Open Letter: “Pleasantly surprised…”

Written By: admin - Apr• 10•15

 

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

I was very pleasantly surprised to read the City newsletter for April 2015 and find an article by Councilman Rob Crawley presenting a candid and different perspective on the proposed need for pressurized irrigation metering in Cedar Hills.  Mr. Crawley’s comments were enlightening and persuasive.

His perspective is in sharp contrast to continued comments by Mayor Gygi and Council Member Jenny Rees appearing in the newsletter over the last few months in their ongoing pieces “Mayor’s Minute” and “City Council Corner”.  Their articles are their personal opinions on issues facing the City that are disseminated on a monthly basis to City residents without an effort to include alternate viewpoints, either from fellow Council members or regular citizens.  In virtually all cases, Ms. Rees’ opinions echo those of Mr. Gygi.

If the stated goal of City leadership truly is honesty and transparency, we as citizens need the opportunity to hear differing perspectives, whether they be from other Council Members or fellow members of our community.  One way to help accomplish this goal would be to replace Ms. Reese as the sole voice of “City Council Corner” and have a different Council Member write that article each month.  Another possible change for the better would be to have the article provide brief, unbiased synopses of City Council meetings from the previous month.

Please consider the above comments and suggestions seriously.  They could be helpful in assisting you as leaders of our community to improve public perception of you as honest, transparent public servants striving to serve Cedar Hills and its residents .  Thank you for your service

Sincerely,

 

Cato L. Jones

Cedar Hills, UT  84062-8706

 

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Run Hillary Run! for Mayor of Cedar Hills — Part 2

Written By: admin - Mar• 10•15

We are sorry to report that there is another troubling development regarding records in CH discovered just today.


Late this afternoon during a phone conversation with the City Recorder Colleen Mulvey, CHCRG researcher and former CH Councilman Ken Cromar learned the public records she is responsible to maintain and protect are stored on a city-owned server, the location of which she claims not to know.  She said that she “believes” it might be stored “in the basement or upstairs” of the city building.

Ms. Mulvey’s job as the legal records officer and city recorder is to protect and maintain all city records.  How is that possible if she doesn’t even know where the server resides?

We discovered that it’s actually worse than that.

During our most recent January 16, 2015 GRAMA request for ALL communications between Mayor Gary Gygi and the City Council from Sept 5-8, 2014, that Ms. Mulvey wrote to CHCRG that it would cost “at least $70” to fulfill the request.  Today Mr. Cromar explained to the Recorder that a city official informed him that reason for the “at least $70” fee was because Mayor Gygi had instructed her to bill CHCRG accordingly because it would take him “at least” 2 hours at $35/hour to review his records to find those four days of communications.  She refused to confirm or deny the allegation.

There’s just one little problem with this story:  Mayor Gygi was required to have already surrendered those public records “within 30 days” of their creation to the City Recorder, as per city policy.
 

So, it appears that Mayor Gygi has put himself in the same position as Hillary Clinton in trying to manage and control the public record.

 

On the national level it has been reported that Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the House Committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi will subpoena the ALL the government records which she kept on a private email account, stored on her own private server in her home.  She has admitted that ALL of her emails during her four years as Secretary of State under President Obama were done on her personal email account.

This is exactly what happened with then Mayor Eric Richardson who reportedly did ALL of his city business while mayor on his personal email account, prior to his resignation to face bank fraud charges and prison time.  This may serve to explain why CHCRG has questioned if it received all records it was legally entitled to.  CHCRG knew and declared that it did not receive ALL records requested in 2012, because the city attorney admitted that then Council members Jim Perry, Marisa Wright and Ken Kirk claimed to have innocently allowed city email record kept on their personal email accounts to be “automatically” destroyed after a few weeks by their email service providers.

March 5, 2015, the Politico reported, “…Former Secretary Clinton has left herself in the unique position of being the only one to determine what records the American people are entitled to,” spokesperson Jamal Ware said. “This has significant negative implications for transparency and government oversight, as well as for media and others who have a legitimate interest in understanding the secretary’s time in office.”

“Clinton has come under intense pressure since The New York Times reported Monday that she used a personal email address while at the State Department and that her electronic communication was not preserved on federal servers, a potential violation of the Federal Records Act.” (For complete March 5th Politico story…http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/house-committee-benghazi-clinton-email-subpoena-115795.html )


When Mr. Cromar asked Ms. Mulvey if Mayor Gary Gygi has the ability to access the server and alter or delete his communications, she refused to answer the question.

When asked how she accessed records in order to fulfill a request like ours, her answer was that she asked Mayor Gygi for his password.

“Do you manage and maintain all the city’s records, or not?” Cromar asked.  She replied that she did.  “Then why do you need to ask Mayor Gygi for his password?”  She said she didn’t have to, that she could over-ride his password.

Cromar followed up asking if this meant that Mayor Gygi had the ability to use his password to access, manipulate and/or delete records she supposedly maintained and protected.  She again refused to answer the question.

