|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Volume XIV Issue XVII The Ogden Valley news Page November 15, 2007 Guest Commentary How appropriate at Halloween that some folks in the Valley angrily roam the Ogden Valley Utah Forum Blog and (I am guessing) the “letters” section of The Ogden Valley news like the crowd chasing Frankenstein’s monster, only this time the mob is chasing Ogden Valley Planning Commissioner Jamie Lythgoe for her alleged conflict of interest. I am a member of the Valley Citizens for Responsible Development, but I disagree with the various accusations that Commissioner Lythgoe is somehow arrogantly—and dishonestly--refusing to recuse herself from debate and decision on the Powder Mountain rezone. I practiced law for twenty-five years and for each of those years volunteered my time to prosecute lawyers for infractions of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the majority of which infractions involved conflicts of interest. I also co-authored, with two other persons, the first Code of Ethics for the City of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, the nucleus of which was a conflict of interest provision which called for removal from office for its violation. It is fair to say that I recognize conflicts as well as anyone I know, and I dislike them as much as anyone I know. Some things to consider: 1. Ms. Lythgoe was ready to recuse herself, on her own, prior to the meeting of October 23. I personally reminded her that neither her critics nor she herself were the one(s) to make that decision, and that for her to have done so would no doubt have raised a chorus of “I TOLD you so!” from her detractors without there ever having been an impartial decision on the allegations. 2. Sadly, Weber County has no Ethics Commission that could have heard this and other problems like it; the only body close to qualified was the remainder of the Planning Commission itself. If she made full disclosure to it, which she did, the Commission, not she, would make the decision. To accuse the entire remainder of the Commission of being “drinking ducks,” blindly nodding their heads affirmatively, is an affront to all The Other Side of the Conflict Coin of them, and is an accusation that I, for one, am not willing to make. 3. The question before the Commission is not whether Powder Mountain will develop or not; the question is at what density it will develop. Powder Mountain will develop whether or not the pending rezone is granted. The ownership of contiguous property, condos, etc. is therefore a red herring, irrelevant to the question before the Commission, and 6. The Conflict provision of the Planning incapable of causing a conflict or even Procedures state that the prohibited the appearance of a conflict in someone benefit, gain, or advantage must be who understands the issue. Indeed, a distinct and material which, although case could be made that doubling the imprecise, allows for rational judgment density could have an adverse effect concerning it. So think about it: ½ of on the value of the contiguous proper1% of the purchase price of the entire ties—a theme, I believe, often correctly Powder Mountain property—1/2 of 1% espoused by the VCRD itself! of anything—isn’t very much when you consider that those who hold it also 4. The question of the Cobabe family’s hold 100% of the purchase price itself! retention of ownership in the project In other words, if the property sold for, is somewhat thornier, but has yet to be say, ten million dollars, the “interest” is resolved at this writing. What is imporworth fifty thousand. Would I turn away tant is that Ms. Lythgoe’s disclosure, $50,000? No. Would it be material to for those who listened, was that a) she me if I were sitting on ten MILLION learned of its possibility only that day; dollars? I doubt it. b) that she was told by her grandfather that he wasn’t sure what it was, and that 7. Like it or not, conflicts of interest—perhe had seen no evidence of it; c) that ceived, apparent, or direct—are waivher aunt could not be reached for further information; and d) that it did not exceed ½ of 1% of whatever it was, in any event. Subsequent investigation has revealed that the interest is NOT in the property or in the development entity, and that in whatever entity it is, the entity does not even exist. There may well be more disclosure due when details become available, but at this time, the Cobabe family owns a ½ of 1% interest in nothing. 7:00 p.m. at The 6-9 p.m. Quesadilla $5.00 Tacos $5.00 Taco Combo $6.00 Taco Salad $5.50 Friday Dinner Night Serving from 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. Frank Cumberland, Huntsville Tuesday, November 20, 2007 5. The fact the Ms. Lythgoe might be an heir some time in the future to the estates of those persons who sold Powder Mountain, or to the estates of the heirs of those persons, is too tenuous a hook on which to hang the accusation of conflict. She also might not be an heir. The estates may have been depleted by the time she stood to inherit, if Sat. & Sun. & Mon. Night Football Hamburgers & Hot Dogs $5.00 Chili or Soup $4.00 Serving from Opening till Closing Sunday Breakfast Homestyle $4.00 to 10.00 Serving from 8: 0 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. Huntsville American Legion Call 745-3802 “Crafts Linda Loves” Custom Craft Parties Linda Webber will teach you and your group (friends, children, etc.) custom crafts including: • Beading—Bracelet & earring sets with either your design or one pre-selected for you. • “Dancing Dangles”—Sparkling, reflective, decorative tree or patio décor. • Gift cards—your own design or one pre-selected for you. • Knitting or crocheting—Scarves or hats. Linda also offers Custom Afghans depicting the LDS Temple of your choice in 3 dimensions. Contact Linda for affordable pricing and scheduling at 801-745-3958. 2007 BICYCLE CLEARANCE! So cool it with the blood lust, folks, at least on this issue. Put away the pitchforks and the torches. When, as, and if Commissioner Lythgoe evidences disregard for her ethical obligations, I will lead the charge for her removal from office. Until that happens, however—if it ever does—it seems to me that she’s trying to do the right thing. There are easier targets in this arena, including a certain County Commissioner who shall remain nameless. The EDEN PLANNING COMMITTEE is holding ELECTIONS Take Out available for members and non-members. Post 129 able, unless the governing rules say that they aren’t, which these rules don’t. Having made full disclosure of all facts known to her at the time, to those who were in a position to make the decision, Jamie Lythgoe in this instance did everything she should have done, and left the decision to others. Whether the rest of the Commissioners found that there was no conflict, or found that there may have been but that it was immaterial, or found that there was a conflict but that they were willing to waive it for the sake of her experience and expertise on the issues, they approved of her continuing in the mix. -- PUBLIC NOTICE -- For the Benefit of Ogden Valley Military Veterans and Non-Military Wednesday Taco Night she ever did. She might be disinherited. Wills and trusts can be changed at any time. And she likely does not even know whether she is included in anyone’s will or trust, or not. They are private, personal documents, and for anyone to insist that someone disclose the contents of someone else’s will or trust, even if they are proven to know them, is unwarranted. 10% OFF ACCESSORIES! 20% OFF 8 4 Washington Blvd. Ogden (801) 394-7700 www.skylinecyclery.com Red Moose Lodge All Eden residents and/or property owners are invited to participate in electing one (1) new member & six (6) alternates to the committee. The committee meets monthly to discuss and report to the Ogden Valley Township Planning Commission on Planning issues impacting Eden. Tis’ the Season -Welcome Home Interiors is here to help with your holiday needs. Twenty-one years of professional cleaning, interior design, (holiday decorating), interior painting, and realtor all wrapped into one. Choose one or all for fast, original, reliable, and exceptional service. Limited space available. Call Kerrie at 801-710-5151.