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Opaque government

Published June 8, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Tennis fans rally for Coach Mike at S.L. City Council" (Tribune, June 5):

Went to the June 4 Salt Lake City Council meeting. Big deal over awarding a contract for the management of the city's two tennis facilities, the Liberty Park and Dee Smith tennis centers.

Citizens were upset over the process of awarding the contract, as well as to whom the contract was apparently awarded and, especially, to whom it was not. People asked for transparency about the process and the decision. Sound familiar?

The council thanked the assembled citizens for exercising their civic duty. Then, after considerable time was spent listening to comments, emotional and factual, the public comment phase of the council meeting was ended.

We were then informed that the City Council, our elected officials, had no power to affect this contract-awarding process, fair or unfair. Simply, the city's bureaucracy, the director of the Department of Public Service and some committee had the power to decide. Why the hearing then?

The issue of transparency would await the final decision: "We need to hear the decision to understand it."

Have we seen this movie before? Shades of the IRS scandal?

Alan and Orlene Cohen

Salt Lake City