Cromar then asked if she had a back-up master file of all the city records so that no one could access, manipulate or destroy the city records?  She provided no reply.

When asked if she could assure that Cedar Hill’s records are preserved and unaltered from their original form, she again said she did not want to answer his question, but that she would get back to him.

This is troubling news in both CH and in DC.


It appears to many CHCRG members and other Cedar Hills residents, that much of the questionable activities taking place on the national level, seem to play out similarly on a micro level here in Cedar Hills.

Hillary Clinton has NO AUTHORITY to control, manipulate and delete any of the public record.  Neither does Mayor Gygi, the city recorder, attorney or anyone else in Cedar Hills.  Do CH’s & Hillary’s servers need to be seized to preserve the drives and information still embedded on them?

The question that begs to be asked is, “If Mayor Gygi has nothing to hide, then why has he been attempting to control and determine which records are released, and charge for his time on GRAMA record retrieval that are already supposed to be in the hands of the CH city recorder?”  Also, “Why has Mayor Gygi told the City Council he intends to avoid documenting his communications with them in writing?”

The City Council now knows of this development, as this article has relayed to them via email.

It now up to the Council to immediately fix this serious breech of protocol and insure that the public record is not accessible to anyone who may want to control, manipulate or delete the record, and to investigate Mayor Gygi and the City Recorder to determine if that has indeed happened already in CH.  If the Council does not choose to immediately investigate the Mayor and remedy this ethical and possible legal breech, then they should not surprised if they are considered complicit and part of a possible cover-up.


What was it within his emails that the Mayor may have hoped to hide in the GRAMA request? The emails included damning photographs showing that at least part of Mayor Gygi’s campaign was done from the city building.  The photos were altered to lower their quality.  When CHCRG protested, the original unaltered photos were provided.
Additionally, an explosive internal email from Councilman Rob Crawley exposing and questioning many alleged self-serving actions by Mayor Gygi.

Yes indeed, if Hillary’s campaign for President doesn’t work out well for her on the national level, she might want to move to Cedar Hills and run for mayor.  She would feel very comfortable in CH government.  But, warning to Mayor Gygi that he would have a run for his money, as Hillary Clinton most likely has just a little bit more “experience” than he does.
“Run Hillary Run!  for Mayor of Cedar Hills — Pt 3″ will provide new details as they are discovered in our on-going research.  They will be posted here.

Stay tuned to this website.

 

Run Hillary Run! for Mayor of Cedar Hills – Part 1

Written By: admin - Mar• 05•15

If indeed Hillary Clinton has self-destructed her run for the White House, maybe she could move to Cedar Hills and run for Mayor?  She would fit right in!

 

Compare these two headlines from 2015 and 2012:

 

2015 – Using Private Email, Hillary Clinton Thwarted Record Requests

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and AMY CHOZICK

MARCH 3, 2015  — New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/us/politics/using-private-email-hillary-clinton-thwarted-record-requests.html?_r=0

 

Compared to….

2012 – Mayor withholds his emails from City Records

May 24, 2012 – this Cedar Hills Citizens for responsible government website reported…   http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/mayor-withholds-his-emails-from-city-records-and-3-employee-resignation-contracts-now-public/

 

It seems to CHCRG that CH’s small town government has proven to be a microcosm of much that happens in the national news.

A series of articles with links below highlight Hillary Clinton’s apparent efforts to hide her actions as Secretary of State from the public record by using a private email account and her own private server from her home, and not providing those records to government control as required.  (This same kind of thing happened in Cedar Hills in 2012 when then Mayor Eric Richardson did ALL of his city business on his personal email account and wouldn’t provide it to the city recorder.)

F.O.I.A. requests (Freedom of Information Act, or GRAMA as they’re known in Utah) were ignored by Ms. Clinton and went unfulfilled, until 4 lives were lost in Benghazi and Congress convened hearings asking for testimony and all documentation including the emails.

That’s when the fact that ALL Clinton’s communications were done on her private email account, though she was warned against it.  She only provided information to Congress she wanted to, and hid behind her perceived personal privilege managing what and when records were provided to or kept by the government as required.  It appears Clinton believes that she is above the law.  Sound familiar to CH residents?  (Note:  Many GRAMA requested records in CH have been withheld from the GRAMA request by the claim of “attorney client privilege” as recommended by city attorney Eric Johnson.  No known direct relation to outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.)

Utah’s own Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations prevailed this week, as Clinton’s highly unethical activity was finally exposed by the New York Times.  (see below)

Hillary Clinton may have self-sabotaged her well-known ambitions to take the White House in 2016.  Charges against her could include destruction of government records, bribery, illegal campaign contributions, and possibly treason.  She has apparently self-destructed, before her campaign for President could officially begin.

But, good news, if we try hard enough we might be able to convince her to move to Cedar Hills and run for Mayor.  We believe she would feel very comfortable based on the withholding of public records strategies promoted by recent Cedar Hills mayors.

