Ephraim City doesn’t need a manager

 

03-14-2019

 

Brant Hanson’s resignation as Ephraim’s city manager reminds me how things have changed since the hiring of their first manager.

The justification for his hiring was that he would bring in more money from federal grants than he would cost. Then they hired a secretary to search and write federal grants and the manager manages the secretaries and various projects, not included in Ezra Taft Benson’s “proper role of government.”

I seldom hear from a city councilman on city business. The manager is spokesman in between the council, mayor and the people. This insulates the city government from the people and is government not by the elected people, but by bureaucracy.  It’s no wonder I feel unrepresented and removed from the city. A city manager by education and training are socialists. We need look no farther than Venezuela to see the fruits of this system.

If the city councilmen and mayor were really doing their job, not just attending city meetings to collect their $750 ($1000 for mayor) each per month, there would be no need for a city manager and the $150,000 could be used to meet the city’s obligations, without having to raise taxes.

The city’s income has increased with the increases of people, property tax, sales and miscellaneous taxes, so the city shouldn’t have to raise taxes for the basic services. Now is a great time to just forget about hiring a city manager.

 

Frank Crowther

Ephraim

Religion is solution to mankind woes

 

03-14-2019

 

We live in an interesting era of mankind.

Our satellites probe into space beyond our solar system.

We communicate almost instantly with humans all around this earth via voice and picture.  Aircraft transport us from continent to continent at speeds of 500-600 mph .Our underwater craft probe ocean depths and take samples of the ocean floor.

Despite all our technological blessings, mankind is becoming more intolerant, violent, wicked. Pride, greed, selfishness, self-worship, revenge, knows no bounds.  Endless government laws are not giving us liberty, peace, safety.

These benefits need to be developed within the heart and soul of men and women.

Liberty, peace, safety are nurtured from a higher source.

Our Eternal Father gave us the plan for liberty, peace, safety, through his Son via the Ten Commandments. They were given to Moses on plates of stone.

Consider the following more modern statements which support the Ten Commandments.

William Penn: “Those people who are not governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”

President Calvin Coolidge: “The government will be able to get out of the people only such virtue as religion has placed there.”

President Spencer W. Kimball: “Through the ages we have come to know we cannot legislate goodness.”

Bradley A. Smith (Federal Election Commission, Oct. 16, 2001): “The solution to political corruption then is to return to the Constitution, not to depart from it even farther than we already have.”

Peace and safety rests within our hands. If we are not successful, destruction will follow.

If the arch of honesty, respect, self-control and righteousness disappear, America will be left among the ashes of past civilizations.

 

Robert C. Anderson

Spring City

 

UDOT, DWR should take steps to prevent deer and elk slaughter

 

03-14-2019

 

Another winter is about over and deer have been slaughtered on the highways of Sanpete County. I wonder why the Department of Transportation and the Division of Wildlife Resources are not doing more for Sanpete County.

These elk were all killed in collisions with vehicles on U.S. 89 just south of Manti.

Most counties throughout Utah have deer fences and/or deer crossings over or underneath the road. I would hope to see the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife more involved; and where is the voice of our county commissioners?

I am hoping the people of Sanpete County will come together and maybe we can make something happen.

I know it will be a real challenge to keep the deer off of the highways. One suggestion is to put in deer fences and/or deer crossings. I know the farmers don’t want to have to open and close their gates all the time, so installing 30-foot cattle guards would solve that issue. Another suggestion is installing solar panel electric gates.

People of Sanpete County, DOT, DWR, SFW, Mule Deer Foundation and county commissioners, let’s come together to make our voices heard.

 

Randall J. Cox

Sterling

Worries that Sanpete doesn’t have enough big game

 

02-21-2019

 

It is my worry that we do not have enough wildlife here in Sanpete. I notice when I frequently go up on the Manti LaSal mountains that there are not as many buck deer as there are females. Which is good cause that means more fawns can be born.

But my point is that we give out too many deer and elk tags. I know hunters come from far and near to get these elk and deer. And it takes a long time to get an elk tag; it took my dad 18 years to get a tag. And when people wait that long don’t you think they want to get a good one? Not just something small? All the older people I know have said that 25 years ago you could find trophy bulls and bucks everywhere you went.

Now we barely have some small bucks and bulls. I know people aren’t going to like this but I propose that we cut off all elk and deer hunts for 3-5 years depending on how fast they come back. It’s what we need here, we need to get the population back up and keep it up by giving out no more than 20 buck and bull tags a year depending on where you live. This is a very small amount but it is so desperately needed I would also not allow spike elk hunts anymore because they’re the future bulls.

If this need becomes a reality everyone will see that it will be greatly appreciated. The county will see bigger elk and deer along with a healthier population. But with population comes the need for more food.

