Exclusive: Payson Not Showing at UTOPIA Board Meetings

For quite some time now, Payson has seemed to be afflicted with a huge case of buyer’s remorse about UTOPIA. Back in 2008, they opted to not participate in the new round of bonding and later punted on joining the UIA. (Who knows if they’ll even come up with the matching funds to participate in the federal stimulus either.) The biggest shocker, though, comes from a review of UTOPIA board minutes. A review of these shows that Payson’s UTOPIA board member hasn’t been showing up to many of the meetings, even when one was held in Payson at what I can imagine was great inconvenience to the members of the other cities.

My review of the minutes shows that in 2009, Payson did not attend nine of the monthly board meetings. In 2010, eight meetings were missed. Neither of the 2011 board meetings with available minutes show that Payson was in attendance, and I’m willing to bet that the others that I don’t have minutes for would show a similar pattern. Making it to just five meetings in over two years is abysmal, especially when there’s the option to participate via phone.

Given the large amount of stranded investment in the city and Payson’s large financial┬ácommitments┬áto the network, this seems like a total abdication of their responsibility to city taxpayers. Shouldn’t they be making an effort to get the network covering both operational costs and debt service? Wouldn’t it be prudent to set aside money for participating in the UIA, money that is guaranteed to be paid back by subscribers and utilize infrastructure already in the ground? Why would Payson do an ostrich impersonation in the face of the harsh fiscal realities?

If I were a resident of Payson, I’d be out for blood. Contact Councilman Brad Daley and let him know that if he’s going to be on the board, he has a responsibility to show up to meetings and do the people’s work, especially since he voted for UTOPIA in the first place. If he won’t do it, it’s time to pressure Mayor Rick Moore to find someone who will.