A link to the Councilman Rob Crawwley's blog article was included on pg 3 of the Cedar Hills April Newsletter http://www.cedarhills.org/newsletter-2016-04. The article from http://cedarhillsrob.blogspot.com is included here:
“Corruption” and “Government” are two words that seem to go hand in hand.
This has been true since the beginning of time. Some say that this is only true for national politics. However, as much as I would like to believe that our state, county or city leaders are exempt from wrongdoing, experience has shown that all levels of government are susceptible to inappropriate actions. It is the duty of all residents to maintain a healthy skepticism of those in office in order to help those serving remain true servants of the people rather than servants of themselves or beholden to a cause that may be contrary to the will of the people.
I recently read an article about the Israeli prime minister from 2006-2009 named Ehud Olmert. While he was mayor of Jerusalem he accepted a large bribe and will now be in jail for nearly two years. This person was the equivalent of the United States President for the country of Israel. See article here:
It is interesting to note that the first law regarding bribery that we have on record was written for the Israeli people by Moses nearly 3,500 years ago. Following is the text of this law written in Deuteronomy 16:18-19:
Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous
This doesn’t say that only bad people take gifts. It says that the wise and the righteous are compromised by gifts.
Recently there has been a large uproar in Northern Utah County due to Snowbird trying to expand their operations in the Mineral Basin and Mary-Ellen Gulch up American Fork Canyon. They own a lot of land up there and were working on doing a land swap with the US Forrest Service to complete the footprint they wanted. Last summer this land swap plan was abandoned by Snowbird, but they are still trying to get a permit for expansion into the areas they own.
Although this may be something that many residents of Utah County are against, Snowbird does own the property and have certain rights. However, with the rights of ownership also come certain obligations. There are hundreds of abandoned mines on their property and their property is part of the watershed that feeds into American Fork River that supplies irrigation and drinking water to a large area of Northern Utah County, including Cedar Hills which uses a portion of this water to feed our pressurized irrigation system. This watershed also drains water into our underground water supply, which supplies the wells in the city that provide drinking water to our residents. There is a risk that if Snowbird does not manage its mine tailings responsibly, the water quality could be compromised.
The problem that has arisen is Snowbird has given many “gifts” to people that are in positions of trust in our state, county and city. There have been trips to Europe given to mayors, county commissioners, and other influential people with their wives. There have been helicopter rides given. There have been tickets to black tie events with celebrities. There have been large campaign donations. There have been free ski passes given.
We have laws today, 3,500 years after the law cited above, that also limit bribes and gifts for elected officials. The law specifies that anything over $50 in value is not allowed without proper disclosure of the gift. Although many have received benefits from Snowbird, there has been very little proper disclosure of these items.
All mayors, city council members, county commissioners, governors, legislators etc. should be very careful not only to avoid accepting anything of value from those that our decisions and actions may affect, but we should avoid the appearance of taking anything from any groups that our decisions may have influence over.
May I suggest that at least once a year (maybe in January) we ask all elected officials to report in a city council meeting all of the gifts or benefits they were given during the past year just so that we go beyond what the law says and stay as far away from the cliff as we can be as a city. I would suggest that the residents demand this from their elected officials not only to protect the city from potential conflicts of interest, but to help elected officials avoid temptation to take gifts or benefits that may be inappropriate.
See related CHCRG posts:
Three for three – 2012 Utah County Commissioners charged or under investigation
Who paid for Utah elected officials involved with Mountain Accord to go on private jet?
Doc show that CH mayor Gary Gygi was scheduled to go to Switzerland on same trip but withdrew just prior, but faces ongoing questions by Preserve & Protect American Fork Canyon supporters regarding his involvement with Snowbird and missing related GRAMA requested records … http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/preserve-protect-af-canyon-to-mayor-gygi-please-answer-questions-fulfill-grama-requests/
VIDEO: 9 current & former CH Council members attend Preserve & Protect AF Canyon meeting at AFHS
INVITATION to CH Mayor Gygi: Demonstrate your allegiance to CH's desires to preserve & protect AF Canyon from Snowbird