Despite some grumbling and occasional heated confrontations in city council meetings, residents of Davis County say they're generally happy with the way their elected officials are going about their business.

A January poll conducted by Dan Jones and Associates shows that 68 percent of those polled approve the job performance of their respective mayors and city coun-cils.Of those, 27 percent strongly approve and 41 percent somewhat approve. Fourteen percent disapprove, with 9 percent somewhat disapproving and another 5 percent strongly disapproving.

Ratings of the job done by the county commissioners and the sheriff, the county's top elected law enforcement official, were equally strong.

Forty-eight percent polled said they somewhat approve of the job performance of the County Commission, and 16 percent strongly approve, for an overall approval rating of 64 percent. Seven percent somewhat disapprove and only 1 percent are in strong disapproval.

The sheriff picked up a 77 percent approval rating, with 33 percent strongly approving and 44 percent somewhat approving. Only 2 percent somewhat disapprove of his job performance, and 1 percent strongly disapprove.

"I wish it was 100 percent approval, but given the nature of the business that's not possible, I guess. But I'll take the two-thirds approval," said Mayor Robert Linnell of Bountiful, the county's second-largest city and home to 22 percent of those responding to the Jan. 4-9 poll.

Linnell said he is rather surprised at the overall high approval rating because most city council meetings are poorly attended and city officials have little way of knowing how the public reacts to their decisions.

"If you have a controversial issue, an annexation or a rezoning, you may get a turnout. But on most council nights, if it weren't for the Boy Scouts attending for their merit badge work, you'd be lucky to have five people in the chamber," Linnell said.

County Commissioner J. Dell Holbrook said he's pleased with the overall approval rating, especially in light of what he sees as confusion among the public over just what services are offered by county government.

"I would like to see more public attendance at our commission meetings and better understanding among the public of what the county commissioners do and what we're charged with statutorily," Holbrook said.

"I have a lot of people who come up to me, find out I'm a county commissioner, and ask what I do with the rest of my time. They think it's part time. They need to know they have three full-time county commissioners," Holbrook said.

"A lot of people look at their tax bill and see that the county is collecting all the property tax, including for the school district, and they think we're running the schools, too," he said.

"But overall I'm pleased with the rating, especially the low disapproval rating of only 8 percent," Holbrook said.

Sheriff Glen Clary said his 77 percent total approval rating "makes me feel good. But 100 percent would be better. It's nice. I appreciate the rating the people gave me."

Clary said he can't immediately think of any reasons for the high rating, but his chief deputy, Kenny Payne, offered one: "He's a people person. He cares a lot about people."

Deseret News Poll

Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the following Davis County entity?

Strongly Somewhat Somewhat Strongly Don't Mean

approve approve disapprove disapprove know

County Commission 16% 48% 7% 1% 28% 1.91

Davis County Sheriff 33% 44% 2% 1% 20% 1.63

Your local mayor

or city council* 27% 41% 9% 5% 14% 1.89

4% have no mayor/city council

Number polled: 400, Error margin: +/- 5 percent.

Conducted Jan. 4-9, 1993. Dan Jones and Associates

Copyright 1993 Deseret News