Utah Inland Port takes steps to further reduce public voice
The Utah Legislature is discussing removing Salt Lake City’s two seats from the 11-member Utah Inland Port Authority board. Currently, Salt Lake’s interests are represented on the UIPA board by Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s office and the Salt Lake City Council. Both have brought up concerns about the Port’s effect on Salt Lake City, specifically its use of public funds to support private interests.
House Speaker Brad Wilson, likely to sponsor the legislation that would disclude representation for Salt Lake City, is quoted in a Tribune article saying “… Salt Lake City is trying to make this about them. It’s not. It has nothing to do about them.” It’s worth noting the footprint of the Inland Port constitutes about a fifth of Salt Lake City’s land area.
Mayor Mendenhall called this legislation out as retaliatory, and our friends at the Center for Biological Diversity call it “taxation without representation.” City representatives on the UIPA board appear to be the only ones concerned about the use of local taxpayer money and without their pushback, Salt Lake residents lose any possibility of input.
We’ll update you if this legislation gets introduced and will ask for your help opposing it.