And if perhaps Clinton is convicted and serves prison time, no problem, as the Mayor and Council will probably vote her some sweetheart deal to manage and personally profit by running the Cedar Hills golf course!  We could rename it “The Clinton Clubhouse”.

If you, dear reader, are interested in helping to fix Washington DC, you can start by fixing CH first.     Pass on this website link….

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FLASHBACK to Cedar Hills in 2012…

Mayor withholds his emails from City Records

May 24, 2012 – This CHCRG article documents that then Cedar Hills Mayor Eric Richardson conducted ALL of his city business from his personal account, and none from a city email address.  Our GRAMA request was attempting to get his public record emails into the city recorders office where the Request could be fulfilled.

http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/mayor-withholds-his-emails-from-city-records-and-3-employee-resignation-contracts-now-public/

CHCRG & The Daily Herald asked for his resignation. He was defiant until he faced prosecution for bank fraud and resigned.  For…

“The Top Twenty-two Tragic CH ‘Milestones’ in 2012”

please see http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/2012-cedar-hills-year-in-review/

 

FLASHFORWARD to Hillary Clinton news today:

Using Private Email, Hillary Clinton Thwarted Record Requests

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and AMY CHOZICK

MARCH 3, 2015  — New York Times

WASHINGTON — In 2012, congressional investigators asked the State Department for a wide range of documents related to the attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The department eventually responded, furnishing House committees with thousands of documents.

But it turns out that that was not everything.

The State Department had not searched the email account of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she had maintained a private account, which shielded it from such searches, department officials acknowledged on Tuesday.

It was only last month that the House committee appointed to investigate Benghazi was provided with about 300 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails related to the attacks. That was shortly after Mrs. Clinton turned over, at the State Department’s request, some 50,000 pages of government-related emails that she had kept on her private account.

It was one of several instances in which records requests sent to the State Department, which had no access to Mrs. Clinton’s emails, came up empty. …

…The State Department says it will now search the 50,000 emails Mrs. Clinton provided in response to Freedom of Information and congressional requests.

The White House, in its first response to the news, said it frowned on the practice of officials using their personal email accounts.

“What I can tell you is that very specific guidance has been given to agencies all across the government, which is specifically that employees of the Obama administration should use their official email accounts when they’re conducting official government business,” the White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said. “However, when there are situations where personal email accounts are used, it is important for those records to be preserved consistent with the Federal Records Act.”

But political groups and news organizations said requests for records related to Mrs. Clinton had repeatedly gone unanswered.

for complete NYTimes article see…

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/us/politics/using-private-email-hillary-clinton-thwarted-record-requests.html?_r=0

 

MORE national news LINKS…

 

House committee to subpoena Clinton emails in Benghazi probe

http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_289563/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Fwk8oDHY

 

Who Is Eric Hoteham? Clinton Private Server Listed Under Mysterious, Untraceable Name

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/03/04/clinton-private-server-listed-under-mysterious-untraceable-name/

 

Clinton’s E-Mail System Built For Privacy Though Not Security

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-04/clinton-s-e-mail-system-built-for-privacy-though-not-security

 

Maybe Hillary Clinton Should Retire Her White House Dreams

Maybe she doesn’t want to run in 2016,

top Democrats wonder. Maybe she shouldn’t.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/twenty-sixteen/maybe-hillary-clinton-should-retire-her-white-house-dreams-20150303

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Coming soon…

Run Hillary Run!  for Mayor of Cedar Hills – Part 2

Highlighting current CH Mayor Gary Gygi’s efforts and tactics to bully, withhold, and repress fulfillment of GRAMA request for his public document communications…

 

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Daily Herald: Former CH mayor-convicted-felon Eric Richardson awarded City contract at Golf Clubhouse grill

Written By: admin - Feb• 27•15

Cedar Hills Mayor Eric Richardson, left, speaks during a press conference at the Cedar Hills Public Safety Building Feb. 21, 2012. Current Mayor Gary Gygi is on his left and was a council member at the time. Richardson resigned, admitted his guilt to bank fraud and served time in federal prison. The city council approved a lease for Richardson and his partners to run the city’s clubhouse grill on Feb. 17 pending the attorney’s review of the document.

Councilman Zappala: Former Cedar Hills mayor turns his life around, starts restaurant business

February 27, 2015   •  Cathy Allred Daily Herald

 

CEDAR HILLS – Convicted ponzi co-schemer Eric Richardson has done his prison time and is back working with the city, as a Vista Pointe partner, and a few residents suspect foul play.

Richardson was found guilty in 2012 of bank fraud, and was sentenced to 366 days in federal prison followed by 36 months of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $110,000 in restitution.

He reported to prison on Jan. 7, 2013.

After his release, Richardson became a Vista Pointe partner, and the city council approved a lease Feb. 17 with Vista Pointe for golf pro café after reviewing the application and business plan twice, and making approval dependent on the attorney’s review of the lease agreement.

Resident Paul Sorensen watched the final applicant review process at the city council meeting.

“I was really kind of frustrated because it wasn’t really clear who else put a bid in,” Sorensen said. “It went rather quick and there wasn’t much information.”

