Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is looking for residents of unincorporated Salt Lake County to take part in a new citizen’s advisory committee. The committee will be tasked with deciding how to preserve unincorporated communities, provide high quality services and keep taxes low. The Salt Lake County Council will consider a resolution today to move forward with the committee. McAdams says the so-called Community Preservation Project will bring peace to a decades-old fight about the future of unincorporated Salt Lake County.
“The most harmful thing to our residents of unincorporated Salt Lake County is the divisiveness,” McAdams says. “There are legitimate view points on both sides of the debate of whether to form cities or whether to remain unincorporated. Great arguments on both sides, but we need to find some common ground.”
Utah legislators passed a law this year that freezes unincorporated boundaries through November 2015 while allowing existing annexation or incorporation petition processes to continue. It also creates a municipal services district for unincorporated areas of the county. McAdams says the advisory committee will spend the next year coming up with ideas for a possible ballot measure in 2015.
“I believe that the best decisions are made where everybody has a seat at the table,” McAdams says. “It’s very likely that we would appoint people from opposing sides and people who feel very passionate about it because these are the people who care about the future of their community and we want them at the table to craft the best solution possible.“
McAdams says about a dozen people will be chosen for the committee, which will meet monthly for the remainder of the year. Residents of unincorporated Salt Lake County can find an application on the county’s website. The deadline is April 25th.