With that I would let people run sheep during that time span up on these mountains to take down all the shrubs we have ( because elk and deer don’t really eat bushes and larkspur) and let them eat away at it. When these “shrubs” are taken away we will have more grass than bushes that do no good. I hope that all the people that read this will see that this needs to happen and I hope it does badly, because it’s needed desperately.

 

Ryker Faatz

 

This week Legislature worked on Medicaid expansion, rural grants

 

02-21-2019

 

We are now three weeks into the legislative session, and as expected things are heating up. Appropriations committees are still convening in the mornings to consider requests for appropriations, while standing committees continue to meet in the afternoon to consider bills. We increased our time debating bills on the floor this week by adding an afternoon floor time every day.

We kicked off the week by considering the changes made in the House to SB 96, Medicaid Expansion Adjustments. As I mentioned last week, SB 96 is a responsible way to help more people by expanding Medicaid. The House amended the bill to include a backup plan, in case the federal government does not grant the waivers as expected. We anticipate receiving the waivers, but if we do not, Medicaid Expansion will still occur, and we will default to the language included in Proposition 3.

This week I presented SCR 5, Concurrent Resolution Recognizing Edward T. Alter for serving 28 consecutive years as Utah State Treasurer. He served on many boards and received national recognition for the innovation he brought to the office. I had the opportunity to serve with him for 12 years on the CIB board. I came to appreciate him for his great wisdom and ability to work with others to come to solutions. It was an honor to recognize him on the Senate floor.

In committee this week, we considered HB 110, Rural Economic Development Incentives. Last year we passed a bill on Rural Economic Development Incentives that offers grants to businesses along the Wasatch Front or throughout the State to employ rural Utahns to work online. An issue arose where a major company wanted to employ 30 rural Utahns, but the work required to apply for the grant was not worth the small grant. This year, HB 110 seeks to modify the maximum grant amount to be more enticing for larger businesses who are truly trying to embrace this program. I have signed on to be the floor sponsor for this bill in the Senate, as I support the positive impact this will have on our community.

Next week we will reduce the amount of floor time in favor of additional time in standing committees. Next week will be the last week our appropriations subcommittees weeks. In the following weeks, only the Executive Appropriations Committee will meet.

Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to serve in this position and represent you at our State’s Capitol. I appreciate your support and hope to hear from you throughout the session.

 

Ralph Okerlund

Believes Manti master plan has no benefits

 

02-14-2019

 

The Manti City Council is proposing a master plan for Highway 89 through the center of town. After looking at the published proposal, we can ask ourselves, “What does it contain?”

Does the signage proposal contain any innovation, inspiration, or motivation to purchase at a business with only the name the business being shown? Nothing.

Is there anything in the proposal to encourage, motivate or excite any resident of Manti, Sanpete County, the state of Utah, the nation or the world to come to Manti City and spend their hard-earned dollars? Nothing. With all buildings being connected side by side is there anything that would add firefighters in fighting a fire? Nothing. Is there anything in the proposal of historical value? Nothing.

So what are our public servants buying? Nothing. They are buying the Emperor’s new clothes from “experts” who are laughing all the way to the bank with our hard-earned tax dollars. What can we do about
this? Inform our Mayor and City Council we do not want this proposed master plan on our Main Street. And if they go ahead with it anyway, then we must vote every one of them out of office at the next election.

Benton Petersen

Manti

Border walls do make sense to protect our sovereignty

 

02-14-2019

If border walls (barriers) are not the answer to border security, why is the border wall (barrier) at San Diego so effective at interdicting illegal crossings and drug traffic?

If border walls (barriers) are not the answer to border security, why did nearly every opponent to the proposed funding previously vote to provide many more billions of dollars for sections of border wall (barrier) construction?

If border walls (barriers) are not the answer, why does every opponent feel more secure behind a wall (barrier) at their place of residence or work?

If border walls (barriers) are not the answer, why is the Vatican surrounded by border walls (barriers)?

If border walls (barriers) are not the answer, why does every single professional entertainment venue employ them? (except maybe Woodstock, and we saw what a social and environmental disaster that was).

If border walls (barriers) are not the answer, why do we see them all over the globe where security is a major concern? (Yes, we see them already in use along approximately 650+ miles of the US-Mexico border).

The sovereignty of the United States is not protected by one or two approaches but by a comprehensive network of physical, technical, human resource, and political strategies. These various facets must be planned and coordinated by those who are tasked with their implementation.

Most politicians (and the vast majority of private citizens) are not adequately sentient to make a proper determination of what is required.

We have heard countless border security professionals testify for the need of a component mix of border walls (barriers, we need more and better), technology (we need more), human resources (we need more) and policy (we need much more and better). Each of these components is present in President Trump’s proposed plan.

Opponents of border walls (barriers) are ignoring the testimony of the professionals at the border who are best in a position to make the determination of what is needed and how much it will cost.

