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Remote Work 

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Remote Work
Well, there's always Twitter. That could be the answer to the question of whether to move the Bureau of Land Management to Utah. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and a couple of Colorado lawmakers figure this is a good way to drain the D.C. swamp—send the alligators out West. The timing might be suspect, what with the call to downsize national monuments, but it's not a particularly new idea. The Salt Lake Tribune editorialized about bringing government to the people, and both George Pyle and Thomas Burr spoke on KCPW about the effort. There are only 500 BLM employees who'd have to move, but they all have moving expenses. Utah loves jobs, so there might be incentives available. Sure, the Washington lobbyists would have a harder time wining and dining bureaucrats, but they could talk to them on Twitter and Skype, for what it's worth. And it's not much.

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Pushing Boundaries
If you can navigate the San Juan voting dilemma, you're doing better than District Judge Robert Shelby. As gerrymandering becomes a front-and-center issue, Shelby is trying to work through the voting boundaries in San Juan County. He's already found that the districts work against Navajos, but—go figure—some Navajos like it that way. They think they'll get more from the county than the Navajo Nation, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. This isn't the only voting dust-up in a state where a 37 percent turnout is pretty good. Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, is wading into the murky waters of the Electoral College, wondering how it would be if candidates didn't campaign based on that antiquated model. Good luck with that, Representative. Utahns would do almost anything to keep Democrats from a single vote.

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Build Up
Maybe a 12-story housing development is better than a weedy hole in the ground. Or Holladay citizens might just be desperate to see something rise from the 9-year-old depression where the Cottonwood Mall once stood. Ivory Development and Woodbury Corp. have a proposal for a high-rise development, and retailers in the area are thrilled at the prospects, according to the Trib. What's missing is any talk of affordable housing, and that might be intentional. The Republican House tax bill eliminates a type of tax-exempt bond for affordable development. The Senate bill doesn't, but there still remains doubt about the future of those bonds. And Utah sorely needs to think about affordable housing, particularly given the homeless crisis.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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