The Sugar House Park Authority Board that created, developed and produced the finest park in the state of Utah is no more. Its five public members were called into the mayor's office on May 25 and summarily dismissed.
I have been curious as to how and why this came about. Also, I am concerned as to the direction the park will take under the new politically appointed members.Recent articles made no mention of interviews nor the observations of two board members, C. Laird Snelgrove and Hazel Bullough. I telephoned them and found the following information, not reported by the media:
First, the selection of members of the Park Authority has always originated with the Park Authority itself. The names of their nominees were then sent to the city and County Commissioners Jim Bradley and Randy Horiuchi. Evidently they feel that they should have the power of making the appointments. The Park Authority evidently had too much authority in this regard.
The interesting fact is that the Articles of Incorporation, establishing the Park Authority, approved for a 99-year period by the City Commission and the County Commission on July 15, 1957, purposefully provided that the Park Authority Board should take the initiative in recommending replacements. This to avoid political influence and dictatorship over the operation of the park. This foresighted provision has now probably been voided.
While the lack of absolute authority over the park has rankled some elected officials in the past, the present problem evidently stems from the Park Authority's refusal to grant concession rights to a local entertainment promoter for placing "Holiday in Lights" in the park during the Christmas season of 1991.
What will be the direction given the park by the new political appointees? I hope the sylvan and noncommercial character of the park does not change. Will it remain a "family" park or will "progressive" policies be inaugurated? Will green space be replaced by bricks and concrete?
Salt Lake City