If he had been a council member, he said he would have made sure they had at least real good applicants.

“And if no one wanted this bid, I would question whether we should go down this road,” Sorensen said. “And if they only have one, that’s a red flag.”…

 

…Conflict of interest

Elected officials said they had not anticipated a conflict of interest for the current mayor when they began the process soliciting for vendor applications November 2014.

“Basically the mayor has been given the authority to go and negotiate this, but the mayor has a relationship with Eric Richardson when he was the mayor and the mayor was a city councilman,” Councilman Rob Crawley said. “I’m afraid that there might be some talk about back room deals or political favors and that is a concern to me. I don’t want that.”  …

 

… Pros and Cons

Resident and representative for the Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government, Ken Cromar said if he were on the council he would have done things differently.

“If I were on the council, I would have rejected Eric Richardson’s application and reopened the application process to get additional bids,” Cromar said. “Have they no sense of propriety? Are they not embarrassed?”

 

For complete investigative report…

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/north/cedar-hills/councilman-zappala-former-cedar-hills-mayor-turns-his-life-around/article_619fc48e-8fe2-5011-ba7c-234249100230.html

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Tribune: SLC golf system drowning in red ink, considers closing some courses

Written By: admin - Feb• 23•15

Public to weigh in on Salt Lake City’s troubled golf system

By CHRISTOPHER SMART | The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Feb 02 2015 03:00PM

 

Hearing » Unlike most of the city’s recreation programs, golf must be financially self-sustaining.

 
After months of jawboning about what to do with Salt Lake City’s golf system that is drowning in red ink, the City Council will hear from golfers Tuesday evening.

A public hearing is slated at the council’s regular 7 p.m. meeting in room 315 at City Hall, 451 S. State.

The eight-course system is more than $1.8 million in debt and has racked up some $23 million in deferred maintenance.

Suggestions on how to balance the books include closing some courses, raising green and cart fees and switching some courses to secondary water.

The council already has determined to close the Jordan River Par 3 in Rose Park.

Wingpointe also looks to be on the chopping block after the Federal Aviation Administration ruled that Salt Lake City must pay fair market value to its landlord, the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. The current rent of $1 would go to about $600,000.

The golf program is operated through an enterprise fund that is set up to be self-sustaining and separate from the city’s general fund. In the past, the City Council has refused to subsidize golf through the general fund.

Since 2001, rounds played on city courses have slipped 18.4 percent, according to an analysis by the Matrix Consulting Group. During that period, rounds at Wingpointe were down 30 percent, while Rose Park and Glendale were off 24 percent.

Wingpointe and Rose Park account for 84 percent of the $1.8 million debt, according to the Matrix report.

Further, Salt Lake City golf will lose another $1.5 million over the next five years if all courses remain open, the report said.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/2132008-155/public-to-weigh-in-on-salt

 

For a PDF of the Matrix report go to…

http://www.slccouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Matrix-Consulting-SLC-Golf-final-version-02-08-15.pdf

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Daily Herald, CHCRG, & Radio Talk Show host Sam Bushman saves public records from destruction

Written By: admin - Feb• 23•15

Jerry Dearinger said it best, “Our goal is to save as much of the public record from destruction as possible.”  GRAMA requests result in a permanent record that the City cannot destroy.  It is city policy to destroy most public records after 12 months.  With modern electronic storage growing smaller and cheaper each year, CHCRG believes the city policy should be eliminated, so the public record can be saved.

The GRAMA request by the Daily Herald, 27 members of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government, and radio talk show hosts Sam Bushman & Tim Alders filed three separate GRAMA Requests for communications / emails / texts etc. between city officials.  The process began in October of 2013, and was dragged out by city officials under the influence of the city attorney Eric Johnson taking over a year before the documents were finally provided under questionable circumstances.

For example, there are 39 pages in the “Redaction Log” which average 40 listings per page.  From this total of approximately 1520 items, approximately 123 were listed as “attorney client privileged” and hence withheld from the public.  CHCRG members who endured the delays and group emails for weeks back and forth with the City, became highly suspicious of the final GRAMA report,  believing that embarrassing and potentially illegal activities where hidden within documents magically protected by this clever strategy of CC-ing the attorney.

It’s not what they gave us that we want, it’s what they didn’t give us that we’re most interested in.  (This can be likened to of the Obama White House redacting and withholding records from Congress in Fast & Furious, IRS records which “disappeared”, etc.  What Congress wants most, of course, is what the White House and the AG withheld, or “lost”, or “accidentally destroyed”.)

The city attorney Johnson provided questionable counsel to the City Council Feb of 2014 wherein he instructed them that by simply CC-ing any email to him “attorney client privilege” would be established and withhold them from the public or GRAMA request.  This attempted blanket protection strategy is not backed up by law, and court cases have proven it illegal.

