I attended Monday night’s Town Hall meeting and heard many people ask questions and I heard the answers. Folks were still uneasy about various aspects to the projects.
A question that was not asked and thus not answered was: “Why does the SLE/RCEA exist at all?” The answer is quite simple. When a third party with connections to ASU first proposed the university project there was real concern by the Town that there be no financial or legal liability imposed on the Town and its taxpayers. Then town attorney, now Superior Court Judge Tim Wright met with Tim Grier, Star Valley town attorney, and they arrived at a solution that would protect both the towns and their taxpayers. They created a separate legal entity to procure and own property for various public purposes such as education and recreation. Such entity has separate but equal authority to enter into contracts, take on debt and conduct business in the same manner as any municipality. The advantage being the towns of Payson and Star Valley have no financial or legal liability and thus insulate the taxpayers from such. In order to maintain that protection a third party must submit nominees for RCEA board members from each town. The towns then choose their representatives from those nominated. Were the towns to directly name the board members then the towns would assume all liability and negate the protections afforded by the SLE.
How do I know this? My late wife Councilmember Su Connell was on the RCEA board and I attended all meetings she was part of. This unique feature was clearly explained during those meetings.
Stan Garner, Payson