E-Edition

Disappointed (again) with Manti City notifications

Letters to the editor:

Disappointed (again) with

Manti City notifications

 

2-3-2021

 

I originally decided against addressing this issue in this forum. Manti City has invited us to contact them with any questions or concerns about the placement of their new electronic sign and I agree that a city council meeting is the place for that discussion.

However, that discussion should have taken place BEFORE installation, and so once again as a business owner in Manti City I am disappointed with the actions of our city administration. My husband and I have attended almost every city council meeting for the last year and a half, just missing the few that have been held electronically because of COVID-19.

During the council meetings since about August, there has been an on-going discussion about Manti City receiving and spending the CARES Relief Fund money from the State of Utah, except without many specifics. At the last meeting we attended on Nov. 4 a reference was made that the funds must be spent on qualified items such as public safety and supplies, but once again, nothing specific was mentioned. After reviewing the city council meeting minutes through the end of last year I still did not find mention of anything specific, only a remark in the Dec. 16 minutes that the funds had been expended and the report was sent to the state.

What I did find though was a payment made to I-Four Media at the Nov. 4 meeting for, I am assuming, the purchase of the electronic sign. My concern is not with how the money was spent. I think the sign will be beneficial for Manti City. Still, I think more input about its placement was warranted and so my concern is the lack of transparency and willingness to address this decision at a public meeting.

Over a year ago this administration proposed changes to the commercial zoning code, with little input from Main Street business owners. Only after a tense and lengthy process were we able to reach a compromise on the new commercial zoning proposal. However, this sign is still prohibited in the area of Main Street where Manti City had it installed. I think our administration knew there would be opposition to its placement and therefore kept it from public knowledge until it was too late.

The council has stated that the driving force behind the zoning ordinance was to protect Manti’s Main Street. The original intent was to keep as much of a historical feel as possible yet still allow for thriving business. Shouldn’t Manti City lead by example? This feels like a case of do as I say, not as I do. On the other hand, they have offered to discuss the possibility of modifying the ordinance to allow for THEIR sign. I wonder if they would have offered the same consideration to our grocery store if they had just gone ahead and installed one?

 

Jennifer Christiansen,

Manti