To the editor:
A recent article in the Deseret News raises serious questions about your journalistic objectivity and fairness in reporting on a matter having very serious potential impact on nearly everyone in Salt Lake Valley who uses water.Your article about Sandy's Mayor Newton and his attacks on the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District reports numerous unsubstantiated allegations by Mayor Newton, but fails in any sense to be objective or fair by giving any water district official an opportunity to refute Mayor Netwon's vindictive assertions.
I am a member of the water district's board of directors and have been chairman of that board's finance committee for several years. Mayor Newton has served on that committee for several months now and apparently considers himself far more knowledgeable already than others on the committee who have served diligently and faithfully and conscientiously for many years.
Mayor Newton alleges, according to your one-sided article, that the "board's spending is out of control."
There is a long line of current and former board members, men of considerable business and public service experience, community leaders from through the Salt Lake Valley, who would strongly refute Newton's claims.
In going through this year's budget preparation process at the district, it was obvious very early that Mayor Newton wasn't really interested in making positive contributions in developing a budget. At the outset, he was adamant that the district's budgeting procedures were wrong because they were different than the format used in Sandy City's budget process.
The fact that regular audits of district accounting procedures by outside agencies have always resulted in very positive and complimentary results was of no significance to Newton.
In one budget-related meeting, Newton stated that he was the only board member who had any desire to fulfill his fiduciary role and that all other members were incompetent.
Mayor Newton, by his irresponsible and incorrect public assertions, appears to be trying to destroy the viability of the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District.
The district has a public record of more than 30 years of service to water users throughout the county. The district is currently on the verge of consummating an agreement that will provide a much larger source of water to the county than has ever before existed.
In order to bring about this positive action, the district plans to issue revenue bonds. These bonds will not increase the cost of water to district customers, but they will enable the development of additional water for the valley - water vital to future growth and economic development.
I don't know what motivates Mayor Newton in his irresponsible actions. Please don't compound the problem in your coverage of local news happenings by reporting just one side, the sensational side, of this on-going issue.
Glen B. Cannon
Salt Lake County
Water Conservancy District