Roger Kidd

Fairview

 

Okerlund excited Legislature is in session

 

02-14-2019

 

The 2019 Legislative Session has begun. My wife and I began catching up with our friends in the Senate this week. It was good to see longtime friends as well as meet new faces. We are excited to be in session again and look forward to the opportunity to serve you as we consider important legislation these next few weeks.

One of my favorite things is meeting the students. This week students from Fillmore Elementary, Pahvant Elementary and Millard High came to tour the Capitol building. I was able to meet with students from Lao Elementary in our new Visitors Center. I also had a chance to visit with the Levan Youth Council in my office. It was great to meet with so many students interested in our political system.

Besides meeting with students, the first few weeks are very busy and full of committee meetings. Each bill must pass favorably through an assigned committee before it can be heard on the Senate floor. Committees are made up of selected legislators and divided into categories. As part of my assignments this year, I am Chair of the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee. Legislation that passes through committee will be heard by the entire Senate on the Senate floor. This week, two of my bills were presented in committee.

The first, SCR5 Concurrent Resolution Recognizing Edward T. Alter for His Service as Utah State Treasurer was heard in the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee. It received a favorable recommendation from the committee and was placed on the Senate Second Reading Calendar.

My next bill, SB17 Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Amendments passed through the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee on Wednesday and was also placed on the Senate Second Reading Calendar. This bill improves protections for municipality water sources. While we did not hear SB17 on the floor this week, it is at the top of the list to be heard the beginning of next week.

The beginning of this session included much debate over Medicaid. It is important to me to expand Medicaid, but there must be a way to pay for it. This is the big issue currently. My goal is to continue to represent you as I seek funding solutions to cover the costs of this program.

Thank you for taking the time to follow along with my legislative journey this year. I’ll make sure to keep you informed about the work taking place at the Capitol. I would love to hear your thoughts on the work we’re doing this session. You can reach me by email at rokerlund@le.utah.gov. I appreciate the emails that I’ve received so far about issues important to you.

I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to serve as Senator over this district. Utah is a beautiful place to call home. I appreciate everything you do to be involved in our government and to make Utah the best state. Until next time.

Ralph Okerlund

Utah State Senate, District 24

Eighth-Grade Letters to the Editor

 

02-14-2019

Add a stoplight at Walmart intersection

By Payten Andreasen

 

Payten Andreasen

Ephraim is a great small town to grow up in. There are a lot of things to do in this small city, and there have been a lot of improvements to Ephraim. I am thankful for all of the upgrades and new additions to this town. Like the splash pad down at the park by the middle school. Or the new bank on Main Street, or the salon and stores behind the car wash at the north side of town. Other things have been improved as well. Like the sidewalks, which were made wider and easier for wheelchairs as well. There has been a lot done for Ephraim to make it a happy and safer place for everyone, but I have a suggestion for our community to benefit it more. I propose a simple plan that could help a lot with our town and make it safer for all people. Down by Walmart, there is a four-way intersection, the car wash, others stores and the cemetery. I propose to add a stoplight by Walmart on that four-way intersection. There have been a couple of crashes in that area, and there have also been many complaints about drivers having to sit and wait to turn because some people won’t let them go; and a lot of people pass it daily. I believe that a stoplight there can decrease the chances of crashes and people get to turn when it’s their turn. People cross that intersection by foot too and can never get across. There are many people that live close to Walmart and decide to walk instead, but it’s always difficult if they have to cross that road with cars speeding past. I respectfully request a stoplight by Walmart to help these situations.

 

Ephraim needs a new stoplight

By Morgan Chidester

 

Morgan Chidester

I am writing about a new stoplight in Ephraim. Ephraim is growing bigger and bigger. There are many people in cars, going places. We have one stoplight here in Ephraim. I am grateful for our one and only stoplight. Though each light is only on, or off , for a short time, it prevents people from getting injured or worse. Without it, there would be crashes happening, all of the time. I think as Ephraim is growing, it would be appropriate to have another stoplight in our town. I suggest this because, some parts of Ephraim are always busy and tricky to get through. I’m confident that if, we had another stoplight, more injuries, accidents and worse would be prevented. You’re probably wondering, where the new stoplight would be. I think that a new stoplight at the intersection at Malena’s and Subway would be perfect. It is always a little difficult to get to places in that part of town. This new stoplight would have many benefits. It keeps streets orderly and safe, for people and their vehicles. It will decrease the little traffic we have. Th e stoplight would allow people to cross the street without having to wait a lot. I appreciate the time I have had to request a new stoplight. It is something that could keep everyone in our community safe. Everything starts with an idea and I wanted to spread this idea.

