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2 ARE CLEARING OUT AFTER CLEANUP FLAP

Two city beautification committee leaders are moving from this southern Utah town after their controversial cleanup program was dumped.

Mayor Viv Adams appointed the seven-member Kanab Beautification Committee in October as a way to encourage residents to spruce up their community.But the City Council voted unanimously last month to disband the committee after some residents balked and a council member questioned its legality.

"All we wanted was to do something good for our little community, and then they hit us in the face with a two-by-four" said Pat Nute, co-leader of the committee and whose husband, Ken, was the panel's leader.

The Nutes moved to Kanab from California three years ago, and now after the flap over their committee, they're moving again.

"We've had enough of their crap. We're moving," Ken Nute said.

The controversy began when Ken Nute was invited to appear on the local television station's talk show in November to explain the committee's work. To illustrate the need for tidying up the community, he flashed several Polaroid photographs of the eyesores.

"People were sitting at home and all of a sudden they see their house on TV with somebody saying it's a mess," said City Council member Rosealie Coleman. "There were a lot of toes stepped on."

KND-TV host Richard Negas, a member of the Nutes' committee, cringed when the photos were aired.

"At the time, I thought maybe this wasn't such a good way of motivating the community," he said. "He meant well."

In retrospect, Ken Nute acknowledges he may have come on too strong, but says he's had enough. He and his wife sold their home earlier this month and are going back to California.

"We weren't asking for a town of Taj Mahals," he said. "We showed some nice houses on TV and some others that needed a little work. We just wanted people to have a little pride in Kanab."

City Councilman Ronald Parker said the beautification committee had simply gotten too powerful and had no legal standing under city law.

At the meeting last month - when Mayor Adams was absent due to illness - Parker made a motion to disband Adams' beautification committee. He then introduced a resolution creating a similar program under the auspices of the City Council.

Ken Nute's response? "I told the City Council that they ought to just put a sign alongside the highway coming into town that says, `Welcome to the Kanab City Dump.' "