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County Council Letter Expresses Concern On UAC Meeting Behavior

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The Summit County Council Wednesday  approved a letter, expressing ‘serious concern”,  to the Board President of the Utah Association of Counties.

The letter says that at a UAC meeting earlier this fall, a  county official made a partisan political pitch for President Trump, and pointed a finger at  Summit County Council Member Kim Carson in his comments.    She was, the letter said, essentially bullied.

The letter says this is the latest in a series of incidents that undermine the professionalism and civility of UAC.

The letter, addressed to UAC Board President Victor Iverson, asks that the organization take up the issue at their annual November convention.   

The County Council said if no action is pursued,  they will consider withdrawing from UAC and taking away the dues they pay to the organization.

The letter said the comments came during an October meeting of the Public Lands Committee of a UAC affiliate, the Utah State Association of County Commissioners and Councilmembers.

Speaking to KPCW, Carson wouldn’t identify the public official or the county he represented, except to say it was a rural area.

During the meeting held at the Homestead, the man urged  attendees to support an op-ed he was sponsoring, opposing the impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House against President Trump.    Summit County’s letter said that Carson was singled out, ostracized and humiliated in the meeting group of about 100 people.

“And at the same time he singled me out as, “Oh, well our friend over here and , uh” (Rick) “Our lefty friend won’t agree with me, but all of you should support our…” (Carson) Yeah, basically.  So it just gets frustrating.    And this was the straw that kind of broke the camel’s back.   We just felt that we needed to remind our fellow UAC members and the leaders of UAC that this is not appropriate.”

Carson, a member of an all-Democrat County Council,  said this incident isn’t the first time for her.       

“Y’know, I’ve been singled out before because of my party affiliation.   And this just went a little too far.”

Carson said that no one in the meeting took issue with the comments.        

“Unfortunately, nobody did.    I think people weren’t quite sure where he was going with what he was saying and it wasn’t till the end, and people I think were caught off guard.   But no, nothing was said at the time.”

The letter said there have been other UAC events  where invited speakers or panelists promoted political activity, and  elected officials, staff or presenters have been the object of improper comments based on gender, party affiliation or other items.       

“I witnessed just a couple remarks just targeted toward a presenter one time that I thought were very unprofessional.  And I frequently have comments made towards me, or it’s a qualifier as I’m being introduced about being from Summit County, and our socio-economic, or  perceived socio-economic status up here in Summit County.”

The Council’s letter said they are at the point where they can no longer tolerate behavior which they feel is “entrenched in the UAC culture.”

Carson said there is a schism at times  between  urban and the rural counties in UAC.    

“And this conference is generally more heavily attended by rural members of USAC.  Y’know, we work together on a lot of really important issues, just in serving our constituents.  So there’s definitely value in it.  But I think sometimes people kind of forget what’s acceptable and what’s not.   They cross that line.”

County Council Member Kim Carson.   The letter noted that UAC on its website, says it is dedicated to representing the interests of all counties and promoting a single unified strong voice for county governments in Utah.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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