 

Fix the sidewalks

By Colter Denton

Colter Denton

I am writing to bring up a problem that has been on my mind for a while now. I live in Sterling and there are hardly any sidewalks in the whole town. I understand that Sanpete County is not very wealthy, and our latest drought has left it even worse, but we severely need sidewalks in Sterling. My friends and I walk across town frequently, and the trails are very rocky and uneven. The trails are also very muddy most of the winter months. Walking often on these trails makes me very dirty and can ruin nice clothes. If we had some sidewalks, I would go salt them in the winter if I had to. That would be better than slipping on the ice, which happens quite often. Also, it wouldn’t take that much money to just put some sidewalks along Main Street, and maybe even Center Street. Judging by how many different times U.S. 89 has had work done to it in our county for no apparent reason, I’d say we have plenty of money for a few sidewalks in my hometown of Sterling. All I ask is that we get just a few sidewalks in my small town, which doesn’t have many at the moment.

 

Keep roads great

By Rowan Eichelberger

 

Rowan Eichelberger

I feel like a proper thank you is in order to the Ephraim City Public Works Department. Here in Ephraim city we have amazing roads. They are so well maintained and so nice to drive on. When I have driven through other towns, I have noticed that many do not have very nice roads and you must dodge potholes and drive on torn up roads. Wonderfully, here in Ephraim we don’t have to worry about running into huge potholes or going over rocky roads. Let’s all say thanks to our city Public Works Department for making sure that the roads are taken care of. I think we often forget about the importance of our roads and thanking those who help maintain them. They spend time in the heat of the summer, filling potholes, putting tar in cracks in the street and repainting lines and crosswalks. These people spend the early hours of winter days to clear the snow from our roads and sand them. I would also like to thank all those of you who pay your property taxes, because part of that property tax goes to your city to help take care of our roads. Even when you pay your sales tax it helps with the roads; so thank you. Honestly paying your taxes help benefit Ephraim City for the better. Thank you for your support of our city, the roads and especially the people that help keep our city great.

 

Thank the Lunch Ladies

By Chloe Hennagir

 

Chloe Hennagir

Our lunch ladies at Ephraim Middle School are amazing. Lunch ladies spend hours in the kitchen. They come early enough to make breakfasts for students. These ladies don’t have the option of running late. They have to make an incredible amount of food and have it done in a certain amount of time, so that students like me can have a hot meal. Sometimes students will purposely mix all of their food on their tray and leave it for the lunch ladies to clean up. Sometimes students will say mean things about the food to the lunch ladies. That happens more in elementary school than it does in middle school. They have to wipe down the tables, do dishes, clean trays and decide on what to do with the left overs. When there isn’t enough food for everyone, they have to find something for those students to eat. Lunch ladies do so much for us and they don’t always receive a thank you. When I have the chance to write thank you letters to the people in our school, I have noticed that it is very rare for lunch ladies to have more than two cards. Every day as I am receiving my food I tell the person that is giving me my food thank you. Then, later after I finish my lunch I say thank you as I’m stacking my tray. So, thank you to all of the wonderful and hardworking cooks. I appreciate all of the cooking, cleaning and effort that goes into your job.

 

Host some baseball tournaments

By Troy Madsen

 

Troy Madsen

I think that Sanpete County needs to host some baseball tournaments over the summer. All of the kids that play for Sanpete Chaos have to travel for hours at a time just to play some games. I play for the Sanpete Chaos accelerated baseball team. During the spring and summer, we travel one hour every Monday night to go play two games. We usually play really good teams and I think we would get better if we didn’t have to go so far. It’s just like home field advantage. There is a brand new baseball complex in Manti. Everyone who wants to come to our games can. We could charge a $3 admission fee to keep the complex going and to fund tournaments. All of our friends, family and even strangers could come watch our baseball games under the lights. What’s better than a cold coke and hotdog while watching some baseball? I’m glad that they made a new baseball complex. I’m going to try to work as field crew there over the spring so I can make it look really nice. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be the only person that would also want this change. Ask anyone on our team. Even ask our coaches. We also need an indoor baseball training center to train in the winter. All of the kids that don’t play basketball in the winter get bored and have a lot of time on their hands. That’s not good. When teenagers have a lot of time on their hands, they get into trouble. If kids who are bored in the winter have a heated training center, they can have a lot more fun and stay in good shape. In the end, I think that sports are a very important thing to worry about. Kids need sports to stay active and if they don’t, they can get in big trouble.