Attorney Eric Johnson – February 18, 2014 – City Council Work Session

Unlawful strategy to establish blanket “attorney client privilege” protection of public records by simple CC to city attorney

click here…  Attny Johnson -Council Work Session 18Feb2014.15.00


Thanks to the tireless efforts of Sam Bushman and his reasonable approach and persistent questioning, he clearly demonstrated a City determined to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours to discourage citizens attempting to access the public record for their friends and neighbors.   Through the arduous process of meetings, officious emails, delay, obfuscation and otherwise lack of responsiveness by the City, CHCRG members are convinced that Mayor Gary Gygi, the City attorney Eric Johnson, Council member Jenney Rees and other officials’ claim of “open, honest and transparent” government has been proven to them a hollow claim.

It was often said by those seeking the records, “For people who claim they have nothing to hide, these city officials sure work hard to try to discourage our getting the public record.”

In the end, the Daily Herald, CHCRG members and Sam Bushman prevailed in preserving a portion of the public record available by city policy on the city website at http://www.cedarhills.org/node/3258 , thanks to our combined efforts.

Thanks go out to Sam Bushman & Daily Herald for looking out for Cedar Hills residents!

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CHCRG’s long-awaited GRAMA request incomplete and/or erroneously fulfilled

Written By: admin - Oct• 27•14

Jerry Dearinger, leader in behalf of 26 other Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) members who GRAMA requested city email & text records wrote to the City Manager on October 10th saying…

“Non-completion and/or erroneous fulfillment of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government’s April 9, 2014 GRAMA Request.  Proper fulfillment requested.”

Sam Bushman & Tim Alder’s similar GRAMA request also send NOTICE to the City on October 8, 2014 regarding their GRAMA request’s “Non-completion and/or erroneous fulfillment”.  (see PDF #1 below) A recent call to the Daily Herald confirmed that they too did not receive an accompanying letter of explanation as required by law.

Apparently the City has been following questionable advice regarding GRAMA law provided by City Attorney Eric Johnson, which according to the State’s expert — State Records Ombudsman Rosemary Cundiff — analysis of the City’s obligation under GRAMA law.

Also, on a related matter, Ken Cromar – researcher for CHCRG, who request for one-month of Mayor Gygi’s emails, also received a response, but also without proper accompanying explanation by the city.  Cromar met with City Manager Bunker and encouraged him to seek advice and clarification on GRAMA law from State’s professional Ombudsman Rosemary Cundiff.   (see PDF #2 below)

The following is Jerry Dearinger’s letter from CHCRG in behalf of the group and 26 request signers:

 

October 10, 2014

 

David Bunker

Chief Administrative Officer

10246 N. Canyon Road

Cedar Hills, UT  84062

 

SUBJECT: Non-completion and/or erroneous fulfillment of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government’s April 9, 2014 GRAMA Request.  Proper fulfillment requested.

 

Dear Mr. Bunker,

First, may I offer my appreciation for the many good things you and the city staff do in behalf of me, my family and the good people of Cedar Hills.  Thank you.

As you know, on April 9, 2014, 26-members of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government signed under my name a GRAMA Request for specific city business email and text public records.  This request was similar, but not identical to that of the Daily Herald and Sam Bushman & Tim Aalder’s GRAMA Request.

Recently, I learned via the city attorney’s email to the mediation group and through an article in the Daily Herald that the fulfillment of our Requests was imminent.  I learned that Mr. Bushman had received an email notification that his request was ready, but I did not.  Later, I went to the City Office and learned that my GRAMA Request was fulfilled and ready for my pickup.

Upon review of the material, I realized the response disc is labeled “Daily Herald” and hence appears to be non-compliant and/or erroneously fulfilled for a number of reasons, the most significant of which is that the Herald reportedly agreed to narrow their request, while Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government did not.  There was no other documentation accompanying the disc.

One of the most important unresolved issues from the June 11th mediation meeting at the Highland Fire Station, was a clear understanding by all of what the City was agreeing to provide in the fulfillment of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government group and Sam Bushman’s GRAMA Request and our similar request.  During the mediation the city attorney said email records which had been printed to paper before destruction were no longer electronic emails, and would not be provided.  Mayor Gary Gygi disagreed with him and they debated that point in front of the group without resolution I could observe.  Since then, the City Attorney concluded and insisted that “we all agreed” on what the City would provide, but I and others including Mr. Bushman did not agree, thus making the attorney’s position inaccurate.

Also, while the Daily Herald agreed to limit their GRAMA request, to my knowledge, none of the Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government signers agreed to change our group’s request.  Therefore, our GRAMA Request remains unchanged, different from the fulfillment the Daily Herald’s altered request, and therefore an accurately responsive fulfillment of our GRAMA Responsive would have to be substantively different than the Herald’s.

Additionally, according to Utah Code Section 63G-2-205 my understanding is that the City is required to provide a letter of explanation regarding any portion of a responsive GRAMA Request fulfillment that is withheld, and our legal options regarding appeal, to whom, timeframe, etc, and other legal alternatives.  Such letter was not provided and/or the materials provided were erroneous and non-responsive to our April 9, 2014 GRAMA Request.  Therefore, it is our position that our Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government’s GRAMA Request has not been fulfilled as per GRAMA law.

