Public invited to change of government training

Salt Lake attorney will explain four options available in Grand County

Members of the Grand County Change of Form of Government Study Committee has invited the public to attend a presentation on the four options they can consider at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21.
Photo by Doug McMurdo

The committee studying a new form of government for Grand County will get a lesson on what the four options are at 6 p.m. March 21 when Gavin Anderson, a Salt Lake County deputy district attorney, comes to Moab.

The public is invited to attend the training, which will be held inside the Grand County Council Chambers or, if a large audience shows up, next door at Star Hall.

Here is an abbreviated version of the four options available:

County Commission: This commission would hold both executive and legislative powers. It would have three members who are elected at large with staggered four-year terms.

Expanded County Commission: In this form, the county commission also has the authority to manage the county, make laws, set taxes, budgets and fees. There would be five to seven commissioners, elected at-large who serve staggered four-year terms.

Elected executive/council: This form has an executive or mayor who has authority over the executive brand of government, including veto power over council legislation. The number of members, length of terms, compensation and whether elections are at-large or by district would have to be decided.

Council/Manager: A person would be appointed county manager. She or he would serve at the pleasure of the council. They would run the executive branch while a council would handle legislation. As in the elected executive/council form, the number of members, length of terms, compensation and whether elections are at-large or by district would have to be decided.

Anderson will provide training on ethics in government prior to the public meeting and in May study committee members were learn about Utah’s Open and Public Meetings Act.

Training will be a constant theme for the group in the coming months.

In other items of interest, the committee agreed it might need to hire outside counsel to ensure the preliminary decisions it makes comply with state law, but for now Grand County Attorney Christina Sloan will guide them through the process. Sloan provided a review of state codes that address changing a county’s form of government, in which members learned some of their work will be relatively exciting, but there also will be tedium as they do a deep dive into the details.

The committee also determined it would meet twice a month, at least through August, but no every other week. Here’s the schedule:

  • April: 12 and 19
  • May: 10 and 17
  • June: 14 and 21
  • July: 19 and 26
  • August: 2 and 9

The meetings will be held at noon in county council chambers.

Chair Steve Stocks directed members Bob Greenberg and Jeramy Day to research attorneys who might counsel the committee – there is $10,000 available to pay for such services – and member Cricket Green was asked to look into advertising costs on social media. The committee agreed it would work outside traditional media in an effort to reach as many voters as possible.