 

Show a little kindness

By Tess Larsen

 

Tess Larsen

Kindness is something you should always be thinking about or doing. It’s not always easy to be kind, but it’s always right. All of our schools have a strict no bullying policy. But, do we all always follow through with it? I have seen kids in the halls looking as sad as ever. I watch as every kid walks by ignoring them or some even laughing. I think to myself “How hard can it be to say a little hello or show a small smile?” Sure, you might have not been the one who has caused this person’s pain. But you can be the one to restore their happiness. Bullying isn’t always physical; it can be words. Words sometimes can hurt more than a punch to the face. If you keep ignoring someone who is suffering is that a form of bullying? I mean it is repetitive and it can be hurting them in some way. Imagine being the person sitting there being taunted by something that has just happened or even a memory. It would be torture. I know for a matter of fact that I would never want to be them. Think to yourself for a second when you observe someone who might be feeling this way. The littlest things can tear them down, but the littlest things could also build them up. Talk to them, make them realize they are perfect in their own little way. We all need to be more aware of what’s going on in our schools. Teachers, parents and especially students, be kind. Share a small smile and make a new friend. Even if they’re not “popular,” they’re still worth every second of your time. Make sure to be a light, and most definitely be their light. Show kindness every day in every way.

 

Put seatbelts on the buses

By Isaac Peterson

 

Isaac Peterson

Buses are great vehicles because they take kids to school each day. School buses also put less pollution into the air because there are not as many cars driving to the schools. But, there is one significant problem with the schools buses. Every seat on the bus doesn’t have a seat belt. Seat belts are very important things that protect us from car crashes and other vehicle hazards. Buses are big, tall vehicles, and can tip and flip over by ice or from strong wind. Five days a week, kids get on the bus for a ride to school and back home without the safety of a seatbelt. On average, six million car accidents happen in the U.S. in a year and more than 90 people die every day from car accidents. Around 2 million people are permanently injured and to add to that, 3 million people get injured each year in the United States. On average, 134 students die each year, riding the bus. That’s about two buses full of students. The reason why most people die in car crashes is because they weren’t wearing a seat belt. Seat belts are expensive, on average it would cost between $7,000 and $10,000 per bus. That is a lot of money, but that is nothing compared to the cost of a life. This action will lower the deaths from car accidents each year. School is an important place to go, and it should be safe to get there.

 

Take care of stray dogs

By Olivia Scharf

 

Olivia Scharf

Sanpete County has a major dog problem. Dogs are always running on the loose whether they got loose, or are strays. To solve this issue, people should watch their dogs more carefully, or fence them in. For the strays, perhaps we can build a shelter. The money for the shelter could come from residents, just from the pure kindness in their heart. Besides building a shelter, perhaps people could take in some strays. The community can help give the dogs a home that they deserve. Perhaps we could set up a foundation for people to donate money so we could buy a shelter, or expand a shelter that we already have. I’m trying to think this out logically, and I don’t believe by putting the animals down will help at all. Putting them down means that you are taking a life away and it’s not too polite if you think about it. Many dogs are missing in Sanpete and that could be someone’s best friend. If everyone got involved to try to fi nd someone’s dog, I bet that Sanpete would become a safer, carefree place. There is a Facebook page that helps families reunite with their missing dogs. The Facebook page is called, “Sanpete Lost and Found.” I would just like to say thank you to them for helping families get their dogs back. It really is a wonderful thing that they are helping the entire community get their beloved animals back. If you are missing a pet, then report it to your local police station.

 

Don’t shorten winter break

By Jonah Thomas

 

Jonah Thomas

I am writing to the Sanpete Messenger to address the problem this year with the winter break being shortened by a week. Th is was the first year that our school district has done this. They made the summer go a week longer. But I don’t think it would matter as much if they didn’t do that because we were already used to going to school at that time. Plus I don’t think very many people do tons of crazy stuff a week before school, so that doesn’t really matter. Shortening the winter break made more of a commotion. I’ve been hearing tons of people complaining about the break. The parents had been excited to spend lots of time home with their kids; but because of this they had less time. Plus lots of kids were skipping the last couple of days at school because their parents said they could. When they were thinking of changing the break, they took a vote with all the staff at the schools asking if they cared about changing the break size. The majority voted against it. They just discarded what their staff voted on and did what they wanted. This was brought up when talking to one of my friend’s moms, who is mad about them doing this. During this conversation she stated she was not going to send her kids to school because it wouldn’t be worth going on days when we were not doing anything. I think the kids need a little time to be out of school around Christmas.

 

Keep the Manti Pageant

By Isaac Warby

 

Isaac Warby

I am writing to the Sanpete Messenger to discuss my opinion of ending of the Manti Pageant. I don’t think that ending the Manti Pageant is a good thing to do. The Pageant brings money to the community. The Pageant has also been a tradition for many years. Ending the Pageant end will hurt businesses and take away part of our culture. I think the Manti Pageant should continue because of how much money it brings in to both Ephraim and Manti. During the Manti Pageant, the hotels and motels are filled. That brings in a lot of money for the hotels. Restaurants also benefit from the people who come to watch the Pageant. The Pageant has been one of the main events in the summer and many local businesses will be hurt without it. Tradition is another reason that the Pageant should keep going. Why take away an event that has been here for years? Families in the area have participated in it every summer for many years and are sad to see it end. Th e Pageant has become a place where people reconnect and serve in the community. The City of Manti should keep putting on the Pageant. The community and town leaders could even find sponsors to help keep it going. I hope the Pageant keeps going for many years.

