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Rolly: School bus vandalism yields an unlikely culprit
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

When a school bus is vandalized, the usual suspects include unruly students, gang members or dropouts with too much time on their hands.

But when vandalism occurred on the school bus that carried the Jordan School Board in the South Jordan Parade on Saturday, the offender was a school board member.

Admittedly so.

District transportation employees noticed an advertising placard on the side of the bus had been torn and partly pulled off. A handwritten note on the advertisement was addressed to District Transportation Director Herb Jensen. It asked him to please get rid of that sign before the next scheduled parade in Riverton.

It was signed by board member Corbin White.

He told me that he felt the sign was unattractive and a distraction. It was frayed at the edges, he said, and beginning to peel. So he decided to rip it off, but the adhesive was too strong.

After his efforts left the sign torn and deformed on the side of the bus, he wrote the note to Jensen to let him know it was not the result of foul play but from his good intentions.

The sign was an advertisement to recruit new school bus drivers. The Legislature in recent years passed a bill allowing school buses to carry advertisements to bring additional revenue into the district.

That bill was sponsored by Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, whose district includes South Jordan.

While White's intentions were good, Jensen told me the drivers were upset when they discovered the defacement.

"They take pride in their work and in their buses," he said.

It's not the first time White has taken it upon himself to correct what he perceives as a problem. He was a leading supporter of the Utah Eagle Forum's attempts to put a clamp on what they felt were inappropriate scenes in a school play in Jordan District. He felt those who approved the play at Bingham High School should apologize to the public.

One size fits all? • Two candidates for the St. George City Council attended the Real Women Run seminar Saturday at the University of Utah because they believed in the seminar's premise that more women should seek elective office to bring as many different perspectives and life experiences to government service as possible.

After attending the event, they returned to St. George, where they have been asked to sign a pledge to adhere to the principles of one perspective, and no others.

The tea-party-backed Defend Dixie Political Action Committee asked the 12 candidates running for two available seats on the council to sign the pledge with these goals:

• "Defend the Second Amendment right to bear arms and other individual rights by opposing unconstitutional federal regulations and mandates."

• "Cut spending, reduce taxes and fees, and privatize services wherever possible in our city budget services."

• "Reduce and eliminate unconstitutional federal funding of municipal projects and programs."

• "Enforce its business licensing requirements against local businesses that hire illegal aliens."

Tara Dunn and Marianne Sorensen were the two candidates who attended the seminar on women running for office. They refused to sign the pledge, despite being told that candidates who signed it would be considered for political contributions.

Dunn and Sorensen told me their refusal didn't mean they opposed the pledge's principles, but they did not want to be beholden to one narrow political agenda. "It's not what is written in the pledge that bothers me," Dunn said. "It's what isn't written and that is to uphold the principles 'as we see it.' "

Four of the 12 candidates have signed so far. Just one of the four female candidates signed it.

Larry Meyers, chairman of the Defend Dixie PAC, said the group isn't trying to force anyone to do anything. But the PAC wants to know who agrees with its principles before it decides who to support.

The PAC was formed six years ago to become active in the "illegal alien issue," Meyers said. It was dormant for several years before re-registering with the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Monday.

prolly@sltrib.com

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