Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote

Updated based on current version.

Whether or not you agree that the caucus and convention system which did NOT favor the incumbent, wealthy or famous, as being a good thing, the New Count My Vote 2.1 is worse.
 
Currently you can at least watch what your legislator does during the session and if you don't like it, you can either run or help someone run against them by filing after the session ends.

CMV 2.1 changes the deadline to be selected by the party OR to submit signatures by the first business day after March 1st., lines 469, 476). (worse than CMV2.0)

They are saying we have to have the caucus and county and state party conventions during February, when the Utah Legislature is meeting!

This takes away part of the accountability of these elected officials.

Most of the bills will pass after the new proposed filing deadline and it will take time prior to qualify and so it would be two years until you have a chance to hold your State Representative accountable or perhaps four years for your State Senator or Governor depending on their end of term.

So much for accountability to the people. Is this initiative is written to protect incumbents?

Do we call this Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote?

https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Initiatives/Count%20My%20Vote%20Addendum.pdf

What is the major problem technically? 

The new CMV2 violates the Utah Constitution Art VI sec 1, (2) (a) (i) (B ) for lines 97 to 107.

IF they CAN constitutionally combine an initiative and a referendum of advance legislation, which the constitution has as separate powers and the state law has different requirements for, the state constitution is very clear a referendum can not repeal bills passed by a 2/3 vote of both legislative houses. This is written to include repeal of those, even before they exist, violating the part of the State Constitution they are using to create CMV2. 

Other major problems?

While it will cost less to get on the primary ballot under CMV2, it will cost a lot more to actually run and win elections making lobbyists and corporations, or the wealthy and famous even more powerful in elections.

There are no geographical requirements for signatures within a district or state so the potential of fly over counties and cities and area becomes much worse.

What should Count My Vote 2.1 actually change?

IF they really want to change elections, they should get rid of straight party voting as people can now get on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate with signatures bypassing the political parties, and have been able to for many years. They just have a harder time wining with straight party voting. CMV2 does nothing to help unaffiliated voters. That would.

The next thing they should look at is Ranked Choice Voting and not the expensive run off primaries that are part of CMV2, that have poor voter turnout and cost millions each election.

Ranked Choice voting Video

Don't sign their initiative. It makes elections worse and not better.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Granite Bond Proposal or Short Term Memory

Note, this is a copy of some random facebook posts. I will see if I have time to come back with something more formal.  

I like safe buildings. I do however feel I have been lied to. 

When GSD promoted the $256,000,000 bond last time, it was with the promise that they would not be raising taxes, which they already have for a different reason. Bonding for any more prior to paying off what they currently have goes against what we were told.

Yes, they promised no tax increase for the last bond, which they followed. I noted that the tax increase was for a different reason. Yes they need "permission" to raise taxes, in that they have to have a truth in taxation hearing after telling people they are planning on doing it and listening or ignoring all those that come to oppose the tax increase.

And yes, we were shown (for the last bond) a plan that had no tax increase in the future, which they either scrapped or decided it was bogus.

I don't like being lied to and yes they are related. Is 100% of the 12% property tax increase going directly to and only to teachers for a 12% raise? What percentage of the money coming from the State is going to capital improvements now and you do notice the end of this article. 

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685951/Granite-School-Board-unanimously-adopts-12-property-tax-increase.html

For several years, the districts have asked the state to allow them to have an exception to use state money to some extent for capital improvements. That has been in state law with an ongoing sunset.

It is possible that will expire about the same time as the Jordan School District split solution. I was not in the #utleg when that solution was crafted, but I do know there have been new protections put in place to avoid another district being created and leaving the remainder with big problems.


What did they say last time?

http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=13571362&itype=NGPSID

Granite had been working on a $17 Million per year budget for new and fixed buildings, but decided to use it for the 2009 bond for over $256 Million. They were supposed to have everything all figured out until it got paid off and then use the $17 Million again for the same thing.

http://www.graniteschools.org/superintendent/2009/09/answers-to-bond-questions/
(Note, since I posted the above link, the district website has deleted this information. I have the screen shot, but the text has now been added below). 

