SANDY — Sandy City Council members are stepping in to monitor the ongoing water quality debacle of the city.
On Tuesday night, they voted unanimously to initiate an independent investigation into the ongoing incident, which will run at the same time as one announced by mayor Kurt Bradburn at a packed town hall meeting Monday.
While city council members reminded residents they have no operational authority over city departments, they say they want to help with oversight. In a statement, the mayor said he supports their decision.
“I am very supportive of our city council assembling an independent investigation. I’m just as eager as the council to get to the bottom of what happened and learn how we can improve," he said.
"I think it’s very important that this investigation be done independently from the council and administration so we can have a clear and unbiased understanding of how the event unfolded. It’s critical to our residents that they get a complete and transparent process.”
One week ago, Jodi Monaco was the only person at that night’s Sandy City Council meeting questioning public utilities director Tom Ward about his account of the water incident. She spoke up after Ward’s presentation of the water quality issue.
“He had checked all the boxes and he was done and this was resolved," Monaco said. "When I spoke, I said, 'I’ve actually spoken to neighbors and that is not true.'”
You can watch the entire meeting here. Ward begins speaking around the 23-minute mark.
In video of the meeting, Monaco is seen saying: “That’s not an issues management plan. I mean really, this is a very concerning issue.”
Tonight is NOT the 1st @sandycityutah council meeting where resident Jodi Monaco questioned public utilities dir. Tom Ward about water quality issues in her neighborhood.— Caitlin Burchill (@newsyCaitlin) February 20, 2019
But tonight, she had many more folks on her side...Quite the difference one week later, watch @KSL5TV 10pm pic.twitter.com/fBIthllR2m
A council member responds, “Good stuff. Let’s try to not make it happen again.”
At the latest council meeting, Monaco is no longer alone with her concerns. After about a dozen residents spoke up, the council voted unanimously to appoint an investigative committee, with no ties to the city, to look at emergency management practices and communication, among other issues.
Some locals still wonder who should be held accountable and whether Ward keep his job.
“We are doing our investigation, and there will be an independent one, and I think that will give you the information that you’d like to know," Ward said. "I accept the results of that.”
One resident spoke in tears at Tuesday’s meeting.
“People care about this community, and I care about the community, but what I don’t want to hear tonight is pointing fingers and incrimination.”
The council will use contingency funds to pay for their investigation. Members if the council said they will be creating some sort of committee for local input, but they’ve tabled what that will look like until another time.