Letter to the Editor: Main Street Junkyard
As a citizen of Ferron I am totally disgusted that two members of our city council would elect to maintain the eyesore that appeared on Ferron's State Street eight months ago and in doing so also give license to an individual to continue to flagrantly disregard the city ordinances that they swore to enforce when they assumed their offices. For months that which can only be described as a junk yard by any reasonably intelligent person and as defined in Utah Code Annotated (UCA) Chapter 72-7-202-1 to 3, has been doing business on State Street in violation of several Ferron City zoning ordinances, the intent of Title 72-7-203-(2) of the UCA and which is contrary to the oral agreements made between the city and the applicant business owner, as well as the specific assurances made by him to the city that he would not establish a junkyard there and that the business would be used as a temporary storage area of vehicles "impounded" by the Sheriff's Office only until the owners recovered them or legal disposition was made and perhaps for the sale of auto parts.
Over the course of the past eight months both written and oral complaints made by citizens against this business, including one extensively documented written complaint filed by the U.S. Forest Service, have been brought to the city council's attention, the situation has been discussed extensively by city council members, and both state and municipal ordinances have been researched confirming that at least five city ordinances and at least one state ordinance had been violated. Yet all of this was cynically dismissed when the matter of revoking C&S's business license came before the City Council at the June 22 city council meeting as two council members (Joe Trenery and Rod Toomer) abandoned, in my opinion, both their fiduciary responsibilities to uphold city ordinances and their moral obligations to place the best interests of the community over their own personal opinions and interests voted against the revocation and thus causing this blight to be perpetuated. It is one thing for a business owner to establish his business here and defiantly disrespect our community, our ordinances and our community standards, and our people but it is quite another for individuals we elect to office to arrogantly demonstrate the same disrespect.
In short, if the owner wants to establish a junkyard on a city's main street then I suggest he move his business to his own backyard and set it up on the main street of his own home city. While Ferron City needs the economic benefits derived from businesses locating here we need to balance that need with a demand that those businesses be good "corporate citizens" respecting our community, citizens, ordinances, and values.
Ferron's main street, State Street, the face we present to the world is beginning to take on the appearance of a shanty town blighted by derelict buildings, various surplus items being offered up for sale piled adjacent to sidewalks, and now a junkyard. The people of Ferron need to make a decision whether to allow this downward descent to continue unabated or demand that they, our community, and our ordinances be respected and that those who choose not to respect these elements be penalized. If the people of Ferron are happy with this image and level of disrespect and want to see it continued they need do nothing; with such individuals on the city council it is all but assured that Ferron's decline in appearance will, most likely, continue unbridled. If however, as I believe, they want to see our community treated with respect and remain a place we can be proud of then every citizen needs to extend themselves and exert their authority over those individuals by taking the few minutes it takes to walk into the city offices and file a written complaint against this business and the other derelict buildings festooning the city.
It has always been the aggressive participation of citizens that has made for good government where that level of citizen participation in government is less than aggressive bad government is the only logical consequence. I would implore every citizen of Emery County but most especially, in this case, every citizen of Ferron to seize this opportunity to participate.