 

Thank the crossing guards

By Brynlee Wathen

Brynlee Wathen

You may have seen a friendly face in a fluorescent yellow or orange vest standing on the side of the road with a stop sign in hand, but you may have never noticed their important role in your community. Crossing guards all over help hundreds of kids daily get to and from school safely. According to the article Report: More Kids Are Walking to School by Tanya Snyder, it said, “But school encouragement—or at least parents’ perceptions of it—has grown markedly, from 24.9 to 33 percent.” This growth in children walking to school was a result of safer paths for kids who walk and bike to school. Crossing guards play an important role in these safer paths. Our friends in the vests may get paid, but what they do is no easy task. In fact I would still call it a service. They wake up bright and early, rain or shine to help with the safety of our community. They always put on a smile and get their duty done. They are not just city employees, they are also friends. In today’s world there is always technology on hand. Everyone seems to have smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, etc. All of this technology is great but can be distracting. An article on health. utah.gov called “Pedestrian Safety” states, “Each year in Utah, 30 pedestrians are hit and killed by a car and another 785 are hospitalized or treated in an emergency department after being in a crash with a motor vehicle.” Crossing guards play an important role in our community and I believe they deserve more thanks than they get. They are there every day to keep us safe. The least we could do is say thanks.

Utah DNR should step up and solve deer problem

 

02-06-2019

 

I read with interest the articles about the deer problem in Manti and the response with ways to fix it. I will agree with one thing: Cities should not have to use valuable time to deal with it. It should not be their problem; it belongs to the Utah Division of Natural Resources (DNR). They have known about the problem since back in the ‘80’s, and despite the big snows, and with the exception of a couple of special doe hunts, they have taken no action or responsibility to fix the problem.
When questioned about it a couple of years ago, a DNR officer told me the deer were just “candying” and I would just have to deal with it.
As far as deer proofing, I have tried sprays, old wives remedies and putting fencing around the trees and shrubs. The fencing seems to work best, but a person should not have to put up an 8-foot fence around their entire property.
I think it is time for DNR to step up to the plate and come up with a plan. Deer are wild animals and should be allowed to roam, but these problem animals have lost their fear of people to the extent that you cannot physically run them off.
I would like to challenge the Utah DNR to take action to put the deer back in the wild, not in town with year-round residency.
Lewis Rasmussen
Fountain Green

Believes county should be careful with budget

 

01-24-2019

 

I am writing in regard to the article in the Sanpete Messenger dated December 20th, concerning the county commission raising the property tax to meet the county budget.

We can all agree that many of these expenses were not necessary; most notably, $943,000 for the new jail and the untold amounts for the new courthouse.

Most citizens voted for Trump (even if doing so doesn’t work) with the mindset and hope that government, in general, can turn a profit and earn money from the jail and other ventures, rather than pour money into it.

We must remember that the county also lost $40,000 in a scam, and poured even more money into a resolution in order to salvage what they could.

The county, in the article, also went on to say that they must meet payroll for government workers; however, if the county should bring in new business, the county would not need to employ as many workers because people could work for private companies.

But let us be optimistic here. Let us give the Sanpete County Commission the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure that now the county is solvent again and the debts are paid off, we can agree that next year the property tax will once again be lowered to a reasonable rate… right?

Jeff Kunz

Mt. Pleasant, UT

 

Editor’s Note: A few statements in the letter need to be clarified. Sanpete County did wire $37,850 to an out-of-state bank account in response to a fraudulent email. However, the bank involved refunded some of the money, and a county insurance policy covered the rest. In the end, the county lost nothing.

The county has not put any money into a new courthouse. The courthouse is a state project directed and funded entirely by the state.

The county spends about $1 million per year in bonds to payoff the construction costs of the Sheriff’s Complex, which includes the jail and Sheriff’s Office.

However, in 2018, the county brought in $1.65 million from the state and federal government for housing state and federal inmates in the jail. The county gets addition income from leasing space in the complex to the Utah Division of Adult Probation and Parole and Utah Highway Patrol.

Messenger helped consolidation of high schools in 1956

 

01-17-2019

 

I read with interest the article labeled, “Sanpete Messenger celebrates 125th anniversary,” which appeared in your Nov. 22 edition.

In particular, I noted the comment by R. LaVaun Cox, who served as publisher between 1946 and 1960. Those were the years in which I went through the public school system—elementary school in Sterling, junior high and high school in Manti, and then Snow College in Ephraim.

Publisher Cox mentions the peacemaker role undertaken by the Messenger over the years. I can attest to one major change where that contribution was very important.

