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Prop 9: Utah Co. Voters Decide Future Form Of Government

LEHI, Utah — Near the end of their ballot, Utah County voters will find a question that asks whether the county should change its form of government.

Currently, Utah County has a three-person commission. 

The text of Proposition 9 question reads, “Shall Utah County adopt the alternative form of government known as the Executive – Council (also known and Mayor – Council) as recommended in the proposed optional plan?”

That plan details that the council would be a part-time body consisting of five members assigned to geographic districts.

“Anyone who interacts with county government knows that change is needed,” said Utah County Commission Chairman Tanner Ainge.

Ainge said he supports Proposition 9 because he believes that it will provide better representation to residents by separating the executive and legislative functions of county government.

“Right now, because the three of us also operate as the executive, that means we’re a three-headed monster, three co-CEOs, and that does not make sense,” Ainge said of the commission. “It leads to a lot of dysfunction.”

Fellow commissioner Bill Lee opposes the proposed change because he believes it’s an expansion of government that will end up costing more money.

“The temptation is out there with a blank check for the future,” Lee said, “which will then inevitably raise taxes for us to support this form of government and I don’t think we need to go down that road.”

Lee said he favors the current, three-person commission, over a county mayor — like in neighboring Salt Lake County.

“I don’t want to look like Salt Lake County,” Lee said.

But Ainge said Proposition 9 will save the county money because the five council members will be part-time. He said the part-time council will also open up the pool of candidates willing to run for office.

“I think we’re going to have so many better people — who aren’t willing to leave their full-time employment, but who care about the community — to step up and serve,” Ainge said.

Ainge said when he decided to actively support Proposition 9, he made the decision that he would not run for county mayor if the measure passes. He encouraged voters to read more information at the Better Utah County website.

Lee encourages voters to read more information at the Stop Prop 9 website.

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