Utah loves to recycle people. Sometimes, though, it makes you wonder. Like in the case of Salt Lake City and Ken Bullock. Bullock resigned in disgrace last year from the Utah League of Cities and Towns just before the release of an audit that painted him as an incompetent administrator and possible embezzler. Hey, Bullock is a likeable guy. You'd like him, too, but the question is whether you'd hire him to lobby at the Capitol with $105,500 of taxpayer money. In this national time of moral ambiguity and self-important public servants, Bullock should have given Mayor Jackie Biskupski pause. Oh, and taxpayers get another Christmas surprise: Former TV newsman, Attorney General spokesman and Rocky Mountain Power mouthpiece Paul Murphy is helping the mayor's spokesman for $85,500.
You might no longer see the word "diversity?" from the CDC, but it's also missing from Salt Lake City's "Growing SLC: A Five-Year Housing Plan." We get that it's crucial to incentivize affordable housing, especially considering the lack of it in a city where building is booming and the population rapidly rising. But the plan talks about the East Side and its single-family homes, which reduce the number of residential units. So that means what? Get rid of single-family homes? Still, most lacking from the five-year plan is any mention of challenges like water, transportation and air quality. In a Deseret News article, Greg Bell, incoming chair of UTA, rightly encourages mass transit. While chunks of the polution problem come from various sources, he's got the idea. More population means more pollution.
Our Land, Your Land
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., has brought some reality into the national monuments debate. As the @realdonaldtrump administration sings "This Land is My Land," they seem to forget the rest of the lyrics. Gallego spoke at a congressional hearing on Rep. Chris Stewart's bill to carve out a piece of Grand Staircase Escalante for a national park. It's something Garfield County just can't wait to implement because Garfield County wants to manage those lands—sort of. County Commissioner Leland Pollock thinks they can do a bang-up job—better than the Bureau of Land Management, according to a Deseret News article. There are no maps or really any plan, but Pollock likes the idea of having the BLM do the work and having the county do the management. Former Gov. Mike Leavitt was there, too, mostly to attack the Antiquities Act. That wasn't the point of the hearing, as Gallego and others mentioned.