|Paper||Lehi Free Press|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Sally Fowler Francom, Point Publishing, Lehi, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Lehi Free Press|
ODDS Free Press - Wednesday, January 25, 1995 - Page 2 Lemons and lemonade for the rats Editorial Lehi meeting violates Utah Open Meeting Act No doubt you've heard the adage, "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade." Never has that saying had as much meaningfor me as it has duringthe last two weeks. Actually, it has made a very positive difference in my life. The turning point came when our van had to go into the shop. Driving home from work a fortnight ago, it overheated and I drove directly to a mechanic. With our responsibility as paper carriers, we were forced to borrow another family member's car. And although she was gracious enough to allow us to borrow her car for the next couple of days, we knew that it would be unfair to ask for more. The night we returned her car, we were feeling just a little sorry for ourselves, but a miracle finally occurred. I picked up a book that a friend had lent me in order to share some favorite passages The first one I chose to read told of a bride who was stricken with hiccups right during the ceremony. Author Robert Fulghum suggested that the reader actually make the Tlic" sound while reading. Makingthose silly noises somehow lightened my burden that night, and the next morning, we awoke eager to find a better solution to our temporary problem. I suggested that we make calls to automobile rental agencies that specialized in older model cars, well-wor- n but workable wheels. My wife quickly located the best deal and was soon off to Salt Lake to pick up a Lehi's City Council is giving other area governments a good example of how not to conduct the public's business. After a spirited election campaign that proclaimed public openness and affirmed "no hidden agenda," city business has been carried out with, in fact, almost no agenda and in direct violation ofUtah's Open and Public Meeting al issues, including a $12,000 expenditure for a new road and approval of a contract for a new, automated and more costly garbage collection service. Most cities are scrupulously careful to list each item on the agenda their council will consider, separating "action" items from "information" items. The council can only vote on action items. Act. This gives interested members of A city council "work session" held on the public a good idea of what issues Dec. 5 is one of the most blatant examwill be dealt with, when crucial votes ples of violation ofthe open meeting law will be made, and when they should Utah County has seen in many years. attend the council meetings. And "work sessions" are strictly limUtah law requires that council sesited to "information" items. No votes sions be publicized in the local newspaper when possible. Where time does not are taken in these meetings, except permit, the meeting agenda must be under emergency conditions. Since a posted in prominent locations at least regular council meeting was held eight 24 hours prior to the meeting, and a days after the Dec. 5 meeting, there is representative of the local newspaper no evidence that such emergency conshould be notified also within at least ditions existed. Votes taken at "work sessions" are 24 hours. But the Lehi Free Press received no votes taken under the guise of a meetnotice of the Dec. 5 meeting, and the ing designed to discourage public participation. public didn't get adequate notice, eiAn agenda which lumps all of the ther. The meeting agenda would have had matters to be considered in a council to have been posted on Sunday, Dec. 4, session under the generic heading "city to meet the law's requirements. But the business" is an agenda aimed at eludcopy of the notice provided us by Lehi ing public scrutiny a hidden agenda indeed. City last weekhas a WordPerfect"footer" And city council sessions held with that shows the date of the creation of the document was Dec. 5 the same .inadequate, illegal public notification are, quite simply, against the law. day the meeting was held. Lehi City can set this matter straight Unless somebody was fiddling with the city's computers, there is no way by reconsidering each vote held in the this notice could have been posted to Dec. 5 work session in a regular city meet the requirement That council meeting where the public has access to the council and prior notificameans the meeting was held illegally, and any action taken is invalid. tion of the council's intentions. Then city officials should issue a The agenda for the meeting was also inadequate. The agenda has one item, public apology to the people of Lehi for a single line listing a cryptic "City pursuing the city's business in a shady Business" as the reason for the meeting fashion, and make a commitment to conduct the public's business honestly in question. In fact, the meeting deal t with sever and openly. - $14-per-d- ay Somethingmobile. Looking for - 24-ho-ur look into the New Year with some trepidation. Not for myself, for I am living in the evening of life, but for the young generation just coining into being. I think of the words