Cedar City’s Planned Ice Rink Becoming Rent-Seeking Run Amok

Ice Town Costs Ice Clown His Town Crown

Fans of the TV Show Parks and Recreation may remember an episode in which it’s discovered that City Manager Ben Wyatt was once mayor of a city in Minnesota. Voted in at 18, he quickly ended up bankrupting the city by building a winter sports complex named Ice Town. He was subsequently removed from office after a scant two months and constantly asked about the failure whenever he’s in a high-profile situation. In a case of life imitating art, Cedar City is plotting a course all too similar to this…

A History of Commission Districts in San Juan County, Utah

Because history gives context and perspective to current situations, the history of commission districting in San Juan County bears repeating. And perhaps I know this history best from my personal involvement. It is not my intention to fuel anymore contention, just to give some history. San Juan County was the first county in Utah to district county commission seats. That was in 1984. Up until that time, all counties in the state had a 3-member commission, each member elected at-large with two seats being four-year terms and one seat being…

Evaluating city council candidates

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” — John Quincy Adams In Highland, there are three open city council seats this year. The nine candidates that are vying for your vote are asking for the privilege to spend ten or more hours a week for four years making decisions that affect us now and years into the future. The issues they deal with will range from approving changes in user fees for parks to budgetary expenses totaling…

What market failures can teach us about the Utah Republican Party

There comes a time in the life of every business where the market they serve shifts under their feet. While a few businesses anticipate these changes and adapt quickly, more of them find themselves unable to cope, thrashing wildly about in an attempt to find solid footing. Reduced to a shadow of their former success, they often limp along until bankruptcy claims the withering husk. In many ways, the Utah Republican Party is at this point, and the fight over its future will determine its eventual fate. What’s happening in…

The no-win scenario for the caucus

Photo by Keith Bacongco

In the Star Trek universe, there’s a famous training exercise required of all starship captains called the Kobayashi Maru. It’s designed to be a no-win scenario to test the character of leadership, but never to be won. Captain James T. Kirk famously cheated to create a way to win, stating flatly that he didn’t believe in no-win scenarios. Right now, opponents of the signature path to the ballot find themselves in a no-win scenario. Unlike Captain Kirk, they can’t cheat their way to victory. The landscape for changing the status…

Utah Republicans could get blindsided by more ballot propositions

Photo by Keith Bacongco

The recent midterm elections had significant turnout in Utah. In interview after interview, it became obvious that ballot questions were a strong motivator for voters to get out to the polls. Proposition 2, which would legalize medical use of marijuana, was often cited as a top draw. Combined with left-leaning issues such as Medicaid expansion and an independent redistricting commission, all appearances are that this was a large factor in Democratic turnout. That helped Democrats in several legislative districts as well as Ben McAdams in CD4. Given the large turnout…

Last night’s CD4 loss means all Utah GOP leadership should resign

By all rights, Utah’s 4th Congressional District should have been an easy victory for any Republican candidate. The partisan lean ranges from R+13 to R+20 depending on who you talk to. Since its creation, however, Republicans have had a hard time showing numbers anywhere near that. Jim Matheson won by a few hundred votes based on his existing popularity in CD2, having switched to run in CD4 after redistricting. Mia Love won against Doug Owens, a rather weak and feckless Democrat who felt more like their typical sacrificial lamb, by…

[video] Color Country Politics Podcast – Episode 2: In a Big County

Jesse Harris, Jennie Hendricks, and Iron County Assessor Cindy Bulloch co-host Iron County Commissioner Mike Bleak to talk about what a county commission does, their successful collaboration with state and federal agencies on Kanarra Falls, and the glamour of driving a parade float (no, really). Music by Amoebacrew licensed under Creative Commons: https://soundcloud.com/free-cc-music/… Original image for the logo by The Greater Southerwest Exploration Company licensed under Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsec/40… Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColorCountryPol Facebook: https://fb.me/ColorCountryPolitics Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/114359881… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjwF… Website: https://www.colorcountrypolitics.com