Less than four weeks remain until the November general election and Wednesday Logan mayoral candidate Mike Morrill was on the offensive when asked about developments at Tuesday’s Logan Municipal Council meeting.The scheduled swearing-in of new police chief Gary Jensen was delayed due to lingering questions about a two-year old You Tube video featuring Jensen when he was Vernal’s Chief of Police.”I’m very concerned, anytime we’re discussing the police chief,” said Morrill. “More now than before because of the potential in the next few weeks of me becoming mayor. I was concerned because I’ve read the articles and I’ve had citizens call me. I asked myself, what would I do? So I watched the video and the problem I have with this is that a public person had a weapon and relinquished that to an untrained citizen. That concerns me, a person in a position of trust, if it’s all true, in a uniform representing a city. Plus what I would consider as lewdness in a public place.”Does Morrill support delaying the swearing in ceremony?”I am concerned when we’re doing delays. We did a major delay on landlord licensing and now we’re doing a delay on the mayor making a decision about the police chief.”I have a feeling this has to do with the election in the next few weeks. My preference is, if it’s a good decision, stay with it. I love a leader. I am very suspect; who does it benefit by delaying? If it’s a good decision, go forward, ratify. If it’s not, don’t ratify. But let’s not delay. When it’s time for a vote, let’s vote.”Current municipal councilmember Tami Pyfer this week refuted charges made by Morrill that Logan subsidizes 60 percent of the city budget with income from utility revenues. The truth, Pyfer said, is that about 8 percent comes from utilities, making up about 15 percent of the general fund budget. Pyfer said if such transfers were discontinued it would force property taxes to go up 250 percent.”My 60 percent understanding is that the utilities maintain all of the (city) utilities, electrical, water, with 60 percent of revenues taken in from the utilities.”As I’ve looked through city papers and talked about what’s going into the general fund, I’ve seen close to three different numbers. I saw 2.6 percent going into general, I’ve seen 8 percent going into general and I’ve seen 25 percent going into general. I’m not too sure on that.”However, I’m leaning to the higher side of the teens if not into the 20’s, what goes into the general fund from the utilities.”Morrill said running his own business out of Hyde Park he realized that what he paid Rocky Mountain Power for the cost of utilities there was less than what it is inside Logan City.”I found a 12 percent differential. So, my concern is that it costs more to live inside of Logan City to get those utilities.”During Tuesday’s Logan Municipal Council meeting Keith Meikle, an officer in a local canal company, complimented Logan officials for their work during the landslide tragedy in Logan.”Morrill admits he was concerned with the city at that time.”I was critical because I had heard city leaders say the number one concern of Logan citizens is safety. If it was, I don’t think we would have had such a catastrophic failure. I believe Logan City did a great job responding. They did a great job. I’m critical because we were aware of safety issues and did not address them and now we have the loss of life of three individuals.”
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