Concerned Citizens American Fork Public Meeting July 1st 2015


Last night, I along with 200+ people from Utah County, including many from Cedar Hills, attended the American Fork Canyon meeting. As a resident of Cedar Hills, and a candidate currently running for City Council, I would like to offer my observations and opinions:

1. Mountain Accord and American Fork Vision (apparently an off-shoot of Mountain Accord) are associations of interested parties promoting the idea of expanding the Snowbird ski resorts footprint into American Fork Canyon. The end result is a proposal to swap 1000+ acres of Salt Lake County for 416 acres for a portion of American Fork Canyon in Utah County.
2. The overwhelming (but not surprising) majority attending the meeting expressed a resounding “NO” to a land swap and “YES” to keep the canyon undisturbed. The most troubling point revealed was that most Cedar Hills City Council members, the Utah County Commission, and other key groups had not been informed or involved since this matter began many years ago.
3. A significant exception is Mayor Gygi, who attended meetings and participated in discussions the past 18+ months. Mayor Gygi has been LESS THAN FORTHCOMING not only to the citizens of Cedar Hills, but also to some members of City Council. If he believed the details of the discussions had not advanced to a level to inform the public, what possible reason could he have had for not keeping the City Council informed on a matter that could potentially have a profound effect on this city?
4. Three current members of the City Council (Crawley, Augustus, and Zappala) and three previous members of the City Council (Joel Wright, Marisa Wright, and Ken Cromar) all made public comments regarding these issues. A collective concern was the lack of information and transparency displayed by Mayor Gygi. Also the fact that Mayor Gygi had not previously disclosed that he had received in-kind gifts from Snowbird and others. Interestingly, after publically apologizing for previously not disclosing an in-kind gift i.e., the Robert Redford banquet (at $200 per ticket), Councilman Crawley brought up an additional in-kind gift – a helicopter ride over the Snowbird area, which Mayor Gygi had not disclosed.

It appears now the Utah County officials, along with surrounding cities (American Fork, Alpine, etc.) are unanimous about performing due diligence regarding this important and irreplaceable resource. Councilman Augustus indicated he would draft a resolution (similar to American Fork’s) to preserve the canyon and prevent the contemplated commercial development. This resolution will be proposed at the next City Council meeting on July 7th.

It is my opinion that trust has been compromised. Due to obvious conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure and transparency, and failure to keep citizens and the City Council apprised on a matters of extreme important to us all, if I were on the City Council today, I would immediately make motion that Mayor Gygi be replaced by a City Council member who would represent Cedar Hills with ALL groups, associations and organizations that have been or will be dealing with this very important issue.

Best regards,
Paul Sorensen

P.S. This post will be sent directly to the Mayor and City Council for their consideration