In your reporting of the Oct. 17 county council meeting you have misconstrued my comments concerning the discussion of Council Member Curtis Wells’ op-ed piece addressed to Tooele County. If you remove all the ands and uhs of my poor public speaking, here is exactly what my comments were:
“The whole situation doesn’t feel very comfortable to me. I have to say I tend to be fairly reactive and then meditative about things. When I am reactive I am upset and when I am meditative I try to find a higher road to take. I think, for me, the issue is the same as it is for any citizen of this country and that has to do with not having your rights to free speech pre-empted.
I think that our policy needs to be more completely defined because any time that you speak as a council member or as a member of the government or other organization, I think it is important that whether it is in the content of what you are saying, or you state it directly, and it’s better if you state it directly, that you let people know that you are not speaking on behalf of anyone else.
I think the crux of the whole problem goes to our policy and in that one word in paragraph five, “encourage.” It says “Councilmen are encouraged to delineate their personal opinions from official positions from the official positions of the council in the course of the discharge of their duties.”
Most of the organizations I have served on that have to do with (the) possibility of pre-empting or inferring that you are speaking on behalf of a whole body has very specific policies that regulate that. I would like to see us go back to the policy and clarify it so this kind of thing doesn’t happen.
Look, here’s the deal. We have much bigger fish to fry on this council than the kind of internal problems these kinds of things bring up and they can be avoided with clarity. I am not interested personally, as a person sitting on this council, in getting involved in that kind of drama because I’m concerned about what this place is going to be 20 years from now when our kids and grandkids inherit it. Is it going to be better? Are we going to have a better quality of life? What is our responsibility of that?
Those are the things I would like to focus on. In the meantime, if we are not comfortable with the policy, let’s look at it and change it and get about doing the things we really need to do in getting this county to function in a way we will all be pleased with moving down the road.
Where what I said or even implied did I condone or condemn what Council Member Wells has done? Nowhere. Where in my comments is it said or implied I felt McGann’s response “pre-empted” Well’s free speech rights?” Nowhere. I am sorry to say that The Times-Independent seems to have misunderstood my intention when reporting my conversation.
Editors Note: Morse was recently appointed to fill a vacancy in District 1 on the Grand County Council, a term that will expire Dec. 31. He is running unopposed for the same seat.