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County Commissioners put study question on the ballot

At the September 12, 2018 Weber County Commission meeting our commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to put the "whether to study" question on the November, 2019 ballot.

In December 2017 the commissioners committed to put the study question on the ballot if the Weber County Forward citizens petition failed to get enough signatures and yesterday they followed through. Here is a link to the SE article covering the historic event.

What happens next?

This means Weber County voters will vote next year on "Shall a study committee be appointed to consider and possibly recommend a change in Weber County's form of government?" This question failed with 52% of the vote against in 1998, the last time it was on the ballot.

If voters approve going ahead with a study of county government, an all-important "Study Committee" will be chosen to conduct the study. Here is how they are selected.

First, an "Appointment Council" is designated; this appointm…

Land use planning in an optional form of Weber County government

Over the decades, different County Commissions of our three-commissioner form of Weber County government have dealt with land use planning in Ogden Valley quite differently. Prior to about 1998, we were allowed to elect our planning commissioners and I don't recall the county commissioners ever overriding a decision of our "Township Planning Commissions" (we had three). Then around 2000, the county commissioners eliminated the township scheme and created a single appointed Planning Commission for Ogden Valley (another one for the rest of unincorporated Weber County). Now for almost two decades of this approach we have seen County Commissions sometimes agree with the decisions of our Planning Commission (most of the time) and sometimes reverse them entirely. I certainly remember the recent override of our General Plan...from "NO bonus density" to "bonus density if...".

Currently, it works like this: Our Planning Commission makes recommendations to the …

Population and election of commissioners or council members

Weber County's 15 cities and towns account for 94.1% of total county population and 93.5% of voting age population, up a bit from 2010 census numbers. Unincorporated Ogden Valley is only 2.6% of county population, 2.9% of voting age population.

The primary purpose of cities and towns is to provide locally elected government for their populations, who then legislate and enforce town law, legislate taxes and provide municipal services. Thus, for 94% of Weber County residents their laws and services are governed by locally elected town officials. On the other hand, the 6% of county residents who live in unincorporated Weber County rely solely on county government for law, taxes and services. This creates an extremely unbalanced situation: 94% of voters don't really care about county decisions regarding water, sewer, zoning, planning and the like because their town governments, directly elected, make those decisions. Indeed, their issues with county government are totally differen…