During the summer of 1956, between my junior and senior year, the schools in Manti and Ephraim were consolidated. There was great angst in both communities, as well as both student bodies. The focus was on what each had lost rather than what each had gained. We seemed certain a great mistake had been made.

The apprehension was misguided. Each would profit. Manti’s athletic program was stronger, but by the end of the first year after consolidation, it was clear to me that I would have to ratchet up my emphasis on academics to be competitive with the students from Ephraim. I was not alone. It was a wake-up call—especially for the boys.

In retrospect, I think it is clear that the merger worked wonders, not only for the junior high and high school, but for higher education in Ephraim. Before the merger, students attended high school on campus. Afterward, the college’s  limited facilities were no longer filled with high school students, and its enrollment shot upward.

In the fall of 1957, along with most of my classmates, I became part of what I believe was the largest freshman class in the history of the college up to that time. Since then, the college has continued upward in numbers and quality, and now ranks at the top of junior colleges in America.

I have no doubt that the Sanpete Messenger helped facilitate this remarkable and most important achievement, but there were many others deserving of credit and thanks.

On the broader front, Manti and Ephraim cooperation has also had a positive influence on the local economy and will continue to do so during the years that lie ahead. Similarly, the consolidation of the newspapers, which you have now accomplished, is likely to produce a stronger product with a corresponding positive impact.

I extend sincere congratulations to all who have helped achieve these cooperative advances over many years and wish for ongoing success in this special part of Utah.

Kay McIff

Richfield, Utah

It’s not hard to protect gardens from deer

 

01-17-2019

 

This letter to the editor is regarding the article by James Tilson; “Manti looking for solutions to deer that are causing some residents ‘to give up on gardens.”

I find it interesting that people choose to move/build in the beautiful rural mountains of Sanpete, overtaking not only deer habitat but other wildlife too, and then have the gall to complain and blame the deer for messing up their own habitat.

As a homeowner, if you want to plant a garden, it should be up to you to do the research and take the necessary steps to protect your plants from any wildlife you do not want to share it with.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website has plenty of ‘researched’ information to assist homeowners and with a few more clicks of the mouse, you can probably find more than enough information to help you deal with deer in your yard.

I believe council meeting might be better spent discussing and doing something about the thousands of deer killed on our Utah roads. Protecting drivers by building fences and crossing along our Sanpete County roadways seems a more valuable use of time and resources.

 

Randall J. Cox

Sterling

Believes problem with Mt. Pleasant is Kevin Stallings

Last week’s kerfuffle in Mt. Pleasant over Mayor Sandra Bigler’s resignation reminds me of John Dean’s appearance before a Senate Committee in 1973, in which he said, “There’s a cancer at the heart of the presidency.” The resignation of Mayor Bigler has revealed a ‘cancer’ at the heart of the Mt. Pleasant City Council, and its root cause, in my opinion, can be laid directly at the feet of Councilman Kevin Stallings.

Mayor Bigler’s resignation is far more a palace coup than a simple resignation, facilitated by the bullying and hostile work environment created by Stallings and his minions. It overturns the will of the people when they reelected her as the city’s chief executive officer eight months ago.

Stallings, I call him King Kevin now, has engaged in a relentless campaign intended to thwart almost every executive decision of the past two mayors, including direct interference in city personnel matters.

Mayor Bigler cited this unwarranted interference as the major reason for her resignation. She told me, “Steve, I just couldn’t take it anymore.” In conversations with former mayor, David Blackham, he said, “I couldn’t get anything done because Kevin Stallings wanted to run everything himself.” He added that his resignation was prompted by Stallings’ constant interference more than any other issue.

Now Stallings and his cabal have concocted a plan to appoint an all-powerful “temporary emergency support” executive, who, according to the municipal code, will have all city employees under his authority.

His name is Paul Madsen. He is not is a qualified, professional, municipal administrator. He is a construction worker and miner. And surprise, surprise, he is one of Stallings’ closest personal friends. Without denigrating Mr. Madsen, being friends with King Kevin appears to be a pretty good gig.

Perhaps the worst that has come out of all this mess is the revelation that King Kevin seems to have been feeding richly from the public trough. A GRAMA request this week revealed that Stallings’ company, Stallings Sheet Metal, has been paid some $150,000 by the city since he took office. According to the former public works director, he is the exclusive contractor for maintenance and repair of heating and air conditioning in city buildings.

Councilman Justin Atkinson has a similar conflict of interest issue in regard to his employer, Sunshine Engineering.

I have queried both former mayors as to whether either Stallings or Atkinson ever recused themselves in any vote, including approval of bills, that either Stallings or Atkinson’s employer would have benefited from. Both said they had never seen either man do it.

The optics here are terrible, giving the strong appearance of corruption at the heart of the Mt. Pleasant City Council. I believe there are grounds for an immediate state auditor’s investigation.

