Vote on Layton mayor’s property creates ‘what if’ scenario

Monday , August 11, 2014 - 7:19 AM

Standard-Examiner corresponent

LAYTON – A city council vote on an easement for property owned by Mayor Bob Stevenson created a key “what if” scenario at a recent meeting.

With Councilman Jory Francis absent, the four council members present faced a possible stalemate on the easement, which the mayor couldn’t legally break.

Before discussion of the easement started, Stevenson recused himself and left the dais and sat among the crowd, leaving Mayor Pro Tem Joyce Brown to lead discussion on the item and to call for a motion and vote.

The predicament did not go unnoticed by Councilman Scott Freitag.

“What would happen with a split vote?” Freitag asked City Attorney Gary Crane.

“We’d be in trouble, don’t do it,” Crane said. Crane noted that Councilwoman Brown was allowed to vote on the matter, but never did say what recourse there would be if the vote were 2-2 on the issue. The mayor does not have a vote on city matters, except in the case of breaking a tie vote.

There was little discussion on the easement, which was placed on the council’s consent agenda. Consent items are usually considered minor enough and without controversy. The procedural maneuver allows multiple issues to be addressed quickly.

Stevenson’s easement was the only procedural item on the council agenda for the meeting.

He asked the council to vacate an existing public utility easement for property in the Island Ridge Subdivision at approximately 32 S. 3525 West and to establish a new easement because of an adjustment in the property line.

The council approved his request 4-0.

The request to vacate an existing public easement and accept a new public utility easement is not required to have a recommendation from the Planning Commission because the line adjustment had already been resolved, according to Bill Wright, community and economic development director.

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