Sunday, March 12, 2017

Salt Lake County Homeless Shelter

I hope the Governor vetoes H.B. 441 Housing and Homeless Reform Initiative Amendments unless Mayor McAdams does what he should have done in the first place: Contact all 17 cities and ask them for the location of the "best" site, IF their city is chosen for the men's only homeless shelter.

The 3 proposed locations in West Valley City are some of the worst places one could go. Mayor McAdams didn't even bother to involve West Valley City officials prior to the selection. West Valley City has tried to decrease homeless population along the Jordan River for years, and two of the proposed locations in the city are right there.

We have 17 cities in the County. We should have 17 locations on the short list and not 2 cities. The process shouldn't be NIMBY, but this has been mishandled.

Feedback (tell the committee what you think of the process or location):

Meetings (find out more and tell the committee what you think of the process or location):
[Update] New Open House Added:
Open House Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley City 
Tuesday, March 21 6-8 p.m.

Committee and members:

Homeless Resource Center:

Local city leaders brace for a homeless shelter they’re powerless to stop

 New shelter to be in West Valley or South Salt Lake —
cities already bearing plenty of state burdens, residents say

Perhaps No City wants the shelter, but if all cities in the county were asked where one could go in their city, at least it wouldn't be located in the worst place it could go. 

In the legislative standing committee meeting, Mayor McAdams said he would put forward 5 locations for public comment but that those locations were not the only options and other locations would be considered and perhaps selected.

Legislative hearings/debates/public meetings:

House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Standing Committee  March 6, 2017

House Floor Debate, March 6, 2017

Senate Floor Debate, March 8, 2017

Senate Floor Debate, March 8, 2017 (2)

Other audio and video is at:


We need to come up with the best sites, as it is clear the Mayor's committee didn't. It can't be Not In Our Backyard, it needs to be why a site is not a good location or why it doesn't meet their own criteria and we need to come up with a better choice. It is clear anywhere in the County (except SLC) is still on the table for the 3rd location shelter, if a better location is found.

Three of the sites are near the Jordan River, which the county and city have tried to make a regional asset and move the homeless population away from that.

The 2411 Winston St. Location is near a trax location, but is almost one mile to the Rancho Markets grocery store. The site is also too close to the Jordan River and will send foot traffic though the oldest section of Chesterfield neighborhood which is not able to support that kind of burden.

The 2249 Winston Street location is a little further from the same trax location, further to the Rancho Markets grocery store, just as close to Jordan River, and is apt to put foot traffic though the newest section of Chesterfield neighborhood.

The 1820 Printers Row, location is almost a mile from a trax station to the south. That trax location is a little closer than the trax station to the east on Winston St. Foot traffic between the trax station south of Printers Row, on Redwood Road takes foot traffic past Rancho Markets and also Redwood Elementary School

Am I missing a closer Grocery Store to these locations? I am familiar with the Rancho Markets location on 2470 S Redwood Road at the Latino Mall as I did the drawings for the mall and addition for the store.

3091 Main Street is closer to the Millcreek Station trax than the Printers Row location is to one, and the Salt Lake China Town grocery Store is not too far from the path between them. Is there a closer grocery store location? (yes, I did the drawings for the gate, the east building, gift store and restaurant for this project).

1144 West 3300 South is right next to the Jordan River, in the location West Valley has been working to remove the tents, waste and trash near the city's cultural center. It might as well be in West Valley City as well. It appears to be the worst location of the 5. It is the furthest from a grocery store, as far as I know, the closest one is the Kim Long Market on Redwood and 3500 S.

It appears 3 of the 5 are too close to the Jordan River and Printers Row location is too close to Redwood Elementary. That leaves 3091 S. Main Street out of the 5. I hope they have some better locations show up this week.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Keep it in Draper would have saved taxpayers $100 Million or more

In 2015, I made some "startling claims".

First, I stated that there was enough room at the current Draper Prison location to rebuild the prison, even if the state wanted a brand new 4,000 bed prison.

Second, I stated it would save the tax payers $100 Million or more to "Keep it in Draper".

and from this:

"Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, pushed the Legislature to reject the unanimous recommendation of the Prison Relocation Commission to build in Salt Lake City. He also didn't want it moved to the other potential locations in Grantsville, Eagle Mountain and Fairfield. Instead, Cox argued it is not only feasible to rebuild the prison where it is in Draper, but it would save as much as $100 million. "I still believe the Draper site is the best location," he said."

Now that the dust has settled from the 2015 legislative votes, what has happened?

