Richfield City Council members expressed their thoughts about a national issue during a meeting Jan. 28.
The impeachment of President Donald Trump is dominating headlines and discussions across the country as the U.S. Senate works through the trial process.
Members of the council said they are not happy with how one of Utah’s senators is approaching the issue. The discussion came up as Scott Albrecht, a representative from Sen. Mitt Romney’s office, addressed the council.
“I’ve never been as disgusted as I have been with the people who are back there [Washington D.C.],” said Bryan Burrows, council member. “I think what’s gone on these past three years has been a shame for this country, a complete shame.” Burrows said he’d like to see term limits, and that Romney could be a very good advocate for implementing them.
One issue that was discussed is Sen. Mitt Romney’s expressed openness to calling witnesses to the impeachment trail, including John Bolton, former national security advisor.
A report in The New York Times claimed that a forthcoming book by Bolton detailed incidents that could be damaging to the president’s defense during the impeachment trial.
Following the Times story, Romney broke ranks with senate Republicans as he discussed the issue with reporters and said, “I’ve said for some time that I would be willing to hear from John Bolton. I think with the story that came out yesterday it’s increasingly apparent that it would be important to hear from John Bolton. I, of course, will make a final decision on witnesses after we’ve heard from not only the prosecution, but also the defense.”
However, Burrows said he’s not happy with how Romney approached the issue.
“I don’t think he’s representing the people of central and southern Utah,” Burrows said. He said the senate shouldn’t be doing something that should have been done by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Council members Connie Nielsen, Kathy Christensen and Kip Hansen all expressed similar sentiments.
“We feel like he’s representing more of an eastern view,” Nielsen said. She said there seems to be a distinct lack of respect for the office of the president she doesn’t like.
“The things you hear at the gas station up to Beaver and out to Milford and around, I suspect what you hear is very similar to what you’d hear at the coffee shops in our town,” Hansen said.
“Senator Romney votes with President Trump 79 percent of the time,” Albrecht said. He said the senator supports a lot of the Trump administration’s policies and efforts, even though that fact isn’t well reported in the national press.
“He does support the president, and he thinks the office should be held to a high standard,” Albrecht said. “When he ran for office, he said he would call balls and strikes when he was elected.” He said support of Trump isn’t unanimous among Romney’s constituents, and other opinions also have to be considered. However, Albrecht said he would convey the council’s concerns to the senator.
“I’m not just here to represent the senator to southern Utah, but to represent southern Utah to the senator,” Albrecht said.
In other business, the council —
• Approved the installation of an internet service antenna on the city’s primary culinary water tank for InfoWest. The approval came as a second company, CentraCom, also requested to utilize the site.
“I can’t think of a better place to place these honestly,” Hansen said. He said he’d rather see utilities, be they public like the water tank, or private like the antennas, be consolidated rather than spread out. Both companies will be able to locate antennas on the tank, as long as they don’t interfere with each other.
The approval was given with the stipulation the antennas not impede the city’s water tank in anyway.
One benefit of the agreement is security cameras are to be installed by at least one of the companies, which the city police department could access.
“There’s a lot of crime that happens up there,” said Richfield City Police Chief Trent Lloyd.
• Approved an agreement with Sevier County to repair a bridge on 500 East. The bridge services the county fairgrounds and connects to a county road.
Sevier County has agreed to participate in the project by demolishing the old bridge, removing the material and completing some preparatory grading for the replacement, said Sevier County Commissioner Tooter Ogden.
The city will use some of its road funds, approximately $17,000, to replace the bridge.
• Approved a donation to a non-denominational performance of “The Lamb of God,” a musical representation of the life of Jesus Christ. The donation is for $500.
• Approved approximately $30,000 for road and sewer improvements in the city’s commercial center. The improvements will help businesses locate in the park.