The Huntsville Glass

Alternative Huntsville news and perspectives January 2007 Volume 4

Monday, January 29, 2007

AS A NEW YEAR BEGINS

We would like to acknowledge and Thank everyone who has contributed in any way, to the many wonderful improvements made in Huntsville over the last year, as well as all the previous years efforts to maintain and preserve our Town. We were sorry to hear of the resignation of Jimmy McKay. Along with many others, he has served this Town over many years, has done a great job, and his services will be missed. In the past, volunteers performed much of the work of the Town. We now have around 28 part-time paid employees serving roughly 230 homes, with a population of 630 people. This serves to “spread the wealth” as a direct benefit to many of our Town residents. However, with our small population, many of our positions and appointments are held by some of the same citizens, sometimes creating conflicts of interest. Because the population will likely keep increasing to part-time and absentee property owners, this trend will continue with less people to fill town positions.
In comparison, Syracuse serves 5,000 with 5 full time employees, with several part-time positions open during the summers. Through the disruptions created by ongoing elections, and new appointment learning curves, many officials and citizenry everywhere, have recognized the need for more stability in City and Town services, by the use of a qualified full-time manager or maintenance person. The duties and assignments of our Mayor and Council are not clearly or permanently defined by statutes and have been subject to changes at will, over the years. This creates confusion and alienation of citizens trying to be part of the process. One person coordinating and performing maintenance work, and projects, operating directly under the Council has its drawbacks, but all these job assignments can shift, as in the loss of Jimmy McKay. It’s important that our elected and appointed officials steer a course in establishing continuity and stability within Town services. While changes are needed, as well as unavoidable, citizens living here may become a minority over time, and which may become a critical factor to keeping the character of Huntsville. As new ordinances are adopted, we hope the Council will come up with solutions to make our Town more efficient, co-hesive, and responsive to the needs of all citizens, for today and the future of Huntsville.

HOW DO YOU WANT HUNTSVILLE TO LOOK . . .

CULINARY VIEWS

It is well known that water is critical to development. It is also known that Developers, don’t care where they get it, or how much there really is of this most precious commodity, as long as they can build. Officials over development don’t seem to care as well. More often than anyone will admit, they may eventually benefit in some way as well, which was made obvious by recent decisions made by our own Weber County Commission members, if you’ve been watching. Elected and appointed officials usually have the resources to move away from an area “with a problem”, as well as not worrying about their decisions, since sooner or later they will be out of office and passing the buck onto the next unlucky politician to take the blame or handle the problem. It all leads to fewer watchdogs, or people getting the warnings out over wealth being generated, at the expense of the truth. Money always trumps, as well as a good attorney. And so it goes. But, ny all accounts, the West is currently growing out of its capacity to provide. And no one really knows how much water we have, especially in this Upper Valley Watershed, where most of the water resources originate for a majority of the Wasatch Front, let alone for this Town and Valley. Even though we are “developed almost to capacity within our current Town borders”, our water resource rests firmly on the use of all the water available here . . . or not.

So, once again, the handling of our own Culinary and the PRIVATELY OWNED Secondary Water is absolutely critical, and this can’t be stressed hard enough. Without specified plans being stated for the recent improvements to our culinary system to a capacity of over 700 hook-ups, when there are only about 230 within current Town boundaries, and some 70 outside, several things can be assumed:

1) That the Town is in the water business. The sell-off and profit going towards that $98,000 per household debt load we are currently paying for, and after that -

2) We won’t recognize our Valley for the housing, because we’ve encouraged over 400 more homes onto our water lines.

3) We either annex, or there will be more residents on line OUTSIDE of Huntsville, than there are INSIDE, thereby having more say so on what happens to it, than the residents who really own it, have first rights to it, and initially paid for it.

Aside from the reason given that this number of hookups is more “efficient”, it appears that our system was approved and built for the purpose of making money, or expanding (at who’s benefit?). Meanwhile, several other questions are generated:

1) By the time the Town expands its potential to service, maintain, and repair that many hookups, will we still be making money? Statistics state no.

2) How many developments will the County have approved, and been built, that have tapped into the same resources we are getting Town water from?

3) Have the powers that be, talked to the folks in Idaho, and now even Florida, about what an “aquifer” is? Wells, and run-off, are only as good as the rain and snow we have. This year isn’t looking so good . . .

