Who Do They Work For | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Who Do They Work For 

A local paper holds elected officials accountable. For people like Rep. Ben McAdams, the find themselves stuck in the middle. Plus, the murky future of a Utah natural treasure.

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Leave it to the Little Paper that Could to remind City Hall who they work for.

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Who Do They Work For?
"Personnel matter fallacy," "fiefdom," "charade." Leave it to the Little Paper that Could to remind city staff who they work for. We're talking about the Park Record bringing the latest in insider politics to the forefront. Boom! Park City's city manager, Diane Foster, is gone—without notice or rationale. In the position since 2013, Foster was credited with moving forward housing and environmental programs, a long-term agreement with Sundance Film Festival, and work with the new owners of Park City Mountain Resort. The Record reminded readers of a similar, secretive departure of a city attorney in 1999, ultimately revealing an $80,000 severance package. A letter to the editor called out the council as a fiefdom hiding behind the fallacy of personnel matters. The council later authorized the termination without discussion. That means Foster will receive a hefty separation package—but the public doesn't know why. No matter what the law, it should be the duty of public servants to explain their actions—especially in an election year.

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Stuck In the Middle
Poor Rep. Ben McAdams. He's getting it from the right and the left as he mulls over what to do about the president's impeachment inquiry. An online petition from the National Republican Congressional Committee is downright laughable to anyone who knows, loves or hates McAdams. "McAdams votes with radical Democrats on impeachment," it says. In fact, McAdams has distanced himself from the impeachment frenzy by saying he's like a juror who must remain impartial until the facts come in, both dailies say. But that wasn't enough for Republicans who can't stand having a single Dem in the congressional delegation. McAdams is a Blue Dog Democrat, identifying as centrist and fiscally conservative. Last week, he finally came out in favor of an impeachment inquiry, as necessary to get to the facts. In the Trump environment, no politician can identify as centrist.

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A Murky Future
Maybe it's just too hard to blame climate change, but the Bonneville Salt Flats is in danger. CBS News recently figured out that this was an issue and reported it as a debate raging over the future of the flats. That is, of course, true, though what's to be done is a murky mess. In 2017, the Trib ran a story searching for blame because the Flats have been shrinking over the past 30 odd years. It could be climate change, the potash mine and the BLM that contribute to its demise, or simply the racers themselves. The racing community thinks they know. They're asking for $50 million to put the salt back that the mine sucked away. Then the racers can churn it up again.

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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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