SALT LAKE CITY — As state and local officials attempt to give a fresh start to the scandal-riddled Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake County officials have approved two nominations for the county’s seat on UTA’s new three-member governing board.

And they’re both familiar faces.

They include Draper Mayor Troy Walker, who has served on UTA’s board of trustees since 2012, and Laynee Jones, the former program director of the now-dissolved Mountain Accord, a stakeholder group that has now transformed into the Central Wasatch Commission to guide long-term decision making in the central Wasatch Mountains.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and a nominating committee made up of a handful of county council members and other local elected officials chose Walker and Jones out of a pool of seven applicants as the best qualified to represent Salt Lake County on UTA’s new governing board.

While the nominations drew praise, they also raised concern from some members on the Salt Lake County Council on Tuesday. Criticism also came Wednesday from critics of the Mountain Accord, which is currently embroiled in a lawsuit claiming violations of Utah open meetings laws.

Walker and Jones’ nominations come after the Utah Legislature passed SB136, a sweeping transportation bill that included a restructuring of UTA’s governance, requiring that its 16-member board of trustees be replaced with a full-time, three-member board by Nov. 1.

The restructuring is part of an effort to put UTA’s past of controversy — including questionable land deals, extravagant executive pay, and questions of transparency — to rest.

County Councilman Steve DeBry grappled with Walker and Jones’ nominations, though he lauded both of them for their time in public service and experience.

Addressing Walker, DeBry noted the Draper mayor’s history on UTA’s current board of trustees and wondered whether appointing him to UTA’s new board would accomplish the goal of giving …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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