These are not easy things to assess, let alone decide, but right now, there’s no access to information about the intentions for our drinking water. It would just be nice to know, because -
AS THE WATER GOES, SO GOES THIS TOWN. To his credit, Councilman Gault has made an offer to publish all the information he can find concerning the Culinary Water, (and hopefully the intentions for it?). His assigned duties don’t show Culinary Water, but Councilman Gault is encouraged to follow through with this project. While re-writing myriad Town laws and ordinances, we hope the Council also writes one covering who gets the water FIRST, when we run low or out.

We understand that some out-of-town hookups in developments approved by the County, who were suppose to develop their own Secondary water resources before they were given permission to hook into our Culinary, still have not done so. Some are presently using treated water for landscaping. Rumors they’ve dug 400 ft. down with no luck, have not stopped plans for more expansions on the line as well. While we like these people, we’re not sure this is the way to go about conducting the business, or management of our water resource.

As a reminder: Growth is not always a good thing.

TO ANNEX OR NOT. THAT IS THE QUESTION.

As we discuss issues over water, this includes residents in the Greater Huntsville Area, or the GHA, which includes most of the area on the South side of the Valley. While covering an extensive area, it’s primarily made up of individuals not making enough numbers or loud enough voices to be heard by either the Town, the County Commissioners or the Planning Boards. They haven’t always agreed with what’s happened here, and felt at times over the years they’ve had to protect themselves from Huntsville. While this is the case, they also seem to support, and feel a part of the Town, because they are perceived as such. They also expect us to take a lead, and be a force for common interests, representing all citizens on this side of the Valley. Long time residents express great concern over how development may affect their existing wells, including depletion, contamination and run-off. They also express concerns that developments would push the precedent of the existing smaller town lot sizes that currently exist within town borders into annexed land. Many state that if Huntsville gave them some “protection” against expanding density around them, annexation may not be such an issue. As some of us try to maintain the rural atmosphere that has drawn the majority of us here, (even those of us who’s primary objective has been to build and expand) the concern is the degradation of the very landscape that makes Huntsville and this Valley surrounding it, all that it is. The hodgepodge that is now dominating the northern side of the Valley is becoming an eyesore and a detriment to the beauty of this place. As in many other areas, the very people who come to enjoy it, destroy it – regardless of the property values. The Valley had a mantra not so long ago: No Park City. It’s not impossible.

To their credit, Weber County HAD established a “3 acre” rule in the County, but they are as rapidly busting through that one, as they are busy overpopulating everything else in the Valley. While these discussions and issues continue to take place on all levels, we would like to illustrate some of them, by using a long time resident, sitting just outside Town boundaries, adjacent to the Town water lines, and near available acreage to be developed, who is willing to talk about his own experiences. This summer, we sent someone over to take the time to interview and talk with Chris Petersen, who everyone knows will speak his mind about this Valley.

JACKSON FORK INN

Chris Petersen has lived in this Valley for 80 years. Chris’s and the Jackson Fork Inn have become landmarks sitting beside the highway for 47 years. That’s a long time in anyone’s book for businesses to survive up here in the Valley. History details one business after another failing, moving on, or burning down. Over the years, it’s taken a lot of grit and determination for Chris, his wife Carol and the Petersen family, to make it work.

Both Chris and Carol and their families, are all made from original Mormon Pioneer stock. They haven’t always done things the way people have expected them to. If Brigham Young had still been around, they’d have probably been driven out, because either you did what you were told to do, or you didn’t do business. Simple as that. Even permits to sell alcohol were usually given only to friends or business associates of important people. Records tell us that as soon as the Hotel Utah, in Salt Lake City was paid for, the bar on the premises was closed. While he will tell you that he would have admired the tenacity and business acumen of Brigham, Chris would have been more like Jim Bridger, as the picture depicts inside his place. Bridger couldn’t buck the odds against powerful people, but folks like the Petersen’s started breaking the mold years ago. Today, many Mormon owned establishments sell alcohol. It was an uphill climb for the Petersen’s as well, when not so many years ago, nearly everyone grew up on a farm. The goals were just to make a living, put a roof over your head, and teach your children to do the same, hoping you’d all make your way in the world the best you could. Chris and Carol saw something different for their family, and to make it happen, they knew they needed a lot of help and they needed to diversify. Something about not putting all your eggs in one basket. So they’ve put every effort into finding what would work, and grinding through what didn’t.

