t heard anything about Perry at all. Brigham City will be voting on the proposal either on June 19 or 26 during the regularly scheduled council meeting.

Schedule of Macquarie-related meetings

macquarie_logo_2638Want to ask Macquarie some more burning questions? Interested in seeing how your city council votes? Here’s the so-far definitive list of what is happening and where. Note that any of these is subject to change and I’ll do my best to publish updates.

  • Thursday May 22: Brigham City will have an open house at the Bunderson Center, 641 E 200 N, from 6PM to 8PM. Macquarie will be there to answer one-on-one questions.
  • Tuesday May 27: Orem will have Nick Hann at the regular city council meeting to answer questions and take feedback. The council meets at 3PM in the Public Safety Training Room.
  • Tuesday May 27: Both West Valley City and Layton will be taking votes on advancing with Milestone Two during their normal city council meetings.
  • Tuesday June 3: Lindon will have a public discussion item on the city council agenda. They meet 7PM at the Lindon City Center on State St.
  • Thursday June 5: Murray will have an open house at the Doty Center inside the Intermountain Medical Center complex. It starts at 6:30PM.
  • Thursday June 5: Centerville will have an open house, education session, and public Q&A at 7:30PM. I’m assuming it’s at city hall, but the location is unclear.
  • Tuesday June 17: Centerville, Tremonton, and Lindon should all be taking votes on advancing with Milestone Two during their normal city council meetings.

Notably absent from the list are Payson and Perry, cities that seem to have adopted “bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best” as their strategy. If you live in either city, you should contact your mayor and city council to give them a nudge.

Bill Alert: HB60 to be heard Monday in the House Government Operations Committee

I just got notified that the House Government Operations Committee has added HB60 to its agenda on Monday February 10 at 2PM. The meeting will be held in Room 20 in the House Building and this is the first agenda item. If you can be there to speak as a member of the public, I strongly encourage you to do so. Public opposition is the best way to kill bills like this!

Press Release: UTOPIA Event in Centerville

With Internet Service Faster Than a Centerville Wind,

UTOPIA Wires City’s Businesses for the Future

 

Centerville’s Mayor, UTOPIA and Wired Businesses Hold “Fiber Friday” Event

to Demonstrate Benefits of Fiber Optics

 

Consider these dilemmas faced daily by Utah businesses:

 

  • ·         An advertising agency has recently given employees the choice to work from home one day a week—a great morale booster that also reduces driving and improves air quality. But the need to send large graphics files back and forth makes it practically impossible because the internet connections at both the business and the employee’s home are too slow. The employee has no choice but to abandon what was supposed to be a great idea.

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Utah County Association of Realtors Planning Anti-UTOPIA Meeting in Orem

See below for update.  It appears that astroturfing isn’t just for the Utah Taxpayers Association anymore. The Utah County Association of Realtors, a very powerful lobbying group, has been organizing a “public forum” entitled “What does UTOPIA mean for your home?” and has been using robocalls to promote attendance at it. The call says that UTOPIA will be in attendance, but they never extended an invitation to them. They did, however, extend an invitation to the Utah Taxpayers Association and two anti-UTOPIA candidates for city council. Unsurprisingly, the low-scruples ousted Utah County GOP Chairman Taylor Oldroyd is the prime organizer.

I’d advise UTOPIA supporters in or around Orem to show up to the meeting at 1031 W. Center St. Orem on Tuesday October 25 at 2PM. There will no doubt be disinformation by the truckload that will have to be countered.

UPDATE: Per Chris Nichols, the president of the Utah County Association of Realtors, the Utah Taxpayers Association has been un-invited from the event. He stated that his goal is strictly to discuss the implications of transfer of title when a homebuyer has chosen to finance the installation including how it appears when doing a search on the property. He also made it clear that any attempts to derail the discussion beyond that would be thoroughly unwelcome.

Chris also stated that UTOPIA was invited, but the person whom he named as “someone who has done work for UTOPIA” was not a name I’m familiar with. Granted, I don’t know everyone on their payroll, but if the PR department doesn’t know anything about it, it kind of maybe didn’t exactly go to the right person. Sounds like they both had their wires crossed on that one.

