The Utah County Commission voted on Wednesday to appoint Peter Brown to a new project coordinator position housed under the commission.
According to his LinkedIn page, Brown has served as a finance manager for Utah County since 2020 and has been responsible for “managing federal grants related to the (COVID-19) pandemic for Utah government.”
The project coordinator position is one of two full-time budget administration positions that the commission approved the creation of on July 14 on a 2-0 vote. Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner abstained from voting on the proposal over concern that it had not been vetted to the degree expected by other county departments.
“So the reason I abstained is because I really just did not appreciate that we make every other department in the county go through an extensive process to add people, yet … the commission was willing to do it expedited for themselves,” Gardner told the Daily Herald last week. “I just didn’t like that it didn’t follow the process that we make every other department in the county follow in order to add a position, but yet when the commission wants to add positions underneath themselves, they’ll cut all the corners and require significantly less.”
But Commissioner Bill Lee pushed back against Gardner’s comments on Wednesday, pointing out that the commission frequently approves staffing plan changes with little or no discussion and arguing that there was nothing “out of line” with how the proposal passed.
The commissioner further argued that there had been discussion between the commissioners “for some time” about the new positions, including in closed meetings.
“So we’ve had dialogue for quite some time on these positions,” he said.
Lee also noted that the commission is the appointing body in the county, “where(as) the department heads are not, and they have to come to the commission for approval.”
“So there’s quite a difference when we go through staffing, either on a department level or on a commission (level), which is different,” he said.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Lee asked Human Resources Director Ralf Barnes whether he believed there was anything improper about how the proposal was approved. His answer? “Not really.”
“It may seem unusually quick in this case. (But) I don’t think it’s out of line in regards to the fact that this has happened before,” Barnes said. “It’s always up to the commission, the amount of scrutiny they need to require to make their decision. So that is the variability that I think we see in these cases more than anything.”
Barnes continued, “I do agree that, in this case, it may have seemed like it was fast and maybe the scrutiny level wasn’t there. But you’re right, there was a lot of talk behind the scenes on this one.”
Gardner did not make any objections to the budget administration positions on Wednesday and voted to approve the resolution appointing Brown as project coordinator, which passed unanimously.
Brown’s position is temporary and will not exceed three years in duration, according to the resolution. It will be paid for using American Rescue Plan Act funding and other federal COVID-19 funds.
Families and individuals in Provo are prepping for the Temple to Temple 5K Run on Saturday, considered the largest run in the state.
The 5K run begins at 8 a.m. and is free to all participants.
This will be the ninth year for the event that takes folks from the Provo Temple south to the Provo City Center Temple.
Each participant is required to register, whether they are an elite runner or a family that prefers to walk the race route. Prior to race day, each registered runner will receive a race bib, which they must wear in order to participate.
These items will be available from noon to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at the Provo Freedom Stake Center, 835 S. 500 West, as well as at 6 a.m. on race day at the starting line.
According to Eric Speckhard, chairman of the event, the first year had about 5,000 participants. Its biggest year garnered more than 21,000 participants.
“We expect between 15,000 and 20,000 this year,” Speckard said. “Our goal is 25,000.”
To celebrate the event, composer and songwriter Janice Kapp Perry, who also has participated in the 5K several years, wrote a special song specifically for the event.
The song was presented for the first time during the annual Temple To Temple 5K Fireside that was held Sunday.
Perry says it best with her lyrics. In part, they say:
“The Provo Utah Temple stands nobly on a hill, beneath the stately mountains, its beauty thrills us still ...
“The City Center Temple shines brightly where it stands, where beauty rose from ashes according to God’s plan ...
“We’ll walk between the temples to honor pioneers, with faith in every footstep we’ll feel their presence near ... ”
Many of those participating run or walk in the name of their ancestors and in some cases they use handcarts as part of their participation.
Older participants have even used walkers, while young moms and dads have pushed strollers.
The 5K run was first sponsored by the Provo South LDS Stake. That was later split and the sponsorship reverted to the new Provo Freedom Stake.
Participants will walk down 200 East for the majority of the 5K. In past years and again this year, there are several notable faces from leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Two of those participating will be the new Utah Provo Mission President Todd L. Hendrickson and his wife, Rebecca A. Hendrickson. Rebecca “Becky” Hendrickson has participated in 27 marathons, including several times in the famous Boston Marathon.
Missionaries from the Provo mission also will be participating.
If participation is any indication, the popularity of this event continues to increase over the years.
To get more information or to register, visit http://templetotemplerun.org.
Utah Transit Authority is providing additional services for residents and visitors to the state making their way to Salt Lake City to celebrate the July 24 holiday.
“UTA will be providing additional TRAX and FrontRunner service before the Days of ’47 Parade on Friday, July 23. Bus and paratransit will be running on a regular Saturday schedule,” said Carl Arky, UTA spokesman.
With the thousands of people that usually come into the Salt Lake City area for the parade, rodeo and other events and family reunions, UTA is hoping to give riders more options and keep fewer cars off impacted downtown streets, particularly on Friday, the state holiday, as July 24 lands on a Saturday.
For those looking for more information, visit http://rideuta.com/events for complete schedules or download and use the Transit app to plan a trip.
The following schedule has been released by UTA:
FrontRunner: It will operate every 60 minutes all day, with additional morning trips as follows.
Starting at 4:53 a.m. northbound from Provo Central Station.
Starting at 5:08 a.m. southbound from Ogden Central Station.
Exit the North Temple Station and transfer to the TRAX Green Line to go to downtown Salt Lake City.
TRAX: It will operate every 30 minutes all day, with additional morning trips.
Northbound service starts at 6:28 a.m. from Draper Town Center Station.
Southbound service starts at 6:43 a.m. from Salt Lake Central Station.
Northbound service starts at 6:06 a.m. from Daybreak Parkway Station.
Southbound service starts at 6:20 a.m. from Medical Center Station.
Northbound service starts at 6:08 a.m. from West Valley Central Station.
Southbound service starts at 6:08 a.m. from Airport Station.
S-Line Streetcar: It will operate every 30 minutes all day, with additional morning trips.
Westbound service starts at 6:17 a.m. from Fairmont Station.
Eastbound service starts at 6:02 a.m. from Central Pointe Station.
On Saturday, UTA will be running regular Saturday schedules on bus, TRAX, FrontRunner and the S-Line streetcar.