Hideout Cleared By Court For Annexation Decision, And Responds On Baird Controversy

Oct 16, 2020

Credit Hideout Utah

As we’ve reported, the ruling from Fourth District Court Judge Jennifer Brown has cleared the way for Hideout’s Town Council to decide about an annexation into Summit County—and about a prospective Development Agreement with businessman Nate Brockbank.

While the Town Council was scheduled to meet Thursday night, technical glitches led them to bump the meeting to Friday.

Meanwhile, the town also responded to a statement from Summit County and Park City, asking them to condemn the rhetoric of Brockbank’s attorney, Bruce Baird.

The Hideout Council rescheduled their meeting to 7 p.m. on Friday night.   The town’s attorney, Polly McLean, said they wanted to be sure the public had access to the meeting.    It will be available on Youtube.

That also occurred a day after Park City and Summit County condemned attorney Baird, saying that in one Hideout work session, he said about the town’s opponents, “All those SOBs should have been taken out and shot.”

In a statement posted on their website, the town said it’s clear that Baird was referring to people who were Zoom Bombing and Porn Bombing during the town’s meetings.

The statement said they don’t believe that Baird was in any way trying to incite violence.    It added that he isn’t their counsel, “and the Town cannot choose who a developer may choose to hire.”

However, they said that Hideout doesn’t in any way condone any unprofessional or incendiary comments or actions.

The statement said the town is pursuing annexation in good faith and in accord with its legal rights.     They said while that has caused many people to react in unfortunate ways, all sides in the controversy should react with professionalism, respect and civility.

Talking to us Thursday morning, Summit County Council Member Kim Carson said that Baird had made incredibly offensive and very odd comments, such as stating that Hideout was able to get other parties to the regional-planning table by “holding a gun to their heads” with the annexation.       

“In his meeting the other night, he used several references to guns, shooting people.   I just can’t imagine doing something like that, especially with everything that’s going on nation-wide right now.  It was just very objectionable.  (Leslie) Why did you think it was important that the county and Park City issue this joint letter condemning Baird?  (Carson) Because it was so offensive.   And it was done repeatedly throughout the meeting.  He also used foul language throughout it.”

The city/county statement said Baird may try to write off his comments as hyperbole, “resulting from on-air overindulgence during a live government meeting.”       

“And it was just incredibly unprofessional.   (Leslie) Could he say in his defense that he wasn’t actively threatening protestors, but rather those Zoom Bombers, people who are actively sabotaging the public meetings?  (Carson)  Yeh, but there were other references besides that one reference.  But he didn’t clarify that either, Leslie.  And from what I heard, he insinuated that those Zoom Bombers and those that were protesting were all individuals from the neighboring area.”

Carson said that she and Council Chairman Doug Clyde have had confidential discussions with Hideout.    She couldn’t say anything except that the talks have been productive.       

“Our goal was, No. 1, to build a relationship with them, and secondly, to talk about the challenges and the opportunities that surround the issues that they have right now.   And so I would say that from those two standpoints, it’s been successful.”

Carson, speaking to us before the judge’s ruling, said if they lost in court, they would move forward, respond appropriately to any requests from the town, and continue to pursue regional planning.         

“We still have a lot to work with as far as transportation’s concerned.   So I would say that any regional partner is invited to the table to discuss that area.  As far as other regional planning for them, it’s going to be up to them to reach out to the required service providers.  There’s a lot of questions around water and sewer service through JSSD.  If you take service from them, and then you have water draining into another river drainage, there’s issues there.    So there’s a lot of unanswered questions that they’ll need to work through.”

Summit County Council Member Kim Carson.

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