about the Master, "I never said it would be easy. I'said it would be worth it." It grieves me when I read in the news of the bloodshed in many parts of the world, of women and children going hungry. Life has not been a bed of roses for any of us. Recently, my wife has been hospitalized for two weeks with a fractured hip. But she is now home and doing well. So, for two weeks I have been the chief cook and bottle washer. Now, I am a fair cook. Nothing fancy, mind you, like pies and cakes, but nourishing meals of meat, potatoes and vegetables. My wife's Christmas cookies came in handy. In my lonely hours, which were many, I looked back through the years of my life, especially as a young boy when I delivered newspapers. During week days I delivered The South Wales Echo to the homes, but on Saturday evenings I sold the Football Special on the street down in the village. The Special had the scores of all the games played that day. I didn't realize it then but this was a part of my life's training. I learned a lot about men while selling the Football Special. For example, once in a while a man would give me a pound note for a penny paper, knowing full well that I couldn't make change. They would expect to get the paper free. I soon learned how to overcome that. It was at thisyoungage I became afriend of Dan Mathews. He was a young man and had a license to fish the Gwyddon Brook. He came to me one day and asked me to get him - haps there were toomany subjects, because "Montpelier Farewell" was so relentlessly bleak that by the last half of the second act I was squirming in my seat, looking for the exit, examining my wrist as if I wore a watch there. I must admit now that it wasn't the subject of this particular play that had drawn me to it, it was the setting. I've written about my hometown often as the settingfor life experiences that I thought might touch a familiar chord with my readers. And although I have never lived in Montpelier, Idaho, as an adult, (I have spent more than half of my life in Utah), I still consider this small hamlet in Bear Lake Valley my home. It's an odd place, isolated by geography and inclination. If you've been to V By TOM GRIFFITHS Yellowstone, you may have passed through . Otherwise, not many folks have a reason to there. There is little in the way of rego I could If him some get somefishingworms. red ones he would pay me a thruppence. I sources or potential, other than nearby located some red worms at the bottom of my Bear Lake, which is just not quite nearby enough to fuel a town's economy. father's manure pile. The railroad and dry farming seemed to Dan was pleased and we became friends. Then one day he asked me if I would like to fuel the town's economy when I was a kid. Now the community is largely kept alive by go fishing with him. The next Saturday the return of the railroad and the mining over before was of sun the the top morning concerns in Soda Springs 30 miles away. I met Dan we and headed Mountain, Rysog brook. for the It was now I received my conversion to fishing. Dan taught me all about fishing. "Don't let your shadow fall on the water. The fish can see it and they hide." Then one day when I delivered his worms he didn't have a thruppence so he gave me a piece of catgut leader and a hook. Now, Editor: The City Council will be holding a special what was a boy supposed to do with those session to vote whether or not to file an things? for grant monies to restore the application I did In a later column, IH tell you what old Lehi Railroad Depot structure.' The with them. ... House half of Congress worked almost all night of its first day, determined to convince Americans that they'll get the change they voted for. Sooner than anybody dreamed, Amer- icans m ay look back on the way things are now and wonder, "How was it possible?" Did the United States government, as recently as 1994, actually penalize its citizens for getting married? Did the United States government compel people to pay taxes on income and never even they'd never earned seen? Did the United States government actually limit the earning power of its senior citizens? How could the United States drift so far to the cockeyed left that taxpayers paid unmarried mothers to have more babies? Back in 1994, were people really encouraged to clog the courts with patently phony product liability cases? Unless all the steam blows off in the whistle, the new majority in Congress will represent the majority of the American people again. The new members of the new Congress still need guidance. Members of Congress read - or should newspapers. read their home-stat- e Your letters to the editor are an effec- - Congress Pnul i Hi Paul Harvey Products Inc. 1995 - -- "Mr. Congressman, when you propose reducing or eliminatingthe capital gains e tax, first explain it and in English. Those opposed will call it a tax break for rich people. On the contrary, most American taxpayers who claim capital gains earn less than $50,000 a year. "In an era of instant communication - . already-overpopulat- too. Hello' The dominating geographical feature is Hill, a bump in the road compared to Mt. Timpanogos, which is dominated by a water tank (the target of many youthful