When they borrowed the $256 Million, they promised they would pay if off before coming back. If they had paid off the current bond and then they decided they couldn't do it for $17 Million a year anymore that would be one thing, but not only did they sell the voters a line, they sold the investors a line as well


http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100419007196/en/Fitch-Rates-Granite-School-District-Utah-Bonds 

They have known the current seismic problems have existed for some time. I guess air conditioning was a higher priority for the $256 Million bond last time? How long before the $256 Million is paid back?

"Voters authorized general obligation bonding of $256 million in November 2009. As of June 2013, the district had issued $231 million and had remaining authorization of $25 million. The bond money has been used to rebuild Granger High School, Olympus High School, Oakwood Elementary, Woodstock Elementary, and the Hartvigsen School. In addition, the funding was used to build 2 new elementary schools (Elk Run and Armstrong), and to provide air conditioning for all schools in the district. The district plans to issue the remaining $25 million of bond authorization during the 2017-18 school year. The funds are budgeted to build a new elementary school and to purchase a school site."


For the New Proposed Bond, most of the rebuild/remodel for phase one do not have the " * Projects to be financed with bond proceeds (Utah Code 53A-18-102) ". According to the GSD mailer on the bond, only 5 of 31 listed school projects are being funded by the proposed bond.  So how is the district paying for those other projects? Will they issue another new bond in a few years or do they already have the money for those?

While the DA is investigating one school district re: this issue, it has not been reported they are also investigating GSD. Perhaps they should be.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/10/23/critics-of-the-campaign-for-canyons-school-districts-283m-bond-are-eager-to-follow-the-money-if-only-they-could/


I received a well written Voter information tri-fold by GSD in the mail, addressed to Registered Voter at my address. Even though it was just one side of the issue and obviously has bias, it had great information. My complaint does not focus there.  


The GSD is advertising for the bond using district money, at least via Facebook. 

The ad doesn't not agree with the tri-fold and implies that all the projects are being paid by the bond, which appears to be false advertising, if the tri-fold is correct.

Everything I have seen shows the District is paying for the promoting of the bond.

Update:  There is a PIC or a PAC 
Approx. $30,000 has been raised to promote the bond, most large donations are from Architects (not me) or Engineers or Contractors that would benefit from the bond.

http://www.parentsforgranite.org/supporters/

PAC
 https://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/1414818

PIC
https://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/1414862

 UPDATE
From the 2009 Q&A from the District Website, recently deleted.


Answers to bond questions

1. How can we be sure the Board won’t raise taxes for this bond – like the ballot says they can?
The Board of Education has very publicly committed not to raise taxes to pay for these bonds.  Historically the Board of Education has kept its promises.  To break this promise would significantly compromise the ability of individual board members to be reelected.
2. What is to hold the board to their commitment?
The Board of Education unanimously approved the “project list.”  Historically the Board of Education has kept its promises.  To deviate from that list would significantly compromise the ability of individual board members to be reelected.
3. If we don’t live in the county can we still vote?
 Only residents of Granite School District will be involved in this election.
4. Will only two new elementary schools be needed in the West Valley/Magna area in the next 20 years?
We know the area  needs two right now and the pay-as-you-go strategy is not sufficient to build those.
5. Where did the $17 million come from?
The $17 million comes out of the capital outlay budget.
6. Where will students be located while our school is being rebuilt?
This will need to be evaluated.  It has been our practice to hold school in the existing building for school while the new building is built whenever possible.  Communities are involved in this planning.
7. What would happen if an unseen emergency/catastrophic need arises?
The district is insured for emergencies and catastrophes.  A significant contingency plan has been built into this bond and we are certain that we will be able to complete the list.
8. What schools will be air conditioned first?
As soon as the bond is passed we will develop a strategy for getting all schools air conditioned as quickly as possible.  It is unlikely that any single contractor would be able to do all the schools at once so we will consider multiple contractors and review their suggestions as to how to move most quickly.
9. How were buildings identified for rebuild?
A number of factors go into this identification, including such considerations as instructional appropriateness, age of building, seismic ratings, cost of maintenance, cost of utilities, condition of roof, stable student populations and so on.  Olympus and Granger High schools rose to the top of the list as did Oakwood and Woodstock Elementary schools.
10. Can we use swamp coolers instead of air conditioners?
There are a number of factors that make swamp coolers less desirable instructionally than air conditioning including noise, humidity and dust.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why a Redistricting Commission may make things worse

UTA, an un-elected board doesn't work as good as most would like. Do we want another?

