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Letter: Utah County Commission’s ‘power grab’ was handled poorly

SHARE Letter: Utah County Commission’s ‘power grab’ was handled poorly
A woman holds an American flag during a Utah County Commission meeting.

A woman holds an American flag while attending a Utah County Commission meeting in Provo on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

It was alarming how quickly the Utah County Commission voted to give itself more power over the budget (“Fireworks fly in Utah County over commission’s ‘power grab’ of budgetary oversight,” April 1). The agenda item was added at the last minute, surprising employees and the public. Numerous state lawmakers spoke against the change online. Public comments during the meeting opposed the change. Why was this decision rushed despite notable opposition?

The way Commissioners Bill Lee and Tom Sakievich handled this shows a lack of transparency, leadership and communication. You should never blindside your employees because you were “busy with other matters.” If you don’t have time to sit down with your employees to discuss it first, don’t put it on the agenda. There are a lot of unanswered questions that the commissioners should answer for their constituents: Where is the documentation that the Clerk/Auditor Department isn’t providing the information you need? Why introduce this change as a last-minute agenda item? Why didn’t you sit down with your budget staff to discuss this beforehand?

I think we need more separation of powers in Utah County government, including oversight of government spending. Please revisit this rushed decision. Transparency shouldn’t be lost in the name of efficiency.

Kellie Baxter