Today, in the coldest part of the winter, there isn’t a better feeling than to come into Chris’s and see that big rock fireplace blazing away with a real old fashioned fire. It gives the place a feel and warmth that you rarely find anymore. Many people miss the original horse drawn buggy situated above the bar, but the rest of the d├ęcor give a hint of the past, the feel of the Old West, memorabilia of a family, and a love for the place we all live in. People like the Petersen’s are part of Huntsville.

Moving the big beautiful barn now known as The Jackson Fork Inn, to its present location was an inspiration. The people who helped or watched this fantastic feat, still talk about how the move became the focus of a lot of attention in the Valley. As growth and change occurred everywhere, homes were always moved, but as the historic and magnificent barns of another era slowly disappear throughout the West, Petersen’s had the foresight to use and preserve this barn as part of their vision. As years go by, it’s value and beauty, and mere existence takes on greater meaning, especially for those of us who love the preservation of our history and our past. Not a week goes by that people don’t stop and take a picture, or stay to capture it’s likeness on canvas. So the Petersen’s dream and efforts have exceeded their intentions, and have been a benefit to everyone who stops to do business, capture the beauty, or to enjoy the drive. The Jackson Fork Inn serves some of the finest foods in this unique setting. If you choose, you can have a glass of wine. You can also spend a comfortable night in an original barn (where many of us can claim we were raised).

Over the years, as homes and recreation dominated over agriculture, the existing facilities were changed and expanded as well. RV rental, and repair became available, along with the gas, goodies, and trailer hookups being provided.

When Petersen’s built their business, Huntsville boundaries were just across the highway, and the original culinary water line came behind the Jackson Fork Inn, and into Town. Even though relations have been strained at times, Petersen’s asked the Town if they could hook up to the water line. Over the years, the Town maintained there was not enough water to supply his place, and since he was not in Huntsville, its use was intended for citizens only. It would be a slippery slope if the Town let Petersen’s annex property against the traditionally established boundary of the highway, or hook up to the water. In those days, people understood only to well what a critical and changing resource water is, because year after year, we still continue to fight over it. It was never wise to expand past what was prudent. So like everyone else on the edge of Huntsville they stayed in the County, and sunk wells for their water. Over the years, from time to time, Chris has inquired about hooking into the pressurized Town water. The answer was always no. Chris says he understood this, but he had to ask anyway.

8 years ago, at their own expense, Petersen’s were allowed to put a hydrant on the line for fire protection for them as well as their neighbors. When the line was recently improved by the Town, that hydrant was removed, and replaced by several others 500 ft and up the hill behind Jackson Fork Inn. The original has never been replaced or reimbursed. While he doesn’t know the reasons, it’s obvious what the intentions are. In the process of the current Mayor’s inspection of this work, Chris asked if they would now be permitted to connect. Considering the Town had already set a precedent of “jumping the highway” down the road, to support the construction of a business in direct competition to the Petersen’s, and that everyone knew water hookups were now being allowed everywhere outside of Town, they felt that if anyone was entitled to town water, they were. Chris supposes that’s why the Mayor finally said yes. While access to the water would no longer be denied, excessive requirements dictated for the hook-up presences significant obstacles: The fees would be $8,000. 3 hook ups would be required. And instead of coming into the back of the property where their current lines are now running, they would have to run new ones across existing parking areas, tearing up asphalt, other existing service lines, adding new connection areas, which would be a nightmare, and so cost prohibitive that it wouldn’t be worth the time, money, effort or reconstruction to do it. This has effectively prohibited access to the water that’s been passing along their property for 47 years. It’s an old trick, an in use in many forms in the Valley.

New hookups to new homes and developments continue to be permitted for “the right price” outside of Town, with more to follow. It would only seem reasonable that Huntsville would show more cooperation to long time and contributing residents than it does to new residents, or to people who’ve come here just to exploit what they can get, and leave. It’s no stretch what the Petersen’s perspective’s are: The Town accommodates non-residents by jumping traditionally established Town boundaries, annexing a piece that would become direct competition just down the road, while providing obstacles to long standing residents of the Valley. Maybe if it was someone else, it might be accommodated a little more. While most of the people moving to this Valley are nice people, it doesn’t constitute preferential treatment based on money, or anything else. Many GHA residents fell the same way.

So rent a wave runner, buy something handmade out of wood, sip hot cocoa in front of a crackling fire now winter’s settled over the Valley. Enjoy a great dinner and a night in a special place, listening for ghosts, underneath a big Jackson Fork from days gone by. We are all different, and been given the right to be so. We need to be equitably treated going about our dreams, whatever those might be.