pranks involving spray paint) and a large M marked out prominently to honor Montpelier High M The Editor's School. It was mentioned in the play as well. But the town has changed a lot, too. There was no fence to divide the Mormons in the town I grew from the to do busicontinue saloons the but in, up ness on Washington Street. I had plenty of friends who were not Mormons, and no one ever tried to keep me from socializing with them. It wasn't a big deal to us kids, nor did it make a lot of difference to the adults -although much was made of the separation of societies in "Montpelier Farewell." Montpelier High ceased to exist my sophomore year, when we consolidated with nearby Fielding High. But M Hill is still there, with the M now laid in concrete to By MARC HADDOCK It is a distinctly Mormon community, named by Brigham Young after his birthplace in Vermont. I did learn from the playbill that the town once had a fence through the center of town "to keep impressionable Mormon youths from straying into the nocturnal sphere of Gentile saloons." And the production supposedly portrayed some of the struggles a family of Protestants faced living in the midst of the Saints, "Ul isolating the family even more, for I more. But was looking I've been through a lot of Aanges since I left Bear Lake Valley, and not just changes of address. The memories of my childhood in my small home town have provided a kind of stability, a sense of place and belonging. It is someplace I could always fit in, if I had nowhere else to go. And I guess that is the definition of home, isn't it? During the times of life I felt homeless, I always had Montpelier as a touchstone. So in addition to looking for a some good theater, I was looking for a little bit of that home. I found a little. There were familiar last names Burgoyne and Theil, for example. Montpelier has lots of Burgoynes; many were family friends. Mrs. Theil was my fourth grade teacher. And familiar places, like streets named after notable presidents. In a town as small as Montpelier, you don't have to worry about the obscure ones. We have a Washington, a Lincoln and a Jefferson Street, But there is no Coolidge Street. - ; make certain the hill retains its f'" alphabeti-"calnam- e. f ' In the play, the lead character spends the day skiing on M Hill. That would make for a pretty dull skiing trip. Fve skied there before, and M Hill is too small for much skiing, and you would have to work very hard to spend an entire day at it, At the end of the play, I was dissatisfied with the whole experience. Not only had I visited the life of someone I didn't ever come to care much about, I didn't get a chance to go home, either. There was no real sense of the community I know as home. It is familiar territory to anyone reared in a small town. It's a place where everyone knows everyone else on a first name basis and if they don't know you, they know your parents. If you need help, you can find it at any door. An isolated, small town carries with it a tremendous sense of belonging, security and community. I was looking for a piece of that, and that's just too much to ask most of the time. I wanted a "Montpelier Hello." Maybe it's time to go visit my brother. , Support historic Railroad Depot restoration A letter to the new US The Have you ever told your children not to smile when they are frowning? We do that at our house, and although there are different breaking points with each child, all three eventually break into a grin and forget at least part of the reason they were angry. Working with people who are trying to learn to play the piano, I see many students who fret and fuss over notes, wanting to play each one perfectly. Although that is a noble goal, I suggest that they just play the song and enjoy it, provided they have actually prepared the piece by practicing it at least the required amount. The point is, we can be positive about many of the things that occur in our lives. Of course, it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes the rats get farther ahead in the ratr ace of life. And Fm not always successful in being satisfied just to know that I can still see the rats even if Fm behind. But this week has taught me a lot, and I think 111 have my pitcher ready for the next batch of lemonade. Planet er Solitary recollections 1 As she and her driver approached the lot, with trepidation in her voice, she foretold her driver that she would probably be the sitrecipient of the ugly yellow hatchback idle. ting there Usually never wrong in such predictions, she was all too soon signing the papers to return to Lehi in that car. When she honked the horn to announce her arrival, the kids and I quickly ran out to see what would be transporting us for the next few days. They were totally appalled that we would select such an ugly car, especially a yellow one, and they questioned not only our judgement, but our sanity as well. I, on the other hand, having been in the doldrums less than 24 hours earlier, merely laughed at the sight of the vehicle. My laughter was compounded that day as I actually got in the car and drove it, and I've been laughing ever since. The tires rub on the frame when I make a tight turn and the