In conclusion, as the Chief Administrative Officer for Cedar Hills responsible for such issues, may I respectfully invite you to send our GRAMA request with correct and accurate documentation as per State Code at your earliest convenience, so that our Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government group may determine what our options are, please?

Respectfully,

 

Jerry Dearinger – GRAMA Request submitter & legal analyst for…

Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government

4211 W. Manila Creek Drive

Cedar Hills UT 84062

 

Sam Bushman’s letter requesting proper GRAMA fulfillment — PDF #1 …  Sam Bushman’s Oct. 8, 2014 letter to Bunker on erroneously fulfilled GRAMA request

 

Ken Cromar / CHCRG’s letter requesting proper GRAMA fulfillment — PDF #2 …    CHCRG – Ken Cromar’s notice of City’s non-completion of GRAMA request

 

Congratulations to Daily Herald!

Written By: admin - Oct• 13•14

EDITOR’S NOTE: Daily Herald changes format of online comments

Front Page •  Sunday - October 04, 2014 10:00 pm  •  David Kennard Executive Editor

 

PROVO – Our website will undergo a significant change beginning today. Readers who want to comment on news, columns, editorials, features, sports and all other content at heraldextra.com will be required to log in through a Facebook account.

The change is intended to eliminate offensive, profane and threatening comments from our website. We believe if online readers are required to identify themselves publicly to express an opinion, as print readers do for a letter to the editor in The Daily Herald, the overall tenor and tone of conversation will improve.

Publisher Bob Williams explained the change:

“The very foundation of what we do is for the protection of the freedom of speech and expression. This includes open and constructive dialogue between opposing viewpoints within our print and online products,” Williams said. “But that right does not extend to those who want to hide behind anonymity to make hateful or spiteful statements. We will continue to solicit and encourage comments from our readers.”

This decision was not reached hastily, or with little discussion. We have been concerned about the name-calling, taunting and impolite language on the website bearing our name. It is our goal to provide a forum for thoughtful, energetic debate, not personal attacks and emotional screeds that are hurtful — not informative.

Facebook requires users to supply their names, just as we do for letters that are printed on the Opinion page. We believe that anyone who wishes to make comments in a public forum identify themselves. It’s just that simple.

 

For complete article see…   http://www.heraldextra.com/editor-s-note-daily-herald-changes-format-of-online-comments/article_33fa8939-0f3a-549b-b41c-52496f79788c.html

 

Mayor Gygi and City Attorney attempt to block Councilman Crawley’s transparency efforts

Written By: admin - Sep• 22•14

Why is Mayor Gygi holding secret meetings about Councilman Crawley and using the city attorney to hide public records?

Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) discovered in newly requested emails that Councilman Crawley is the topic of the Mayor’s “Secret Meetings With Council Members”.   This information was found within one-month’s worth of Mayor Gary Gygi’s emails with Council members, were made available last week.

Councilman Crawley’s email asks Mayor Gygi in an August 29th email, “I would like to know what was discussed at these meetings and why you felt it was necessary to hold these meetings with all council members besides me.”  (see copy of the email below)

Apparently the Mayor refused to reply.  Councilman Crawley writes to the rest of the Council asking their input, “Mayor Gygi has not responded to my email so I would ask other Council Members to let me know the answers to my questions below.”  (see September 2, 2014 email below)

Usurping Power and Control

The lack of transparency has resulted in Councilmembers Trent Augustus and Daniel Zappala joining Crawley in asking questions during recorded City Council meetings of Mayor Gygi, which he refuses to answer.  The Council Meeting audio recordings that are quite telling and demonstrate the Mayor’s apparent effort to inappropriately usurp control of the Council and city staff, hide its public records, require the Council to go through him to get the city attorney’s legal advice, and his refusal to respond to Council members emails, preferring “to talk”.

The audio documents Council members saying they haven’t been able to trust the Mayor to accurately remember the conversations and insist he document his responses via email.

Later that same day September 2nd, Councilman Crawley wrote a detailed letter to Mayor Gygi listing eleven concerns regarding the Mayor’s unwillingness to respond to the elected official’s emails.

“I would like to have had some good discussions via email regarding these issues and sorted through them, but you don’t respond to my emails. We may need to discuss some of these issues in public meetings to get to the bottom of them.”

Council Crawley’s September 2, 2014 email to Mayor Gygi also includes an transcription from the February 18th City Council Work Session audio recording (audio available at http://www.cedarhills.org/node/2659 ) :

“As a new council person on February 18th we were given a discourse on GRAMA from our attorney [Eric] Johnson which included this statement:

“So really you need to decide where your alliance and allegiance is.  Most would say by virtue of being in this body. Here’s where your first alliance and allegiance lies And you would want to do nothing that would compromise that. Ok. and it isn’t that you’re not going to have other friends throughout the community but you would, you would use your discretion to make sure that you didn’t compromise your relationship here in order to foster another relationship elsewhere.” (sic)

In Councilman Crawley’s email item #10 highlights the attorney’s, “…faulty legal advice was given to the council to try to keep us from disclosing important details of city business and correspondence.”  And, in item #11 adds his complaint, “…opinions in internal emails between city council members and then insists on keeping these internal emails private.”

