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The Mayoral Horde 

Also: A Source of Fiber, Papers, Please

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The Mayoral Horde
You have to feel sorry for Jackie Biskupski and, oh yeah, Luke Garrott, now that Jim Dabakis is talking about entering the mayor's race. It's hard enough to get name recognition against a two-term incumbent without another big name in the race. Dabakis, a state senator and former Democratic chair, is flamboyant and likable—and, as he has mentioned, he's rich. Yes, he stepped down from the party chairmanship because of health problems, but that doesn't seem to be a factor in the present hype. Of course, he hasn't decided to run, and being mayor could mean a lot more work than the Senate. Will he or won't he? The longer he waits, the more he hurts Biskupski and Garrott, running against someone a Utah Policy panelist calls "an aloof, technocratic two-term mayor who doesn't seem to have a signature achievement attached to his tenure."

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A Source of Fiber
Yay, gigabit! Sort of. Even XMission's Pete Ashdown is going to buy Google Fiber's gigabit service because, like everyone, he wants speedy Internet. But he's not happy about it. Ashdown was a fan of UTOPIA, the struggling consortium of 16 cities offering fiber and all its benefits—except profitability. That's partly because Salt Lake City didn't buy into the concept. Now, though, the city gleefully took up Google's offer to lay fiber—free—until it, you know, isn't. Unlike CenturyLink, Google won't be letting Internet service providers tap into the network. But here's the thing: XMission is going to offer products that promise to retain your privacy, and that's Google's Achilles' heel. Ashdown thinks fiber should be a city function, and maybe he's right. But, for now, it's Google's baby.

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Papers, Please
Speaking of privacy, the State of Utah is really concerned. Really it is. So much so, that many taxpayers won't be getting their refunds unless they can navigate the murky depths of bureaucratic nonsense. This, from one hapless taxpayer: Verify identity before April 1. The quickest way is online, but you can't do it online after April 1. You'll need last year's individual tax return, your 2014 tax return, your driver license—if you have one. You may only attempt the online verification once, and must complete it within 10 minutes. Blah blah. Then, if you "fail the quiz," you have to verify with physical documents within 30 days. Send a copy of the letter with one item from two categories. Instructions go on, but hey, this is tougher than getting your driver license.

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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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