We wish the Petersen’s continued success, and acknowledge their accomplishments in adding to the unique history, character, and the feel of this beautiful Valley.

SECONDARY ISSUES

There are several things in town that new comers in particular have not been informed of, and old timers have forgotten. We have discussed the issues around our treated Culinary Water, but there is a Second independent system of untreated water designated specifically for irrigation, lawns and water. THEY ARE 2 (two) SEPARATE AND DISTINCT SYSTEMS, AND IT’S CRITICAL THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THIS. The Culinary water is owned and operated by the Town of Huntsville (which are the citizens), and is currently administered by the Mayor, with several appointments, and no discernable governing procedures.

The Secondary Water is a privately owned company constituted by the ownership of an established amount of shares, owned by persons or trusts, that right now, stays with a piece of property. It is governed by a set of statutes and an elected Board with a President, who also has the power to change the by-laws. This company’s financial operation has been in the able hands of the Sorensen family, almost as long as it’s been in existence, until recently, when a full frontal take over by Town officials was done. Because all shareholders had gotten comfortable over the years and not attended the yearly Election and Board meeting AROUND APRIL OF EACH YEAR, an end run by certain members of the Town, to take over the operations of the SECONDARY WATER was done, while the shareholders weren’t paying attention. The Town Attorney (made President), the Town Mayor (serving as Town liaison to the Board, and over the Culinary water), the Town Culinary Water Supervisor, and a new resident who may have not seen any problem with this as well as others of us who can’t, were quietly voted onto the board, and promptly took all records to the Town Hall and started billing for the yearly fees for this water Company, who’s paid off their debt. WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OR VOTE OF THE SHAREHOLDERS. While denying any direct involvement while loading the Board up with people also serving in Town functions, the Town now does the yearly billing, and allotted $3,000 from the Town Budget towards the Secondary Water Company funds. Justifying this gross error in interjecting the Town budget into a private companies finances, it was stated that there would be “re-imbursement to the Town from the Companies account”, with the Town handling that as well. While this has all been made to seem harmless enough, there were also references made during discussion in the meeting alluding to the changing of the companies by-laws and admitted strategies for the Town’s use of the privately owned Secondary water, and unclaimed shares. We have tried to warn shareholders over the past year, using several examples in each issue of the Glass, pointing out WHY this is a problem.

While Richard Sorenson was illegally withheld from being voted in on the Board at last years elections, citizens were able to remove one town official responsible for this takeover, and vote in Lewis Johnson who knows as much as any person in this Town about both water systems. The people did this, seeing the threat to our privately owned water share company’s sovereignty, and hoping that Lewis is a “separatist”, and will heed the calls to remove all Secondary system business from access by the Town. We also call for regulations prohibiting any such actions in the future, as well as the structure of ownership. Without these safeguards, we still face the loss of that water. Any bonding issues the company may need, can also be handled on a private basis as well. We urge Lewis, and the current board, to institute these in the best interest of the shareholders, and we urge ALL shareholders to express their opinions, and to attend the NEXT AND ONLY meeting required by statute that the Board needs to hold. Shareholders who believe that Town and Shareholder interests need to be kept separated now and in the future, need to vote for the candidates that understand this as well, and to run for any open positions that are available this election. There is consensus that what the Board did in turning operations over to the Town was illegal without the vote of the Shareholders. If not reversed, we will continue to campaign for it to be done.


*** IT IS IMPERATIVE IN THE INTEREST OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED WATER SHARES AND COMPANY, THAT YOU MAKE YOUR OPINIONS KNOWN AND THAT YOU VOTE IN THIS YEARS ELECTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATE WHO MOST CLOSELY SHARES THEM ***

