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McAdams delays boundary bill to listen to concerns
Governance » County mayor says he just wants to hear concerns and end infighting.
First Published Feb 25 2014 07:47 pm • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 09:27 pm

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams used a different tactic Tuesday in his effort to build public support for a bill to end municipal-boundary battles in the county.

Although he felt he had enough votes on the Senate Business and Labor Committee to get SB216 to the Senate floor, McAdams had the measure continued until Thursday’s committee meeting so he could talk to a roomful of opponents.

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"It’s not our intent to push this through over your objections," McAdams said of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City. It would freeze the boundaries of unincorporated-area townships for 1½ years while a group of community residents studies the ramifications of making this widespread area a de facto city with an elected council.

Ending this longstanding battle is crucial, McAdams maintained, to allow unincorporated-area residents to focus on the more important issue of building the area’s tax base so that high-quality services may continue to be delivered at reasonable prices.

But he learned Tuesday morning from long-time acquaintances about how much concern there was about his bill, so he agreed to listen to the complaints Tuesday afternoon.

He got an earful.

Millcreek City proponents, about two-thirds of the 60 people present, asked him to let them proceed first with their second try to incorporate. Their formal petitions were filed Friday.

A number of Granite residents were upset the freeze would halt their desire to annex into Sandy, although the bill does not include those living in unincorporated areas outside of a township.

McAdams listened to their concerns for more than an hour — receiving an ovation for doing so — but made no promises of changes to the bill before Thursday’s hearing. mikeg@sltrib.com

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