Swirling dust... and mud
DUST IN THE WIND
by Bill Boyle
Things are getting nasty in San Juan County government. And it seems to be getting worse.
The San Juan County Courthouse is abuzz with all sorts of allegations and counter allegations. It makes it very difficult to cover the news.
Adding to the complexity is the election for Commissioner in November. An additional problem for the San Juan Record is we have lost the services of Anna Adair, who has covered commission meetings for the past year.
Anna has taken a new job and is unable to cover the weekly commission meeting. That leaves it to me to try to cover the meeting, in addition to getting the paper out on a very busy Monday.
Because of a looming deadline each Monday, I simply cannot sit through to the end if a meeting extends two hours longer than is outlined in the agenda. As a result, if allegations are made at 2 p.m. on a Monday afternoon, they will not be reported in the paper.
I promise this is not a vast “one-wing” conspiracy by the Editor, who simply finds himself short-handed on Mondays.
If anyone is interested in tackling the very difficult job of covering commission meeting as an unbiased reporter, please give me a call.
These are just a few of the stories that are swirling in the courthouse:
1) - Commissioner Bruce Adams is taking heat for a private land sale that he made with the Nature Conservancy on land northeast of Monticello.
The Nature Conservancy has purchased 1,080 acres from three separate landowners (including Adams) and set it aside for Gunnison sage grouse habitat.
The project is part of an effort to keep the federal government from designating large tracts of land as critical habitat for an endangered species.
Commission candidate Gail Johnson expressed concern of a conflict of interest because a commission letter of support for the project included Adams’ signature and was not discussed in a commission meeting.
2) - Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy is taking heat for $20,000 of county funds that were used to help defer the costs of a sparsely-attended mud bog event he helped organize on Pioneer Day in Monticello.
Commissioner Phil Lyman secured the funds on the day of the race when it became clear that racers had been promised cash payment and had not been paid.
The mud thrown by the racers is cleaner than the mud currently being thrown at Maryboy, Lyman, County Clerk Norman Johnson, and Economic Development Director Charlie DeLorme.
3) - Commissioner Phil Lyman is taking heat for the results of the County Board of Equalization (BOE) hearings.
A recent revaluation of commercial properties in the county resulted in a significant increase in the assessed value of many properties, primarily in the Blanding area.
The BOE lowered the valuation on a number of properties, including two properties personally owned by Lyman and several owned by his clients. County Assessor Howard Randall has appealed approximately 38 of the BOE adjustments to the State of Utah.
These three stories are just the beginning. Add allegations of sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying, cronyism, corruption and worse and you get an idea of how negative, and how ridiculous, it has become.
Be extremely careful about the mud that is being slung in every direction. I have a sneaking suspicion that much of the stuff is worse than mud.
• • • • •
Parry’s Power Guide is having a remarkable year forecasting the winners of the weekly high school football games. Just last week, the Guide correctly predicted the winner of 90 percent of the games.
Despite the success, a few anomalies can pop up, including the fact that 1A #3 Monticello destroyed 1A #2 Layton Christian by a score of 34-0 a few weeks ago.
Despite the Buckaroo win, Layton Christian is still ranked higher than Monticello.
Noland Parry, who creates the guide, explains, “It’s all done by computer. If I do my picks with my head, then I am no different than everyone else out there that picks winners and losers.
“In the end it all seems to end where it should. Unfortunately, some team’s ratings get there slower than other teams.”
Buckaroo fans need to remember that Monticello also crushed Layton Christian in the regular season last year, but fell to the Eagles in the state semifinal game.