North Ogden councilman produces controversial letter

Monday , October 21, 2013 - 1:29 PM

Rachel Trotter, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

NORTH OGDEN — City Councilman Wade Bigler has now produced the letter resident Michael Dufrene has asked for since August.

The public battle between the two heated up following an event back in May. Dufrene was one of the appellants in an appeal of a conditional-use permit for resident Tom Baguley, who wanted a business license to run an auto repair shop from his home garage, which is in Dufrene’s neighborhood.

During the appeal process through the city, Dufrene and Bigler became at-odds regarding a few of the issues. According to Dufrene, Bigler made a public accusation that Dufrene sent a letter in May asking to not have a public hearing on a matter.

At the May 28 meeting, the council was trying to decide whether to open the discussion about the appeal to residents. Dufrene told Bigler he thought they should, but Bigler said that, in a letter Dufrene wrote, he stated the opposite.

Bigler maintains that he was referring to all the appellants in the case and considered them as one — so while the letter may not have been from Dufrene himself, it was from one of the appellants, which means it was from Dufrene as well.

The letter Bigler was referring to is written by another appellant, Jolyon Walker. The letter is dated May 23.

In the letter Walker states that the council “needs to hear from those involved ... Only their voices should be heard — not wives, not friends, not individuals outside the community.”

The letter does not state anything about a public hearing.

The letter was part of a packet sent to the council, the appellee and the appellants on May 25. The last letter of the packet is from all appellants and states that they do want a public hearing.

In an email sent early Saturday morning, Bigler said he was forwarding the email to all that Dufrene included in his email to him. “I am forwarding this to all who Mr. Dufrene included in his last email, where he stated the Standard-Examiner would be interested in his continued attacks of me as he would attend all council meetings and speak against me,” Bigler wrote.

Dufrene ultimately received the May 23 letter from Bigler on Sunday.

In his Saturday email Bigler again states Dufrene contradicted himself regarding the number of documents that were sent in a packet regarding the issue. Bigler maintains there were more than 100 documents, while Dufrene claims there were only 74.

Bigler, on Saturday, emailed to the Standard-Examiner document 101 and 102.

North Ogden City Manager Ronald Chandler confirmed he sent the first set of documents, 1-74, on May 25 and the second set, 75-102, on June 5.At the May 28 meeting that is in question, only 74 documents had been sent.

However, Bigler said, the dates don’t matter.

“It does not matter how many emails the info came in, what order they came in, etc. All appellants should have known what the other appellants had submitted,” Bigler said in another email sent to the Standard-Examiner on Sunday.

Dufrene said, in an written statement, Bigler should have done his homework more carefully.

“After two months, Mr. Bigler has finally attempted to bring forth “facts” to defend himself. After two city council meetings and six emails, he proposes he’s found the “proof” in a letter sent by one of the appellants,” Dufrene said.

He added that Bigler must not have read the statement that came after the letter he produced, where all appellants said they wanted a public hearing.

“Mr. Bigler won’t recognize that document because it does not support his argument; in fact, it refutes any and all ‘evidence’ he brings forward,” Dufrene said.

Bigler said he decided to produce the letter now because several of his friends witnessed Dufrene talking to a correspondent from the Standard-Examiner at the Meet the Candidates night. Dufrene plans to attend tonight’s city council meeting to confront Bigler on the matter again.

SEE THE LETTER

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