If this information is true, CHCRG finds the news disturbing that a Mayor would actively work against an lawfully elected Councilman individually to withhold information from him, and actively work against him for selfish political purposes, while simultaneously working to hide the public record from Cedar Hills citizens with help of the city attorney.

Courageous Council members

CHCRG applauds Councilman Crawley’s efforts – and other courageous Council members – to seek the truth through emails, proper legal advice, and transparency with the public records.

Additionally, Councilman Crawley expresses in his September 2nd email concern regarding legal advice by the City Attorney Eric Johnson regarding how to create attorney-client privilege protection of emails by simply CC-ing him any email.

City Attorney Eric Johnson provided this questionable advice in his own voice at the 15:00 minute mark, speaking before the City Council in Work Session February 18, 2014.  Click on link to listen…

Attny Johnson -Council Work Session 2014 Feb 18.15.00

 

CHCRG legal research and State Record Ombudsman Rosemary Cundiff provides evidence that suggests the Mayor and Council following this advice may be illegal.

CHCRG is concerned that their GRAMA request for Mayor Gygi’s emails may not be complete because of the city policy to withhold any email that is CC-ed to city attorney Eric Johnson as “attorney client privilege” and withhold the related emails.

This means that ALL previous GRAMA requests and the forthcoming GRAMA Request by the Daily Herald, talk show hosts Sam Bushman and Tim Alders, and 26 members of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government may indeed be INCOMPLETE.

This may require an Appeal be filed even before the new GRAMA requested information can even be reviewed.

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The following are the actual email referenced above…

 

From: Rob Crawley

To: Gary Gygi; Trent Augustus; Jenney Rees; Mike Geddes; Daniel Zappala

Subject: Secret Meetings With Council Members

Date: Friday, August 29, 2014 8:34:11 AM

 

Gary,

I have gotten wind that you have held semi-secret meetings with council members about me where you have described me as having gone “rogue”. When I say semi-secret at least they were meant to be secret from me. I wonder if they were meant to be secret from the residents also. I would like to know what was discussed at these meetings and why you felt it was necessary to hold these meetings with all council members besides me.

Rob

________________________________________

 

From: Rob Crawley

To: Gary Gygi; Trent Augustus; Jenney Rees; Mike Geddes; Daniel Zappala

Subject: RE: Secret Meetings With Council Members

Date: Tuesday, September 02, 2014 12:58:30 PM

 

Mayor Gygi has not responded to my email so I would ask other Council Members to let me know the answers to my questions below. Thanks,

Rob

________________________________________

 

From: Rob Crawley

To: Gary Gygi; Trent Augustus; Jenney Rees; Daniel Zappala; Mike Geddes

Subject: Complaints About Mayor Gygi

Date: Tuesday, September 02, 2014 5:28:55 PM

Mayor Gygi,

I have said many good things about you in the past and the job you have done as a mayor. However, lately things keep popping up that make me question your motives and your loyalty. We all have some desire to self-promote as human beings. However, it is our obligation as public servants to keep that desire last on our priorities. I would like to have had some good discussions via email regarding these issues and sorted through them, but you don’t respond to my emails. We may need to discuss some of these issues in public meetings to get to the bottom of them. Also, I may be wrong on some of my statements or assumptions below. But, how can I know if we can’t correspond regarding these issues?

As a new council person on February 18th we were given a discourse on GRAMA from our attorney Erik Johnson which included this statement:

So really you need to decide where your alliance and allegiance is. Most would say by virtue of being in this body. Here’s where your first alliance and allegiance lies And you would want to do nothing that would compromise that. Ok. and it isn’t that you’re not going to have other friends throughout the community but you would, you would use your discretion to make sure that you didn’t compromise your relationship here in order to foster another relationship elsewhere.

I asked [Eric] to clarify after the meeting because I couldn’t believe someone was suggesting that our loyalty should be to this body over the residents of the city or the city itself and he clarified that he would suggest that my loyalty be to the City Council over the city residents if I want to get anything done as a council member. I was shocked and couldn’t believe my ears. First of all, our loyalty should be to the betterment of the city. Secondly, if my relationship with the Mayor or other City Council Members is hurt by my loyalty to the residents of this city AS A WHOLE (of course it should not be loyalty to minority factions within the city), then that city official does not deserve my loyalty. I believe most of us are loyal to the city as a whole. However, there are things that make me question your loyalty to the city and your motives Mayor Gygi as follows:

1) Insisted on calling the city budget “the Mayors budget” and claimed that all other cities call it that. After several phone calls, I found that I didn’t find another city that called it “the Mayor’s budget”.

