David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Saturday, May 16, 2009
Huntsman, Christensen, Cemetery, and Steyn

It almost sounds like a law firm, but it's really a state getting a new governor, a city getting a new fire chief, a minor update about cemetery expansion in American Fork, and a speech I suggest you read and re-read.

Changes Large and Small

You probably heard on the news sometime in the last 24 hours that Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has been appointed US Ambassador to China. Presumably, the Senate will confirm him without much difficulty; they've confirmed him unanimously twice before, as a trade representative and as US Ambassador to Singapore. He will resign as governor, and current Lt. Governor Gary Herbert will fill the hole until a half-term replacement can be elected in 2010.

Even my American Fork readers, who are the only ones who might care, probably have not yet heard of a lower-profile change this week in American Fork. On Wednesday Mayor Heber Thompson met with the American Fork Fire Department to announce that Beau Chadwick is the city's interim Fire Chief. This means that now-former Chief Jay Christensen has vacated the post in which he served for more than three years. In case you're wondering, Christensen's predecessor there was . . . Beau Chadwick.

To my knowledge, there is no official, public explanation of Christensen's departure. Personnel matters are one of the few things Utah law allows a city government to keep confidential, and officials often choose to do exactly that. In any case, Mayor Thompson reportedly intends to conduct a search similar to the one in 2005 which led to the hiring of Lance Call as Police Chief. We may hope that this search is equally successful in finding an intelligent, experienced, effective professional.

A Little Cemetery Housekeeping

A few months ago I reported some City Council discussion about using the park land north of the American Fork Recreation Center and south of the American Fork Cemetery (known as Filly and Pony Park) for cemetery expansion. In that meeting two former mayors reported that the City's intent when it purchased the land years ago was to hold it for that purpose. City Recorder Dick Colborn dug up the City Council minutes from the 1985 meeting where the purchase was approved, as well as the actual deed, and found no mention of putting the land to use as part of the Cemetery. I'm not suggesting that the two former mayors told anything but the truth, just that it appears that their account is unsubstantiated by the official record. In light of this, perhaps the Mayor and City Council will feel less bound by the expressed intent.

A Must-Read Speech

I strongly recommend reading Mark Steyn's recent speech at Hillsdale College, recently published in Imprimis. I've posted it here at LocalCommentary.com -- with permission, of course.

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