I am writing in response to the recent recommendation of the proposed Layton-Clearfield site for higher education in Davis County. As mayor of Layton, I was actively involved in the site-selection process before the money was appropriated during the 1994 session of the State Legislature. Consequently, I am aware of the numerous measures taken by the Site Selection Committee and the Davis Higher Education Advisory Board to ensure fairness and accuracy of information in determining the most suitable location. Furthermore, I applaud the efforts of each of the committee members for their hard work and neutrality in their final decision.

However, on Dec. 13, following the commissioners' announcement of the recommended site, Farmington representatives charged that the committee had shown bias towards the Layton-Clearfield site from the beginning and demanded that the committee re-evaluate its decision. I was deeply disappointed by the unfounded attacks. Anyone who has carefully evaluated the proposals can easily conclude that the final selection was based entirely on the fact that, other than initial land cost, the Layton-Clearfield site clearly dominated in each of the necessary evaluation criteria: technical analysis, demographics, transportation and strategic planning.While the initial cost of the land at the Layton-Clearfield site may be higher than either of the Farmington sites, one must consider other factors when determining cost. The purchase price of the Layton-Clearfield site includes much of the necessary infrastructure to service potential facilities. The price estimates of competing sites did not include even basic infrastructure and other needed land improvements that are immediately available at the Layton-Clearfield site.

The accusation pertaining to the bias of the committee also is without merit. The board was set up to ensure a decision that would be in the best interest of the people who would eventually use the facility. Since Layton and Clearfield house nearly 40 percent of the total residency of Davis County, one would naturally assume that the representation on the Site Selection Committee, based on population, was designed to serve the people.

I believe the recommendation proposed by the committee was based on a thorough examination of each proposal. Regardless of the cause of the delay, I will continue to support and cooperate with the committee to ensure that a firm decision is made by Jan. 27, 1995.

Jerry Stevenson

Layton city mayor