The Draper City council steamrolled it’s citizens last night with an abusive display of power and disdain for its own residents with a series of political moves that one would expect from Washington, not your city council.
I was able to attend the city council meeting last night in Draper, Utah. I am not a resident of this city, however circumstances brought me to this meeting that I had previously not planned to attend. While sitting in this room I listened as one resident after another stood to speak in regards to a proposed street project along a rural and historical stretch of Draper City.
The common theme throughout this meeting from the residents, one they were all in agreement with, was that this stretch of roadway needed to be widened with a sidewalk, curb and gutter. Apparently with a new elementary school nearby, many children were forced to walk along a section of this street with no sidewalk on their way to and from school.
The issue the residents were raising with Mayor Troy Walker (who was elected in November and had served as a city council member since 2008) and the city council was the amount of widening the city wanted to perform upon this section of roadway. Here are the bullet points of the meeting that I gathered while listening to this debate:
- The City Council wants to widen the road wider than any other in the neighborhood, removing very old trees that line the roadway, destroying historical integrity of the area and taking residents property through eminent domain.
- Many residents in the area expressed concern that the wider project would make it impossible to park in their own driveways as the roadway would encroach to their front door.
- Every resident who spoke out in this meeting that live along this area would prefer the street be widened to match others in the neighborhood. This proposal would keep the trees and help preserve the historical integrity in this community.
- Last October PRIOR to the elections the city council voted to place a citizens advisory and review board over this project to gain input and solutions from the residents. The review board and residents unanimously approved of the project with the same size streets as currently within the neighborhood and preserving the integrity of the community.
- The Citizens also raised the issue that with a wider road in a residential neighborhood that it would create an increased speeding problem in the area adjacent to the elementary school.
- The city council has not taken any of the citizens concerns into consideration since the vote in October PRIOR to the elections was taken
- The city council voted UNANIMOUSLY to move forward with the wider project, destroying the neighborhood, its trees and it’s residents property values.
- The City attorney was admonished by the city council to begin litigation against any resident who stood in the way of this project beginning immediately.
The gamesmanship of this Mayor and it’s city council to appear cooperative in this issue with its residents simply to win the election and then steamroll this project through WITHOUT approval from it’s residents whom they are supposed to represent is appalling.
From an outsiders viewpoint, yet one who has wonderful fond memories of Draper as a child, the proposal from the residents is far more logical, appealing and reasonable. The proposal from the residents is much safer for the children, preserves the community and comes with a lesser cost to widen as well as maintain the roadway and increased greenbelt in the long term.
The vile this city council showed towards it’s residents left me wondering what do these individual city council members stand to gain in this process. What is the personal payoff for these elected officials to so boldly violate the trust and the will of the residents who elected them? Why the admonition of the city council to the city attorney to begin litigation against those residents opposed to this project who will be directly impacted from the despicable actions of this city council?
I believe that the residents of Draper should unite in a recall election of these individuals and remove them from office immediately. If these individuals are willing to violate the trust they have been given, what will be their next abuse of power? All Draper residents should be deeply worried.