Both in 2016 and 2017, Rep. M. Nelson proposed rules (passed the House but not the Senate, yet) that would help solve the problem that happened last time, The redistricting committee had really good rules and goals, but then both political parties threatened law suits and many of the ideals were abandoned. If we could just get one or two specific Republican State Senators to go along, the new rules would likely pass. Those rules and having the elected legislature create the maps would work much better than having an "independent" redistricting commission, where the one independent person gets to decide. 

Even though I was not on the redistricting committee last time, I drew maps for the 2011 redistricting bills and some were officially voted on. My Congressional Map, "Hat and 3 stripes" was the most favored by the committee, prior to the political parties involvement. I even had a similar map Senate Sponsored by Sen. Ben McAdams, the only bi-partisan Congressional District Map. (No, it didn't pass).

The maps I drew to start with had one goal in place. To keep the districts as close to city and county lines as possible, using major roads or other obvious boundaries such as rivers, etc. I had the Congressional District divided with very few county or city boundaries crossed. My Party Chair threatened to sue the state if that map was adopted. I tried to make it fair. I wasn't trying to favor one party over the other, but didn't use any party stats to create it. I had the maps balance to one person. 

If the rules that the committee was trying to follow were placed as legislative rules, it would have avoided the threats of lawsuits for following them. The other side created state house and other maps down to just a few people, while to keep the county and city boundaries as close as possible, the state house and state senate districts needed more of a range, perhaps 2% to 3%. When they started doing that we started losing district boundaries that made sense. They made things worse. Another reason for the rules being adopted differently.


At least for the Utah House map, only one Rep. voted against the final map. 74 to 1. She won in 2012, I lost. It wasn't perfect, and I knew it would be tougher to win, but I voted for it because my area made more sense than other options.

 Remember Rep. Merrill Nelson lost years ago, because he wanted fair redistricting boundaries more than getting elected. I repeated that in 2012. If the State House boundaries were so bad, why did all but one democrat in the House vote for that map?

https://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/HJR005.html

https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HJR001.html

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote

So the Incumbent protection for the Utah Legislature and Governor is in the Count My Vote?

Currently you can at least watch what your legislator does during the session and if you don't like it, you can either run or help someone run against them by filing after the session ends. (March 1st, Line number 321).

This takes away part of the accountability of these elected officials.

Most of the bills will pass after the new proposed filing deadline and so it would be two years until you have a chance to hold your State Representative accountable or perhaps four years for your State Senator or Governor depending on their end of term.

So much for accountability to the people. Is this initiative is written to protect incumbents?

Do we call this Count My Vote or Blank Check Vote?

https://elections.utah.gov/Media/Default/2018%20Election/Initiatives/Count%20My%20Vote%20Application.pdf

Is this the only problems?

No, there is a typo on line 95, with a reference that isn't correct. How many other errors are there in this initiative? It clearly isn't ready.

What is the major problem technically? 

The new CMV2 violates the Utah Constitution Art VI sec 1, (2) (a) (i) (B ) for lines 88 to 95.

IF they CAN constitutionally combine an initiative and a referendum of advance legislation, which the constitution has as separate powers and the state law has different requirements for, the state constitution is very clear a referendum can not repeal bills passed by a 2/3 vote of both legislative houses. This is written to include repeal of those, even before they exist, violating the part of the State Constitution they are using to create CMV2. 

Other major problems?

While it will cost less to get on the primary ballot under CMV2, it will cost a lot more to actually run and win elections making lobbyists and corporations, or the wealthy and famous even more powerful in elections.

There are no geographical requirements for signatures within a district or state so the potential of fly over counties and cities and area becomes much worse.

What should Count My Vote 2 actually change?

IF they really want to change elections, they should get rid of straight party voting as people can now get on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate with signatures bypassing the political parties, and have been able to for many years. They just have a harder time wining with straight party voting. CMV2 does nothing to help unaffiliated voters. That would.

The next thing they should look at is Ranked Choice Voting and not the expensive run off primaries that are part of CMV2, that have poor voter turnout and cost millions each election.

