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Summit County Claims That Hideout Referendum Canvass Flouts Judge's Ruling

The Summit County Attorney’s Office has filed a motion in Fourth District Court, slamming the Hideout Town Council for meeting earlier this week and certifying that a referendum vote by citizens approved Hideout’s Silver Meadows annexation.

The county contends that the Town Council’s action is in defiance of a judge’s ruling that struck down the annexation and it is ignoring legal advice the town received from the state elections office.  

The county’s motion, filed on the eve of the holiday weekend, is asking Fourth District Judge Jennifer Brown to add enforcement language to the ruling she issued June 22nd in favor of the county.

On October 16th of last year, the Hideout Council approved an ordinance incorporating 350 acres of Summit County land in the Richardson Flat area without Summit County’s consent.     Judge Brown ruled that the town didn’t meet a deadline to officially enact the annexation, rendering it invalid.

The county’s filing said the judge’s decision voided the annexation from its beginning.     It contends Hideout has no jurisdiction over Summit County lands, so there was no annexation for the citizens to vote on.

But on June 29th, the Hideout Town Council certified that the annexation was approved by a vote of 182 for and 87 against.   A proclamation approved by the Council said Judge Brown’s verbal ruling had not yet been finalized and that the annexation was in “full force and effect” though subject to further court rulings.

Summit County says that language was disingenuous.

Friday’s filing also says that on the same day the Council met, Utah Director of Elections Justin Lee advised the town not to hold a Canvass, since the judge had ruled against the annexation.

In an e-mail referenced in the county’s motion, Lee said the voting results could be presented to the Council as a point of information.    But he advised that the town should not declare an outcome “different from what the court has ordered.”

Summit County is now asking Judge Brown to include language in a written version of her order saying that Hideout can’t implement its annexation in any way, including accepting applications or issuing permits for lands inside Summit County.

Friday’s motion says that Summit County should not have to maintain constant vigilance over Hideout’s actions, nor should it have to keep taking legal action against the town “for ongoing and continuous violations of the Court’s orders.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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