motor continues to sputter after Fve turned off the key. But I continue to laugh at the ridiculous OGGfly a 'Montpelier Perhaps. I was expecting too much too much memory, too much common experience shared in a theatrical setting, too much familiarity with territory that turned out to be very unfamiliar. And when you expect too much, you are bound to be disappointed. Recently Sharon and I went to see "Mont-peliFarewell," an original play premier-in- g at BYU. The production was written by a retiring professor of drama, who also directed the play. Sharon, who works for a Salt Lake daily newspaper was reviewing the production. I wanted to see it for more personal reasons. The play had many subjects alcoholrelaism, the complexity of parent-chil- d tionships, how we let the expectations of others shape our lives, the pain of unfulfilled dreams, the list goes on and on. Per- - By RUSS DALY little car, and still do even after seeing the repair bill for our real car, because this has we've been able to just been temporary, manage the extra expense, and most of all, "this too shall pass." And the yellow color has served to continually remind me about the lemonade. If you're like me, you try to get your children to have that sort of outlook on life, tive communications shortcut. Here's a template: "Mr. Congressman, stay home! You were elected to represent us. You were not elected to tend the welfare of 191 other countries. "Mr. Congressman, do not let the opposition sidetrack you with protracted debate about peripheral issues until first you confront debt, tax relief and crime. . "Since our leaders declared war on poverty in 1965, we have spent more than $3.5 trillion on social welfare - yet all we have achieved is more poverty. A compassionate society must not perpetuate the cycle of subservience it Let must rather encourage charity revert to the churches. - self-relianc-e. shirt-sleev- on foreign soil have outlived their usefulness. Bring those troops and that money home. "Contemplating crime, you will have to overrule the courts in matters where preoccupation with the rights of wrongdoers has left the rest of us locked behind bolted doors and barred windows. No parole, no prison frills, no excuses. Swift, certain, consistent, jus- tice. "If you need defense for those positions, cite Scripture. "health care? Mr. Congressm an: Knock some cents back into our dollar, reward workers rather than loafers and shrink the bureaucracies, andyoull have a standard of living in our country so high that health care will be affordable for everyone." Now, America ns, add your recommendations to these, and send them up the hill post-hast- e. deadline to file is in early February, and the Council is scheduled to meet with rail officials concerning the proposed relocation site on State Street on Jan. 27. The special session is planned for shortly thereafter to meet the deadline. The research and preparation for this application has been done by Richard Van Wagoner and the Historical Preservation Society. Writing a grant is a monumental task and this one has been in process for several years. Mr. Van Wagoner has made numerous presentations to City Council. Terms of the application stipulate that the City must make the application and show support for the project. As of the last public meeting, the Council stated that members were divided on the issue, presumably because of maintaining the building in the future. I support the project for the following reasons: The top story of the building will be rented out. The income will be used for upkeep and other expenses. The lower story will be used for a Rail Museum and Art Gallery. Because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, other long-termonies are available for maintenance. The structure is the oldest existing m railroad depot west of the Mississippi. This is the last year this grant will be available. The grant is an unusually generous match. Most are The donation of land and the building (the Historical Society has already purchased the building) will meet our 20 percent obligation. This restoration project is also a vital link in an ongoing effort to bring more tourism into Lehi. Carl Mellor has already been conductingbus tours. Lehi has serious potential for this lucrative industry. Tourists come and stay a short time leave revenues behind. They might fill up their gas tanks, eat at a local restaur antjipatron-iz- e our convenience stores, or discover one of our many "i s artists. Not only do we need to spend our dollars within the city limits, be we need to attract business from outside. Bedroom towns still need to pave roads and supply other services. Regardless of our opinion on historical preservation, this and other projects need to be viewed in the light of 80-2- 0 50-5- ad world-clas- - sentative and make your wishes known before -- Jan. 28. K. Kay welcome letters to the editor. All letters be typewritten and double spaced. Letters must also be signed, and must include the. writer's name and telephone number. Please send letters to Editor, Newtah News Group, P.O. Box 7, American Fork, Utah, 84003. We " I urge you to contact your Council repre- Policy on letters to the editor should 0.