Ranked Choice voting Video

Don't sign their initiative. It makes elections worse and not better.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Original Sponsored Bills from 2011 to 2016

Some comments in the 2016 Election mentioned my effectiveness. I can make this bill list look much larger and pad this list with Co-Sponsored Bills, but those bills are sponsored by someone else and you just sign to endorse them. No other work is required.

Original Sponsored Bills
(Not including Substitute versions,  Co-Sponsored or Floor Sponsored Bills, or amendments to other bills or helping pass or defeat other bills)

2011
HB0221S01    Classic Car Inspections (Gov. Signed)
HB0227    Test Driving Vehicles (Industry Changed)
HB0281    Sex Offender and Kidnapping Amendments (See 2012)
HB0377    Higher Education Textbook Fairness Act (Agency Changed Policy)
HB0380    Utah Lands Protection Act (See 2012)

Several Redistricting map proposals

2012
HB0018S01    Kidnapping Offender Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0067S03    Storm Water Capture Amendments (See 2013)
HB0209S01    Utah Lands Protection Act (Alternate Bill passed)
HB0262    Building Code Amendments (Modified in 2013)

2013 (Sponsored for 2013, Transferred, passed and Gov. signed)
HB0036    Storm Water Capture Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0215    Water Quality Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0262    Unaffiliated Voter Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0338    Alimony Revisions (passed, Gov. Signed)

2015
HB0029    Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board Amendments (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0126S02    Design Professionals - Amendments (Alternate Passed in 2016)
HB0162    Construction Trades Continuing Education Amendments (See 2016)
HB0177S02    Modifications to Voting Law (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0243    Vintage Vehicle Amendments (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0281    Revisions to Elections Law
HB0286    Building Code Amendments (Alternate Bill Passed 2016)
HB0448    Disabled Adult Child Guardianship (1/2 passed in another bill)
HB0450    Licensing Modifications (See 2016)


Alternate to moving the Draper Prison

2016
HB0011S02    Referendum Amendments
HB0065S01    Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
HB0069    Qualified Political Party Amendments
HB0080    Vehicle Impound Amendments
HB0101S02 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments (Passed and Gov. Signed)
HB0108    Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments (Alternate Passed)
HB0125    Fire Code Amendments (Alternate Construction and Fire Codes Passed)
HB0152S01    Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications (passed in HB1)
HB0256    Net Metering of Electricity Amendments
HB0261    Wood Burning Stoves Amendments
HB0269    Recycling of Copper Wire (Passed and Gov Signed)
HB0361    Air Quality Modifications (Included in other passed bill)
HB0429    Specie Legal Tender Amendments
HJR011    Joint Resolution Designating Utah as a Purple Heart State (Passed and Lt. Gov. Signed)

See also:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2016/04/floor-power-rating-and-bill-sponsor.html
Also see the Session Update for each year

Monday, August 14, 2017

I have NOT endorsed Julie Dole for County Recorder. She isn't the Recorder Now. She wasn't legally appointed.

I have NOT endorsed Julie Dole for County Recorder. Since there is a new post with my photo with a 2011 endorsement for Julie Dole for SLCo Gop Chair being posted on the web, by Julie, I should clarify. If you read it carefully, it asks what is changed. Initially I just thought it to be a very public way of pointing out I have NOT endorsed her for SLCo Recorder for Thursday to fill the vacancy caused when Gary Ott stepped down.

If you don't read it clearly, some have assumed to be a current endorsement, which is NOT true. I have now seen perhaps Nineteen of these for different people, some of which are active candidates for the office. As far as I know, None of these has endorsed her for the current race. It is possible this is a violation of state law 76-9-407.

I have also posted this reply: [Julie] I do believe you have worked very hard for the last 4 years, (thank you) but we are looking to replace Gary Ott. You have made sure Gary was able to win in 2014 and stay in office for this long despite his current limitations.

It appears you have assumed the office of Salt Lake County Recorder the last couple of weeks without an appointment contrary to 20A-1-508 and 17-16-7 and apparent violation of 76-8-203. I do believe you can run the office [as deputy] until the council appoints the party nominee, most likely on the 22nd.

I don't know who will be nominated to be our party nominee on Thursday. We are taking nominees from the floor, so it could be almost anyone.

