LAYTON -- While the Davis County Attorney reviews a brochure delivered door to door by opponents of two general election ballot referendums dealing with a west Layton development, Mayor Steve Curtis is hoping to bring residents back together following an emotionally charged election that left questions lingering.
Because of similarities between the city's official voter information pamphlet mailed out weeks ago, and a last-minute brochure hand-delivered to homes Nov. 2 through Nov. 4, the city has turned the brochure over to County Attorney Troy Rawlings to review and determine if the material violates criminal code, Layton City Attorney Gary Crane said.
"We would like a second set of eyes on it," Crane said.
"What Gary Crane has indicated is accurate, and we will be getting back to Layton in a timely manner," Rawlings said Thursday.
The concern is that the group responsible for the brochure could be in violation of Utah Criminal Code 76-8-511, falsification of a government record. The brochure distributed by the citizens group is the same size and uses the same type font as the city's official voter information pamphlet, with the word "UPDATED" in place of the city logo on the front page.
In the meantime, Curtis works to repair any damage left in the wake of the land-
On Tuesday, Layton voters defeated Proposition No. 2 and Proposition No. 3, which would have respectively approved and applied a unique mixed-use development to 107-acres of farmland owned by an arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Proposition No. 2 was defeated 11,169 votes to 10,292 votes, while Proposition No. 3 was defeated 11,206 votes to 10,239 votes.
Tuesday's vote only delayed the property from being developed, however, as the landowner still desires to sell the land off West Hill Field Road, between 2200 to 2700 West.
Curtis said he hopes the different opinions expressed during the hotly contested campaign will create an opportunity for proponents and opponents of the project to interact.
"We can work to come to a mutual understanding," Curtis said. "We need to find that median, that middle ground that people can embrace."
But bringing the two sides together may be difficult as a result of what transpired during the campaign and some unanswered questions.
Two weeks ago, the city logged a complaint with the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office regarding the similarities between the election materials.
State Elections Director Mark Thomas cleared the brochure of violating any election code, but stated it was "unfortunate" it did not include a listing as to who it was from.
The brochure, distributed by the opponents of the west Layton village concept may have made a difference in Tuesday's vote, Curtis said, based on the phone calls he received from voters "confused" by the material indicating that it was an "update" to information on the propositions they had already received from the city.
Opponents of the propositions defend the brochure.
"We knew our piece was legal from the beginning. We had it looked at by a number of people," said Tom Day, spokesman for Citizens for Responsible Growth.
Some of the statements put out by Layton officials labeling the piece as "fraudulent" and "disconcerting" are similar to the tactics the city has used during the entire process, Day said in an earlier prepared statement.
Crane said the brochure put out by the group was deceptive and politically timed:
"It was obviously calculated to prevent any response from the city (prior to Tuesday's election)."