For the record, he was pretty mad at me and spent over 10 minutes chewing me out on the phone. I tried to explain why I formed the opinion I did, but he had no interest in hearing it. The website for the event links straight to the light-on-facts UTA website and lists a smattering of candidates for city council in Orem, both of whom are anti-UTOPIA (though one of them is being a realist about the situation). These combined with questions that appear to imply that the UTOPIA contract causes significant real estate sale issues created a very bad public face. The website itself also has no contact information as to who the responsible party would be.

My take? He wasn’t holding a tight enough leash on his employee Oldroyd who then worked with the UTA to try and sneakily co-opt the event for his own political purposes. My publicizing of it was very embarassing (and understandably so) and he needed to take it out on someone right then and there. Hey Chris? No hard feelings this time, but maybe try to be a bit more understanding of where someone else is coming from next time around. A lot of bloggers wouldn’t be as gracious as I am to heavily update an article to show both sides.

UPDATE 2: For those who are interested, I have a copy of the robocall used to publicize the event. Link is below.

UCAR UTOPIA Robocall

Utah Taxpayers Association Spews More Lies

Several UTOPIA member cities are gearing up to start taking votes on the new Utah Infrastructure Agency designed to help fund new construction of the network. The Utah Taxpayers Association is trying to get people to show up at these meetings to protest the UIA and try and kill it. In their effort to do so, they continue to distort, twist, and outright lie in their efforts to rile people up.

First off, the UIA bonds are not an unconditional loan. They are funds that will be secured by payments from subscribers. If there aren’t enough subscribers to secure repayment, the money doesn’t get touched. You would think that such an arrangement would be acceptable to an organization that purports to represent taxpayers as it clearly shifts the burden from the taxpayers as a whole to the subscribers. Attempting to characterize the UIA as a big grab-bag is a big lie.

Secondly, the UTA says that UTOPIA is running a $20M deficit in “operating expenses”. The problem, however, is that their version of “operating expenses” is entirely unclear. I’m betting that they chose to include equipment depreciation and possibly even the bond payments in that figure in order to paint a much more dire picture than actually exists. For all of the accusations by the UTA that UTOPIA doesn’t disclose enough information, it’s hypocritical and extremely irresponsible of them to distort the numbers for the purposes of supporting their arguments.

Remember the last time the UTA tried to organize an anti-UTOPIA protest? UTOPIA and its supporters showed up and ended up turning half of the attendees into subscribers. Let’s show them it can be done again. Centerville meets tonight (October 19) at 7PM, Orem is October 26 at 6PM, and Payson is October 27 at 6PM. All meetings are at the respective city hall. Let’s show the UTA that lying won’t get them very far.

Utah Broadband Provider Summit Wrap-up

This morning, I went to the Utah Broadband Provider Summit at the Salt Lake City Public Library to see what the state will be doing in regards to broadband mapping in Utah. There was a lot of good discussion, but I left feeling like as smart as the people in charge may be, they’re not entirely equipped for the enormous task ahead of them.

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GOED Holding Broadband Summit

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development will be holding a Utah Broadband Provider Roundtable on October 4 as part of the Utah Broadband Mapping, Analysis, and Planning Project. It will be held from 9AM to 11AM at the Salt Lake City Public Library at 210 E 400 S. Anyone involved in providing broadband or creating broadband public policy is invited to attend. Make sure you RSVP by Thursday September 30 by sending an e-mail to broadband@utah.gov. For more information, visit their web page.

Mayor Curtis Holding an iProvo Meeting

And here you thought that everything iProvo had been said or done. Provo Mayor John Curtis will be holding a meeting on economic development on Thursday September 30 which will include a breakout session on iProvo. If you find yourself wondering what’s going on with the network or how (if?) the city is still using it, this is your shot. The public has been invited to participate at the Covey Center for the Arts (425 W Center St) from 7PM to 8:30PM.