2) Despite the council consistently saying they are not interested in pursuing any agreement where the city has financial responsibility for SR-146 he continued to pursue that goal and despite my asking for information regarding his meetings, he continually withheld information about conversations and meetings he has held.

3) On the decisions survey there is a comment about several things the Mayor had done that someone has disagreed with including storing his personal storage on city property and creating a culture of fear between the staff and Mayor Gygi. This is just an opinion survey not a formal complaint, but the fact that I saw the Mayor and Council Member Rees discussing accusingly that this was probably an employee makes me concerned that they may try to find out which employee this was.

4) Mayor Gygi seems to be overly focused on how things make him look. I.e. there seems to be more emphasis at times on protecting his image than in doing what is best for the city.

5) After I expressed disagreement with him on his interpretation of the decisions survey results (as you can listen to from the August 5th meeting), he held secret meetings with all other city Council Members besides myself to plot against me and called me a “rogue” council member to Council Members in those meetings. I have asked him through email to verify why he did this with no response.

6) When he and I have had verbal agreements between each other he has not always kept his word.

7) He has stated many times that he does not like communicating through email, but then changes what he says during verbal conversations so I feel like I need to communicate through email with him to protect myself.

8)  He seems to expect loyalty from employees and council members and plays political tactics when people don’t play the part of a “Yes Man”.

9) He dismisses those that disagree with him politically as the vocal minority and classifies myself and many others in that group so he can ignore their opinions.

10) He uses the city attorney to promote his agenda such as in the February 18th work session where faulty legal advice was given to the council to try to keep us from disclosing important details of city business and correspondence.

11) He states one opinion publicly and then other opinions in internal emails between city council members and then insists on keeping these internal emails private.

Mayor Gygi, I am concerned that your focus has gone from serving the city and doing only what is best for the city to trying to self-promote. I am concerned that your personal animosity towards some in the city and your personal desire to posture for future political positions drives much of your words and actions more than a sincere desire to serve the city. I respectfully suggest that you humbly and thoughtfully consider what your purpose for being Mayor is and make some changes. I sincerely like you and care about you, but I think you are on a path that is destructive to yourself and harmful to the city.

Sincerely,

Rob Crawley

Cedar Hills City Council Member

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.END

330 Days & Counting

Written By: admin - Aug• 30•14

No Records, No Signed Affidavits, No more Mediation

Normally, getting a GRAMA request (freedom of information) usually takes 10 days or less.

But in Cedar Hills, when asking for the Mayor and other city official’s email records, things suddenly get very, very complicated.

In 2012, an GRAMA request for email records took over 210 days, but victory was awarded by the Utah State Records Committee when it ORDERED to the City of Cedar Hills to gather the requested email of city business emails from all  email accounts, personal, city or from wherever.  (“APPEAL GRANTED” see case #12-11 “UPHELD” http://archives.utah.gov/src/srcappeals-2010-2012.html )

Unfortunately, many of the city business email records were kept on personal email accounts and allow to be destroyed by three out-going Council members Jim Perry, Marisa Wright and Ken Kirk.  We’ll probably never know what was in those email, reminding us of the current Lois Lerner / IRS scandal of mysteriously “destroyed” emails.

Additionally, we could never understand how the Mayor Gygi and Council could justify spending $30,000 in legal fees, in order to collect $766 in fees from the GRAMA requestors?

More recently, the delays got worse.  The original GRAMA request that began October 1, 2013, has now taken 330 days and still counting, with several overlapping GRAMA requests, negotiations and mediations, requesting the same email and text, with no records yet provided.  It takes a lot of expensive attorney fees to withhold public records.

The original GRAMA request (or Freedom of Information) that began October 1, 2013, has now taken 330 days and still counting, with no records from our GRAMA Request yet provided.  And the clock continues to tick.

Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government (CHCRG) and 26 member-signers, along with the Daily Herald, and radio talk show hosts Tim Alders and Sam Bushman, signed similar GRAMA requests for these same public business email and text records.  Still no results.

Mayor Gygi, city officials and the city attorney, have been caught in numerous falsehoods during the mediation process with the Utah State Records Ombudsmen Rosemary Cundiff, when their questionable legal strategies were exposed.  According to emails it appears that the City has now indirectly rejected the mediation process, however we don’t have that in writing from the City Manager, who is responsible for doing so.

As a compromise, the City asked our requests to be narrowed, in exchange for their signed Affidavits under penalty of perjury, that would PROVES they were telling the truth about their email and text records.  They’ve since refused to sign mutually agreeable under penalty of perjury Affidavits.
No Records, No Signed Affidavits, No more Mediation?
The reason honesty is so important is if city officials are misleading in small things, what about larger issues?

Could this all be part of a larger cover-up in Cedar Hills government?

See the Daily Herald article below…

State records office denies Cedar Hills group’s records request

August 24, 2014 6:37 pm  •  Cathy Allred Daily Herald

CEDAR HILLS – The Utah State Archives records officer has refused a records request for communication records — emails and texts — between Cedar Hills city officials and the State Government Records ombudsman, Rosemary Cundiff.

For complete article see…