Will Layton Listen to Voters?

As the voting day is upon us I have found that I spent most of the day either talking or thinking about tomorrow. This has been an enormous battle that I am glad to see to the finish line. Moving forward, regardless of the outcome, I hope that we all have learned a lesson. Voters in Layton have spoke out and declared that they wanted a voice in what happens in their city. They want – no demand – that they be heard. My question that I pose to you is will Layton listen to what they are saying?

In April I sat and watched as the city councilman and staff repeatedly check their watches as public comment went over four hours. The entire night the only resident that spoke up for West Layton Village (now prop 2 and 3) was a young kid that I was later told was city staff. Were there others present that are now voting “For”? I’m sure there were a handful, but it was quite clear that night and every meeting that I’ve attended that the voters spoke out against and were not satisfied. The other night I read a comment that summed it up quite well:

Frequently council members look distracted, bored and barely tolerant during public input like they were merely enduring the public comment because they had to as part of the process. After the public comment and when the public can no longer give feedback or input, the council just moves on in their seeming previous decision regardless of public input. Layton city, particularly the council is not representative the public except for anyone that fits what they already want. I have known of some to start calling Layton city “Brown Town” because of a particular council member after the individual repeatedly votes their own desires despite public input as though it were that individual’s city.

This too has been my experience and I throw this post out as what I hope will be taken as a call to action. You need to listen. You need to wake up. Roughly 1/5th of the registered voters (and many newly registered voters) in Layton spoke up and called you onto the carpet. They want to be heard and they want you to hear them. So again I ask – will you listen? The doors were shut far too early in the decision-making process here. There have been dozens upon dozens of points that need to be addressed before you can expect a plan of this scale to succeed.

If the “against” vote wins will the city keep on playing the games like trying to call foul on a “updated” voter information pamphlet sent out by the againstprop2and3.com camp? What a game! The city leaves the “against” side with only a few hours to provide verbiage for the official, legally required voter information pamplet (according to Mr. Pead, the spokesperson for the group) and then when they put out an updated version on their own dime the city calls foul because the cover is dang near the same. Well duh! It’s updated. They wanted to actually provide their points to the city too.

I’d like to call foul myself! The day after the “against” camp delivered their pamphlet/fliers the city followed it up with their own propaganda flier. So they short the other side from fairly representing their points and then they get a re-buttle when my “against” side gets to put out a polished version of their argument? I sure hope my tax money is being used to fund the “for” side. Foul!

But I digress – back to my point. If this gets voted through will the city leaders put a feather in the caps and say, “look, we really can do whatever we like”? Or will they agree that there are quite a few talking points and that the door to clear communication was closed far too soon?

How about the flip side? If the “against” vote gets it will the city just change as much as they are legally required to in order to re-submit this entire Village Center plan back through the city council? I sure hope not. A plan for the future of the city must have the city at its heart.

Whichever side gets the vote I still hope Layton City will audit their actions this year. This isn’t something that can keep going on. Our city can’t be going for broke (or blood – you pick the analogy) in a fight against its residents. I also hope neighbors will be able to take down their red or green signs and move forward. West Layton Village or not, we all should remember that we still need to live here when we’re done.

Now go out and vote!