In trying to follow the evolving interpretation of HB 224 and its implications for Grand County, Moab City, and Castle Valley, I accumulated a big stack of clippings and printouts. The Utah Legislature passed HB 224 (89-pages!) on the last day of this year’s session.
The legislature certainly found reason to review and update the election statutes in this election year. And it was appropriate for the Utah Association of Counties (UAC) to participate in the revision process.
However, as far as I can tell, it was not the new statute that caused such consternation locally; it was instead the removal of the clause grandfathering in existing forms of county governments – a removal which was apparently done by demand of UAC and/or Grand County Council Vice Chair Curtis Wells.
If grandfathering had not been removed from the statute, it wouldn’t matter whose petition, signatures, or resolution was filed first in time. Nor would we be faced with a battle over an appointment council to select a study committee to recommend a new form of government for an up-or-down, take-it-or-leave-it vote by the good people of Grand County.
Perhaps the aggressive advocates of a return to partisan politics expect a return to the good old’ days of 1944 (as depicted on page B6 of the Nov. 8 T-I) when Grand County voted a straight Republican ticket despite a national and statewide Democratic sweep, even picking Thomas Dewey over FDR for president.
Things have changed in the three quarters of a century since 1944, and it seems that Grand County may now prefer nonpartisan governance.