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CAN'T GET SPRING FAST ENOUGH: Shorts, skirts and flipflops: Students outside the TSC are eagerly awaiting the warmth that has been favoring Salt Lake City for weeks. / Photo by Josh Russell
today's word on

Thursday, March 10, 2005

From the High School Free Speech Front:

"If they feel an article isn't appropriate, they will pull it -- or ask the student to make changes to it. They said that isn't censorship. They said they're just approving or not approving what goes in. What's your definition of censorship?"

--Hawley Kunz, co-editor of the Warrior News, Weber High School, Pleasant View, Utah. The principal ordered prior review of the monthly newspaper after an editorial critical of the condition of the school's running track. (3/8/05)

Smithfield council unhappy with county's mosquito 'bite'

By Ash Schiller

February 24, 2005 | SMITHFIELD -- Tension was high in Wednesday's council meeting as members claimed the county "deceived" them when presenting the Cache Mosquito Abatement District initiative.

When the initiative was originally requested to be on the ballot, it was supposed to be funded by income taxes, Councilwoman Janice Mikkelsen said. But the $120,000 from taxes won't be available until the end of the year, said Mosquito Abatement District board of trustees member Robert Mather, and the program needs money for basic starting costs.

"We have nothing. I don't know how you go about doing the job you're supposed to do with nothing," he said.

Mather requested a donation of $1 per household within Smithfield. This would equal to about $2,200 additional to the money already being taken from taxes. It is needed for basic beginning costs such as telephone and mailings, he said.

Currently the clerk is using her personal money to pay for everything. "We need the money right now. Right now," Mather said.

Mikkelsen expressed frustration with the additional cost. "Why is the county not paying? We are already being taxed for this. Why does the county need more money?" she asked.

Mather explained the county had already given the district a loan which is expected to be paid back with interest.

"I think the county is being absolutely lousy. [They] need to get behind you," Mayor Ray Winn said.

Mikkelsen agreed. "This is a county responsibility. I can't believe they left you high and dry," she said.

The council moved to approve the request for financial assistance, contingent upon a similar commitment from surrounding cities and the presentation of an outline explaining how the money will be used.

Councilman William "Dee" Wood withheld support because he said he wanted a list telling exactly what the donated money is for. "What we're dealing with is the citizen's money," he said.

Council members were also wary of donating money until they know other cities will also be contributing.

"I would feel a lot better if every city gave the same. If we're going to make it work, everyone should be equal," Councilman Brent Buttars said.

Gratitude and sympathy were expressed to Mather for working a "thankless job."

"You're non-paid people doing a service," Winn said.

Also discussed in the meeting was the topic of seeking a preferred caterer for the Smithfield City Golf Course. Originally, a deal was worked out with Subway, but "that worked for two days as I remember," employee Chad Daniels said. The golf course is becoming more popular and a professional caterer would be a huge benefit to the club house, he said. Daniels said he has already received several requests and the council granted permission to begin taking bids.

Still a big topic in Smithfield is the increase in cemetery costs. No plots are being sold right now and fee changes will be discussed in March, Mikkelsen said. The raising of fees was prompted by the increase in non-residential burials within the cemetery. At the meeting, Mikkelsen reported that in the last four years, more non-residents have been buried in Smithfield Cemetery than residents. Also, the expanded cemetery area originally projected to last 15 years will only last five years at current burial rates, she said.


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