I did say this: Mel Nimer is someone I trust that has the knowledge, experience and ideas to tackle the current problems with the Salt Lake Recorder's office, and make it work for everyone and not just title companies. There are great people in the office that have worked hard for many years. I believe Mel will solve the recent lack of computer coordination with the surveyor's and assessor's offices.

[Update]
When the Salt Lake County Sheriff stepped down, it was announced Undersheriff Scott Carver would be acting Sheriff. He didn't assume the office of sherriff, but correctly stated

" In the absence of the sheriff, the undersheriff has full authority to act as the sheriff for operational and administrative purposes. He, along with the many very experienced and highly qualified supervisory staff, and the even more important line staff, will ensure that the mission of the Sheriff’s Office and the Unified Police Department is carried out in the most effective and professional way. We will continue to serve the citizens of this county with unwavering commitment and without interruption of service in any way."

"Once the Salt Lake County Council notifies the Utah Democratic Party of the vacancy, they will begin the process of filling the position. This process should be completed within 45-60 days."

If the DA thought they would get this with Julie Dole, Chief Deputy, acting as Recorder, they were wrong. It appears she illegally assumed the office she hasn't been appointed to.

She now is implying endorsements for County Recorder that are 6 years old for a different office, asking what has changed. She has. The public was deceived in 2014 apparently by Julie to get Gary Ott elected. She got the money and now has assumed the office. Since no one seems to be willing to endorse her she is now implying fake ones as well.

Monday, August 7, 2017

2011 to 2016 Original Sponsored Bills

Some comments in the 2016 Election mentioned my effectiveness. I can make this bill list look much larger and pad this list with Co-Sponsored Bills, but those bills are sponsored by someone else and you just sign to endorse them. No other work is required.

Original Sponsored Bills
(Not including Substitute versions,  Co-Sponsored or Floor Sponsored Bills)

2011
HB0221S01    Classic Car Inspections (Gov. Signed)
HB0227    Test Driving Vehicles (Industry Changed)
HB0281    Sex Offender and Kidnapping Amendments (See 2012)
HB0377    Higher Education Textbook Fairness Act (Agency Changed Policy)
HB0380    Utah Lands Protection Act (See 2012)

Several Redistricting map proposals

2012
HB0018S01    Kidnapping Offender Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0067S03    Storm Water Capture Amendments (See 2013)
HB0209S01    Utah Lands Protection Act (Alternate Bill passed)
HB0262    Building Code Amendments (Modified in 2013)

2013 (Sponsored for 2013, Transferred, passed and Gov. signed)
HB0036    Storm Water Capture Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0215    Water Quality Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0262    Unaffiliated Voter Amendments (passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0338    Alimony Revisions (passed, Gov. Signed)

2015
HB0029    Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board Amendments (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0126S02    Design Professionals - Amendments (Alternate Passed in 2016)
HB0162    Construction Trades Continuing Education Amendments (See 2016)
HB0177S02    Modifications to Voting Law (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0243    Vintage Vehicle Amendments (Passed, Gov. Signed)
HB0281    Revisions to Elections Law
HB0286    Building Code Amendments (Alternate Bill Passed 2016)
HB0448    Disabled Adult Child Guardianship (1/2 passed in another bill)
HB0450    Licensing Modifications (See 2016)


Alternate to moving the Draper Prison

2016
HB0011S02    Referendum Amendments
HB0065S01    Exemption from Daylight Saving Time
HB0069    Qualified Political Party Amendments
HB0080    Vehicle Impound Amendments
HB0101S02 Disabled Adult Guardianship Amendments (Passed and Gov. Signed)
HB0108    Licensing Amendments
HB0109 Construction Trades Education Amendments (Alternate Passed)
HB0125    Fire Code Amendments (Alternate Construction and Fire Codes Passed)
HB0152S01    Voted and Board Local Levy Modifications (passed in HB1)
HB0256    Net Metering of Electricity Amendments
HB0261    Wood Burning Stoves Amendments
HB0269    Recycling of Copper Wire (Passed and Gov Signed)
HB0361    Air Quality Modifications (Included in other passed bill)
HB0429    Specie Legal Tender Amendments
HJR011    Joint Resolution Designating Utah as a Purple Heart State (Passed and Lt. Gov. Signed)

See also:
http://fredcox4utah.blogspot.com/2016/04/floor-power-rating-and-bill-sponsor.html
Also see the Session Update for each year