I would like to express appreciation to the Salt Lake County commissioners for their efforts to resolve the annexation-incorporation issues in West Valley City, Kearns and West Jordan in a fair and thoughtful manner. I have especially been impressed with the efforts of Rep. Sue Lockman. During the past legislative session, Lockman was a very effective advocate for the people of Kearns.
Kearns is a community rich in culture and tradition. As the senator from District 6, it has been my privilege to represent part of that area. I have learned that Kearns is one of the best places in the valley to live.In order to be a viable city, Kearns needs, and should have because of traditional community boundaries, the remaining area between West Jordan and West Valley City all the way to the Oquirrh Mountains. If Kearns can be bordered on the east by the present Taylorsville line, on the north by the present West Valley line and on the south side by the present West Jordan line, it will then have an opportunity to preserve the community and be economically sound. Some exceptions could be made to allow for annexations that square off boundaries, but only if the commercial benefits are offset by the appropriate amount of residential area and only if it represents the wishes of the majority living in those areas.
The people of Kearns should have an opportunity to have their traditional community boundaries protected until they have voted on their incorporation petition. The feasibility study for the incorporation is marginal and will certainly not be viable if more of her community is annexed. In light of these circumstances, their bordering neighbors should put aside self-interest and treat the people of Kearns with the consideration and fairness they deserve.
Stephen J. Rees
Salt Lake City