VERGING ON MISUSE

One of the defining characteristics of our Town is the area between the roads and our structures. In technical terms, it’s called a “verge”. The Town Fathers at the time, who laid the foundation for this space everyone elsewhere is crying out for, designed it to maintain a beautiful, open, spacious, rural look. It was one of the rules not specifically stated, but one that was expected as a community to be adhered to for the benefit of everyone in the Town. It’s also “extra” property residents have use of, but don’t pay taxes on (thank goodness this year), because it really belongs to the Town. The verge, along with the alleyways having a practical purpose, were also intended to give the Town neatness and order even though some of us might not be so much. While people have moved in and out of Town, there’s been no way to inform people about the verge. Since people were responsible for the care of these areas, as time has passed, they’ve been used in a variety of ways. Some have been “called on it”, while others have not. While people making the laws will tell you, conveniently, that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking them, many people who have known about the verge and the alleys have ignored the mandate to keep them “clear of obstructions”. On top of that, the Town itself has been planting trees along these very same areas, making us the “tree town” we’ve been designated, which has been both a curse and a blessing. Some of us are unwilling or unable to do leaves in the fall, or pay for pruning the power company or our neighbor won’t do. While we’re all trying to “be green”, trees can be a pain in the neck, and now we all have trees verging on the verge, as well as a lot of very miscellaneous things. After all, the power company has to have poles, and the mail and newspaper boxes must be accessible to easy delivery from the road. But people, as well as town officials who created the verge, are concerned as they notice our open spaces disappearing for one reason or another. Some say up to 50% of our Town has been “affected”. In reality, this is a serious threat to the ambiance and character of our Town, let alone snow removal (if we ever have any like we used to have) and pending the results of the issue currently under advisement and in discussion at Town Hall, offenders may be the only ones who will most likely be informed that they are a problem.

SO ONCE AGAIN. HOW DO YOU WANT HUNTSVILLE TO LOOK? It’s important that you express your desires and opinions to your Town representatives. Even though there is someone there who doesn’t feel like it’s important that you do so. That what he, and the people that he normally associates with, are all he needs to make a decision in this matter. All residents should address the issue, and let them know what you think is best for this Town. We all need to be thinking in those terms if we want to keep Huntsville the special place that it is.

WHY PEOPLE DON’T PARTICIPATE. AGAIN . . .

By Kathryn Thompson

OVER THE PAST YEAR, we’ve been making an effort to inform and address some of the concerns and issues facing our unique Town, and beautiful Valley. We would like to re-iterate that what information we’ve been able to access, has come directly from 1) the public record, (baring any changes or alternations of that record after the fact) 2) statements and information made in public forums, and 3) submittals to Letters to the Editors by citizens putting their name to an opinion, or by those who wish to remain anonymous, which is their right and prerogative (for reasons we will demonstrate why that might be a wise thing to do.) We have been happy to have the Huntsville Gazette clarify statistics on our Culinary Water, which verified that the debt load per household is around $98,000 per household rather than the $99.000 published. In a direct response given to the Town suggesting our information was incorrect, we stated that if we had published misinformation, that the source of that information needed to be corrected, which happened to be the Mayor. We praise and encourage the continuing effort by those people interested in open communications between Town Hall and the Citizens, using all there available resources. In fact, if these efforts continue, we see no need for the continuation of The Huntsville Glass.

In deciding how we want our community to look as well as operate, people need correct and accurate information to make good choices. To do that, it takes involvement. This takes time and effort, which is a rare commodity in our lives. We began our 1st publication stating why people don’t become informed or involved, and we wanted to help with that problem. As all those reasons have cropped up over the past year, we’d like to revisit some of them once again:

1) Trust in the people that have been elected, and the perception that things are running reasonably well enough that you don’t feel it’s necessary to show up at all the meetings they’re having at the Town Hall. And if something is critical, you will be informed by those people in charge.

2) Too busy, (and life is), and glad someone else has taken on a big responsibility. Good Luck to them.

3) Not feeling smart enough or powerful enough to affect anything. Your voice will not be heard – even ignored – so why even bother? It’s a waste.

4) Intimidated into silence and disinterest, both by something they’ve seen happen to other people, or by being a target themselves of misuse or abuse by those in power. It’s in your personal well-being and interest to keep your distance.

I have experienced all of these during my lifetime, at one time or another. As I’ve joined as an Editor of this publication, in an effort to inform, they’ve continued. I think that it’s well known that my husband who was born and raised here, has made an effort over the past few years to help out the Town – and try to be a contributing resident, many times at this own expense, and at other times, receiving compensation, only to be told his help, volunteered or otherwise, was not wanted or needed, and his reputation smeared in public, by public officials for whatever reason. He is NOT, by far, as we have learned over the past year, the only person to fall victim to irrational treatment, and it was one of the contributing factors to why I came on board in an effort to help inform citizens of events and issues concerning Huntsville and our Valley.