What can you do? Citizens should fill the chambers of the next council meeting to demand an end to all this. To put it in a medieval perspective, the oligarchs have seized the castle and ransacked the treasury, and are in the process of usurping all authority unto themselves. “To the barricades,” good citizens of Mt. Pleasant, “to the barricades.”

All should read Dianne Blackham’s open letter posted to Facebook entitled, How We Mix Church and State, which details King Kevin’s terrible abuse of ecclesiastical position to attempt to browbeat the Blackhams into bending to his secular will.

 

Steven Clark

Chester

Member, Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee

Supports Draper, resignation brings back hard memories

 

Editor’s Note: The following is a letter former mayor David Blackham wrote to Sam Draper after Draper resigned as public works director in Mt. Pleasant. Blackham asked the Messenger to reprint portions of the letter in our letters-to-the-editor column.

 

Dear Sam:

I just arrived home from the council meeting today held at the acceptance of Mayor Bigler’s resignation and I couldn’t help but think of you and your resignation. The three council members (as two were absent) acted as if there were no problems as they presented you and the mayor’s departure as nothing more than a peaceful severance. We both know it was different.

I, having experienced an insatiably hostile environment before resigning as mayor, was targeted with false sexual harassment accusations and completely pounced upon by the two senior councilmen. Today, those memories couldn’t escape my thinking.

The absolute desire of the two councilmen to usurp my executive authority and circumvent my prerogatives while mayor with threats of reversing any and all actions I would take was the ultimate bullying to me.

I remember how painful it was then; and today at the council meeting it was beyond my ability to overcome my own feelings as the events unfolded. It was not a normal second council meeting of the month.

The second meeting was established to only pay the bills. Today they added to their agenda the resignation acceptance of the mayor and announced your resignation and installed a mayor pro temp without allowing any public comment. It was so wrong to do!

I remember while I was mayor, the two senior councilmen would deride and belittle you and the other public works employees, and I would have none of that.  I consider you as one of the most talented and capable persons I have ever known when it comes to systems analysis and maintenance of anything.

I fondly still think of you as “Superman Sam” and always will. I could and did rely on you for anything that would go haywire in the overall city workings. You never had a word of complaint and always assured me that it would be taken care of. As it always was.

I never would allow the short-sighted complaints of the two councilmen to detract from the exceptional work you were so dedicated to.

I truly lament the extreme adverse environment that was created when I left office.  I had no idea that Mr. Stallings and Mr. Atkinson had so much hatred for you and the other public works employees. I don’t understand their reasoning when we were so successful in fulfilling so much good work for the citizens.

I know you will be sorely missed by so many of our citizens and I hope that we can survive without you.

If I could only turn back the clock and weather the storms; then I would have remained in my position as mayor and I would have never allowed this to happen to you or the other employees.

It looks like the two have colluded to successfully convince the other council to not only remove me and the recorder Jane Banks, you and Mayor Bigler, but it looks as if they are now working on Coulter Allen and Gary Bennett, and others to name a few, by creating a hostile work environment for them.

I have asked the city for information on the two councilmen and have sought to find a possible reason for their efforts to subvert oversight by any mayor.  This is what I have found.

Mr. Stallings’ business, Stallings Sheet Metal, has received approximately $150,000 for work for the city since his election, all without a bid process.

Mr. Atkinson works for Sunrise Engineering and his firm has received over $190,000 to date in contracted work.

I am curious if their conflicts and cash-cow work has anything to do with their attitudes to seek to subvert oversight by any future mayor.  Their goal seems to make the mayor into a “puppet” with no executive authority.

Thanks for the wonderful time we had while I was mayor. You are the very best employee and servant of the people I have ever known.

David H. Blackham

Former mayor

Messenger’s view of Trump is off-base

 

Imagine if….

Our Messenger newspaper is SO amazing—truly fortunate are we. Continued Trump-bashing though compels this letter. Imagine if President Trump hadn’t won and we were here today with Hillary: Our 4.1 percent GDP would be Obama’s 1 percent; my taxes would be the same horrible level as last year; ISIS would be bombing us instead of defeated; and North Korea would be busy lobbing missiles our way.

Granted, it wouldn’t be as contentious—the globalist swamp rats would be too busy creating our utopian society to bother, the illicit things they have done hidden instead of exposed, and our ability to have a say in our futures mostly gone.

We would be on the way to politically correct madness—the flag a symbol of racist oppression instead of freedom to my grandkids, and we would feel powerless watching our country disappear. Instead, the ship is being turned by a courageous man, facing unprecedented condemnation in mainstream media at all levels, while Americans turn to other sources to understand the real story.

Amazing to this old info manipulator to see near 50 percent approval ratings for a president where 97 percent of media coverage is bad. InfoOps isn’t as effective as we’d hoped—thank heavens it’s not.

 

Carl Sullivan

Sterling