For the land area, I was told they needed 500 acres. I said there was enough land in Draper that was vacant and even if they did need 500 acres, it could be phased and would still fit as there were around 680 acres the state owned at the Draper Prison site.

Again, I am not an expert on prisons. I served as a volunteer at the Draper Prison for 2 years. many years ago I worked on the construction drawings for the Gunnison Prison, including the site and floor plans and also the site and other drawings for Oxbow in South Salt Lake, plus site master plans for several proposed prison locations around the county, while working for a local firm. I have spent 30 years designing sites for commercial shopping centers and other commercial sites. 

I was told I didn't know what I was talking about.

Later, when the "real" consultants were hired, instead of the "experts" from New Jersey and Texas, the state decided they only needed 323 acres west of the Salt Lake Airport and it would have plenty of room to expand.

Now that they are adding up the cost of the west of the Salt Lake City Airport location, they now need $100 Million more from taxpayers.

So the $80 Million in cash plus $470 Million in Bonds for the Prison has now increased to $570 Million in bonds plus the $80 Million in cash.

Wow! Who could have seen this coming?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Do Not raise the tax on food

The number of people that are just getting by, without help, where food is the last thing on their budget, is too many. If raising the food tax increases the number of families needing outside help, including from taxpayers, it is the wrong thing to do. I fought this in 2011 (and since) and I hope it fails to pass this year. Go to the store even once and realize the $3 you have isn't enough to buy that can of chicken with the sales tax and you would not be in favor of adding back the full tax on food.

There are $3/4 B in other tax credits or reductions. Yes, something needs to change, but not starting there. 

Does the earned income tax credit help struggling seniors on a fixed income?

It has always made sense for a stable revenue for government to have a higher tax on food. However many people don't have a stable revenue to buy food. The reduced tax on food isn't going to make it easier to balance the state government budget but it does help the budgets of voters.

Some great articles on the subject:

Former State Rep. Holly Richardson:
"This year, it's straight-out a "revenue enhancement" or a tax increase called by another name.

"Here's the deal. It is only revenue-neutral to the state. It is not revenue neutral to people.

"Adding the tax back on food is regressive, meaning there is an inverse relationship between the tax rate and the taxable income. Clearly, the food tax negatively impacts families at the lower end of the income scale because — as is frequently noted — everyone needs to eat. An increase in the food tax balances the budget on the backs of Utah's working poor. The Legislature needs to look for others options." 

Former State Rep. Jim Nielson 
"Sure, that makes things stable for state government. Downright convenient, in fact. But a boon for the government can be a bane to taxpayers."

"To have stable sales tax revenues during economic downturns means the government takes more from taxpayers in bad times, regardless of our diminished ability to pay. We're asked to keep paying, even when we can't. Which begs this question: Just who do we as lawmakers represent, the government or taxpayers?"

Friday, February 3, 2017

Convention of the States

Convention of the States, or in some cases referred to the Con Con is the 2nd way in the Constitution that allows our US Constitution to be modified.

Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

The first problem is we haven't done this since we created our constitution in Sep. 17, 1787.  The last time we had a convention of the states we got a new US Constitution.

The 2nd problem is that the State Legislatures Tell Congress to call a convention. Congress fully believes based on our Constitution that they get to set the mode of ratification, the rules, etc.

In 2015 and 2016, I actively fought these resolutions, because they are binding on the state, and I don't trust the people in Washington DC to improve our constitution, even if the states have to agree with the changes. We have had one or more of these Convention resolutions  pass, but I helped kill others of them in the House Judiciary and so they didn't even get sent to that committee.

Is the Federal Government out of control based on the US Constitution, yes. Is this the way to fix it, putting our whole US Constitution at stake to be re-written, No!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Showing Respect to those we disagree with

If you have read  Paul Rolly's hit piece on Rep. LaVar Christensen, perhaps you should also read this.

I had a comment re: what Paul said about me, (See Below) but I have been speechless as to what he said about Rep. Christensen.

In 2012, I was criticized by some because I refused to run a negative mailer about Rep. Janice Fisher. I wanted her to spend time with her grand kids and I wanted to win, but I did not want her to walk in to the local Smith's and hold her head down because of something I said. She had been in West Valley Politics for 30 years and deserved that respect and gratitude.

Earlier this year, I refused to go after Mike with his past media troubles or problems as Mayor for the same reason. Both moves may have cost me elections, but I felt both times like it was the right thing to do.

If Paul Rolly had said what he did about Rep. Christensen prior to Nov. 8th, It likely would have flipped the election, but at what cost? Agree with Rep. Christensen or not, he deserves the same respect I believe Rep. Janice Fisher deserved in 2012.

