Swords drawn at Taylorsville council meeting | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on PressBackers.com, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

Swords drawn at Taylorsville council meeting


An apparent behind the scenes power struggle between Taylorsville City Council chairman Morris Pratt and Mayor Russ Wall erupted into the public arena tonight, ---with Wall telling Pratt and his supporters on the council to effectively put up or shut up when it came to continuing allegations from council members of criminal activity by the administration.

After councilman Larry Johnson accused the administration of "mismanagement" and Pratt talked about the violation of an ordinance involving city employee salaries, Wall blew his top. "What specific criminal activity are you alleging?" he demanded to know. "Who goes to jail? If there's illegal activity, file charges," he told the council.

The power struggle came to a head over Pratt and councilmen Johnson and Bud Caitlin's refusal to compromise over their demand that some employees' pay cuts imposed last month stand. For three hours, council members expressed confusion, anger and frustration, in equal measure to the mayor and his staff. By the end it resembled the stalemate of a brutal chess match where the pawns - the employees whose pay was made both embarrassingly public and also a subject for haggling - finally stormed out to the parking lot and expressed their rage.

"The council is after the mayor," said one. Morale had plummeted. "We've been in emotional turmoil since December," said another. It all came down, said a third, to 0.002 percent of the budget, amounting to $47,000 a majority of council members were determined to save at the expense of the city employees' mental health. "it was unbelievable, irresponsible to take up all this time," on the fight over a few salaries.

Intriguingly, Pratt had apparently included in his city employee salary proposal that council members conversely receive a pay raise of individually $7000 to $20,000. But he opened the council meeting, which was attended by TV news and print journalists, by informing those assembled that there were no plans to grant himself and his colleagues a pay raise. "It's not on the table, not even considered or propose," he said, effectively spiking the guns of several angry residents who went up to denounce the council for seemingly planning to vote themselves pay raises while cutting the salaries of employees.