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Kaysville City Council Disavows Support For Controversial Concert

KAYSVILLE, Utah – A change in venue didn’t change the fallout in Kaysville, as the city council issued a proclamation officially disavowing support for a controversial concert that was expected to bring thousands of people to Barnes Park.

“Madam Mayor, I call on you to use your time and energy to take care of the needs of Kaysville residents first,” one woman said Thursday during the public comment period of the online Kaysville City Council meeting.

Most of the commenters echoed those sentiments.

“It’s not about the constitution, it’s about your congressional race,” another man said to Mayor Katie Witt, who welcomed the Utah Business Revival concert to the city last week.

“What we’ve been doing is talking about our constitutional freedoms, and in the process everyone’s been using their constitutional freedoms,” Mayor Witt said before the meeting. “Every person who stands up and shares their opinion, whether it agrees with what I thought or not it just varnishes the reputation of Kaysville as somewhere where you can speak your mind.”

Many people didn’t hold back during the meeting, which came on the same day that Utah Business Revival announced it was pulling out of Kaysville and moving the live Collin Raye concert to the Studio Ranch Amphitheater south of Grantsville in Tooele County.

“I ask for you to resign or to have the city council and or the city council to consider having you removed by state statute,” one man said.

“I hope you apologize and take blame personally instead of pushing it off on your council,” a woman added. “The residents of this city no longer have the trust in her leadership.”

To the calls for her resignation, Witt said, “Why should standing up for freedom be grounds for resignation? I reject that.”

Few people spoke up in defense of the mayor during the online city council meeting.

“I believe our mayor has handled the discord and cruelty amongst our citizens with grace and professionalism,” one woman said, adding that it was the Kaysville residents who were out of line. “I appreciate the mayor’s willingness to listen to another viewpoint, change her mind and then follow through.”

Another man sent in his comment, which read, “If an individual is concerned about gathering publicly they’re welcome to stay home, but one person’s fears should not infringe on my rights and the rights of others.”

Many residents expressed disappointment in the attention the city has received over the last week. Mayor Pro Tem Michelle Barber said that she hoped the city could move past the concert after Thursday’s meeting, where she and the rest of the city council renounced the concert.

Mayor Witt seemed to welcome the days-long debate.

“I think this a great moment for Kaysville, just because we have had a vigorous discussion about something that’s really important in our nation and we’re coming out of it stronger, I feel,” she said.

The founder of Utah Business Revival, Eric Moutsos, organized the concert and said the show would go on at the venue in Tooele County on May 30, with or without permission.

He saiid the group’s previous events haven’t led to a spike in coronavirus cases and he didn’t anticipate this would either. Moutsos said the concert would be safe and that they would be encouraging social distancing but not enforcing it.

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