Mar 262014

By Naomi Hatch
The Taylor Town Council previously approved extending the election cycle for a year and a half for council members elected in June 2011 to bring the town into compliance with an amended state statute. The change required all city and town elections to coincide with the federal and state election.
At that time Mayor Fay Hatch, Vice Mayor Shawn Palmer and Councilman Gary Solomon, who were elected in 2011, agreed to extend their terms instead of shorten them by six months.
“What was neglected and/or overlooked is that the amendment also affects those elected in 2013, which would have ended the cycle in 2017,” said Town Attorney Karl Lautz.
Council members elected in 2013 are Jason Brubaker, Carl Cosper, Lynn DeWitt and David Smith.
The council unanimously approved Resolution R2014-04 to extend the term of service for council members elected in the 2013 election to serve from the first council meeting in June 2013 to the first council meeting in December 2016, a term of 5½ years, which would provide continuity in governance of the town.
In other business, Lautz had researched the disposal of public rights of way as Town Manager Gus Lundberg asked. He reported on the statuary procedure that mandates how a town goes about disposing of land and gave a general summary, explaining, “A sale must be done fairly, in an open process and with competitive bidding.”
He said that there were suggestions and questions asking if unused public rights of way could be sold to adjacent landowners.
“The answer is not without breaking federal law,” said Lautz. He explained that the sale must be posted 30 days, and once it is adequately published and presented to the public, a public bid can occur and the property must go to the highest bidder.
A resident expressed concern because the public right of way goes through her property and her home is in the easement. She asked if this could be done case by case. “I’m just wondering what your plans are,” she said.
“I don’t think we have any right now,” said Mayor Hatch.
Councilman DeWitt asked if they could pass a resolution that stated what she was requesting, but the mayor pointed out that it could be changed by the next council.
“I think we talked about this before and had no interest in selling,” said Councilman Cosper.
“We talked about this and I asked the attorney to clarify a few things, because there was an option of splitting land sales between the owners,” said Lundberg, noting this was an information item.
Councilman Solomon asked if this would include the sale of the business park.
Lautz responded that it was owned by a private entity and thus did not have to follow these procedures.
Solomon requested more information and that it be made a matter of record.