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Kaysville stands divided in heated debate over Prop 5

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Nov 3rd, 2013 @ 5:34pm


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KAYSVILLE — With municipal elections just a couple days away, one community is split over an initiative on the ballot.

On Tuesday, voters in Kaysville will make a decision on Proposition 5, which would restrict the use of revenue generated by the power company.

Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt has even gotten involved after seeing this website made by a citizen who supports Proposition 5.

The site used the city's logo, which has since been removed.

Municipal elections typically don't generate a lot of attention, but this one is heating up just days before voters head to the polls.

"There's certainly strong passions on both sides," Hiatt said.

Kaysville City hasn't taken a stance on Proposition 5. But Friday night, Hiatt, who personally opposes it, took action when a number of confused voters brought the website to his attention. He was ready to take legal action, saying the site was misleading.

"The real concern for the city was the use of the logo at the top of the website and the lack of general information as to who was sponsoring it," Hiatt said.

David Bybee said misleading voters wasn't his intention when he created the website. He hoped to inform them.

"It's a Kaysville City issue so we thought it was appropriate to have a Kaysville City logo on there," Bybee said.


The city has very limited tools in terms of revenue generation as it is, and you take one more tool away, the city really has a hammer and drill when a screwdriver is needed.

–Chris Snell


As soon as he learned there were concerns about the logo's use, he immediately removed it. But Bybee is trying to bring attention to an initiative he believes is about transparency in government.

"Really what it comes down to is, shouldn't the citizens have a voice as far as this goes?" Bybee said.

Proposition 5 would restrict the use of revenue from the city's power company from being used for purposes other than electrical needs. In the past, it's been used for economic development.

"A lot of people see this as: What they're trying to do is get around raising property taxes where you have to have public hearings, a public voice, and doing what they want with power company monies," Bybee said.

Chris Snell, who opposes Proposition 5, said there has always been public hearings for official budget transfers. He said the initiative allows the city to use power funds for emergency circumstances.


Really what it comes down to is, shouldn't the citizens have a voice?

–David Bybee


"Prop 5 will completely eliminate the ability for the city to utilize power funds for anything other than power fund purposes," Snell said. Snell said that would result in some unintended consequences.

"The city has very limited tools in terms of revenue generation as it is, and you take one more tool away, the city really has a hammer and drill when a screwdriver is needed," Snell said.

The mayor said residents saw a nearly 10 percent rate increase in their power bills last year. But Kaysville residents still pay less than customers of Rocky Mountain Power.

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