Also, as many people know, my family operates a small asphalt operation here in Town, and because of our location, we were asked this summer, by the Contractors chosen by the Town for several projects, to do some of the work, in between taking care of our own projects around the Valley and the State. It’s been a congested year for us. During the coarse of performing the requested work on one of the sections in Town, as part of our responsibility our crew gathered up all the barricades including two of the Towns, as well as many others, to clear the area for traffic. While waiting for the preparation of the next area to be worked on, our crew jumped over to a job at Chris’s, which needed to be done as quickly as possible. Some of the gathered barricades put into the back of a work truck were quickly set out on the highway while the job was completed. By the time we returned to the next area in Town to be completed, we’d been accused of theft of town property, and under investigation by a member of the Town Council.

The results of the investigation were brought to the next Town Meeting. The findings were that the barricades were not altered, that they were back being used again on Town projects, there was no intent to steal said barricades, and since the Town was using ours as well as others that did not belong to them on Town projects, there was no reason to follow up on prosecution. Which didn’t make several people happy. The gentleman who brought these charges into the public forum is also a Town official, and he wanted to go down on the record as disagreeing with these findings. Which he did.

After the meeting, I had the opportunity to question this gentleman as to why he would want to hurt my business, my employees, my husband, and our reputation, while trying to help the Town to get these projects done. He was honest in his answer, which I already knew. He said that it was because of my involvement in the publication of this paper, and because of “what I was saying in it”, and he wanted it stopped. I questioned this gentleman as to what had been printed that he found an issue with. I asked several times. He eventually replied that I knew (which I don’t, since there are so many, and most are taken from the public record). In conclusion, after showing this gentleman several things, I suggested that if the information was not correct, that he was free to bring that error to our attention, and we would be happy to publish it, exactly as he wanted, with or without his name. He might understand why people in this Town are inclined to stay anonymous. I’m still waiting to hear from him, or any others who may have a dispute with the records that they would like to directly address.

The accusations of theft, and the results of the proceedings of this meeting are now public record, even though I had to go to extreme lengths to have that done. Otherwise, it would have been slid under the table, which we have also illustrated has been done in the past, to the concern of many people researching the public records. There has also been concern expressed that public records have been taken to private residences, from the Town Hall where by law, they should remain at all times, regardless of who’s taking them out, and if being done, should be discontinued immediately.

The 1st Editions of this paper tracked the intentional attempt to publicly humiliate Councilmen, and there have been several other attempts to do the same to others before, since, and I’m quite sure, the future. Instead of the present practice of Sneak Attacks in this Town, any questions, issues, or problems should be directly addressed, and openly discussed, by all those involved. It was LDS First Presidency Member Hugh B. Brown who set me on the road to open inquiry many years ago. I still have his quote:

“ I admire men and women who have developed the questing spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas as stepping stones to progress. We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to dissent – if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant.
Only error fears freedom of expression.

Neither fear of consequence nor any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think.” Hugh B. Brown

I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given once again, to be reminded of some important admonitions made by an Honorable Man who knew what he was talking about. I wonder what he’d say now.

I’ve been involved in some tough decision making positions over the course of my life. Sometimes it IS easier just to make them, without all the wrangling. But citizen input is critical, and any effort to keep people informed should be applauded. No one should be punished, or made afraid in doing either.

Thank You, to all the people in this community, who have supported this effort, openly or quietly. I will continue to appreciate all the help, input, information and assistance we’ve been given in this effort to discuss the issues, and open up the process. This special place cannot afford to be run like a private club, the majority to operate at the expense of the minority, or the power invested by the people to be misused. The right to review, the right to questions, the right to hope and work for the best answers and solutions we can all work together to find, will decide the fate of Huntsville. As a Town, we are not helpless. Others who think we are, need to think again. We don’t all approach life in the same way, and it’s never easy to communicate with each other, and I would like to finish with a quote from David O. McKay, which is also fitting for the occasion:

“Words do not convey meanings; they call them forth. I speak out of the context of my experience and you listen out of the context of yours, and that is why communication is so difficult.”

As difficult as working together can be, a course for this side of the Valley, and Huntsville can be a laid down carefully, for the benefit of everyone who lives here, and for the future of those who come.

WELL DONE HUNTSVILLE TOWN

WE WOULD LIKE TO PRAISE the work done by the Council in holding the line on spending in our Town during 2006. While per capita spending has increased in many Towns across the State, Huntsville has posted a decline of –13%, and ranks as 5th largest decline in general budget spending, according to a study done by the Standard Examiner. While Town maintenance, improvements and work projects are always in need of being performed, as taxpayers we APPLAUD our Town government in using our tax dollars wisely and conservatively. As the new budget is proposed for 2007, we encourage this fiscal restraint be continued.