What good does it now do to try to make Rep. Christensen hang his head going into his local grocery store, win or lose? 

In the more than 17,000 votes, I doubt one vote will change with the recount.

re: My comment to the article. 

Most of the amendments I have made to bills over the years were a few words and most of the time, the sponsor did know it was coming.

In the thousands of bills I have voted on, I voted for or against a bill based on what was written, not who the sponsor was or which party they belonged to. If I couldn't vote for it, I would see if there was a way to amend it so I could vote for it. I also had a reputation of reading through every bill I had to vote on.

What I actually said was "Motion to Amend", and yes it did get a lot of laughs.

I hope to be back in 2 years.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Voting my conscience and hoping Trump follows the Constitution and does well

I have been amazed at the attitude by some that I did what I always do, vote for the best people running. 

Normally I get to the bottom of the ballot and had voted for all R's, but sometimes a D. This was the first year I had to go for write-ins, unaffiliated candidates, and 3rd party as well as D's to fill up my ballot. 

Yes, the majority of my votes were for Republicans, but I was not impressed with some of the options. 

What amazes me the most, was several of my friends "verbally" beat me up for voting my conscience. It is what we are supposed to do. 

I voted for or against thousands of bills for 4 legislative sessions. I didn't vote yes or no because of the sponsor. 

I believe the GOP can recover, Replace the RNC chair with Carly Fiorina or someone else, and I do believe we can get rid of the attitude that the party can take away your agency. I have not given up yet. 

I didn't vote for or support the candidate Donald Trump, but I do hope he follows the US Constitution and ends up being a good POTUS, for the Country's sake.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Journey to Endorsing Evan McMullin for the President of the United States

My Journey to  Endorsing Evan McMullin

I typically vote Republican, but never straight ticket. Most of the time when I get to the bottom of the ballot, I have voted all R's, but sometimes there is a D in there. I have never considered seriously 3rd party or independents or write-ins, until this year, where I will be voting for all of those.

This year I started endorsing Carly Fiorina for POTUS. I met her and heard her speak in June of 2015 as was impressed. I went and heard Marco and Ted and when Carly dropped out and we were primarily left with three, I supported Ted. At least I knew he had read the Constitution and would follow it.

August 1, 2016, I was looking at Castle/Bradley as there was no way I was going to support Trump, who I believe to be a Putin wannabee and a dictator in chief. I felt like Hillary Clinton was not trustworthy either and I felt like she was corrupt and would make the country and the world worse.

Because of some past statements Gary Johnson had made on religious liberty, I was not going to go see Johnson/Weld, on August 6th, but then Gary Johnson wrote his op-ed to the Des. News. It was good enough for me to decide and go meet him and Weld on two events that Saturday. One with about 30 people. Gary made 2 statements that were important. He agreed with the win/win protections for religious freedom and anti-discrimination that the Utah Legislature passed in 2015. Having voted for those two bills, that was important to me. Johnson and Weld also said they would nominate SCOTUS justices that understand and would support the original intent of the Constitution to limit government and protect our rights. Both had been state governors and had executive experience. I picked up a yard sign for Johnson/Weld, but then it stayed in my car for 2 months.

Shortly afterwards my meeting with Johnson/Weld, I heard Evan McMullin had announced his run for POTUS and then got on the ballot in Utah and 10 other states, plus as a write-in for a couple of dozen more states and counting. I spent my time researching Evan. It took me until last week to get to meet Evan, and I was impressed. His yard sign was up in my yard within days.

I could live with any of these three POTUS/VP teams, but I have endorsed Evan McMullin.

I agree with him, about 87% of the time and he could do the job and I trust him to do a great job. He understands protecting this country and limiting government and protecting our rights. I was impressed when he finally picked Mindy Finn for VP. She is only 35 years old, but is very smart, a mom with a husband and 2 kids from Texas and is very proud of her state and to be Jewish. We don't know if Evan wins if he will get Mindy as VP, as the choice may be from the top 2 from the US Senate. More information on Evan is at:
(Yes, that is a photo of me near the lower right hand corner with suit and the striped red tie.)

Can Evan McMullin win? Yes. Will Evan win? It depends on the voters. I challenge my friends to vote for either Castle/Bradley, Johnson/Weld, or Evan McMullin.

I would be ecstatic if no state electoral votes went to Hillary or Trump. I reject the notion that we have to chose between these two corrupt and power hungry candidates. 
Don't vote for either Hillary or Trump. 

For more info re: the Electoral College, designed to protect the smaller population states from the larger population states or cities, see: