Though it may seem strange, Sen. Wayne Niederhauser should be one of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s biggest fans. I arrive at this surprising conclusion fairly simply. As one of the senator’s constituents, I recently received his latest legislative update. In it, he says, “This is the way government should be run — as small and local as possible.”
Becker is widely popular among his constituents, winning reelection with approximately 75 percent of the vote. So it is clear that the Democratic mayor is doing the work of the people he was elected to represent — and doing it to their liking. This is just what Niederhauser must mean when the Sandy Republican praises government for being as small and as local as possible, and “keeping elected representatives close to the people.”
So it is curious that Niederhauser is the lead sponsor of SB136, which would override Salt Lake City’s new billboard ordinance, overwhelmingly supported by the Salt Lake City Council. It’s curious not only because this stance seems to contradict Niederhauser’s own views about small and local government, but also because he does not represent a single resident of Salt Lake City.
Becker and the Salt Lake City Council, according to the 2010 census, represent 186,440 Salt Lake City residents.
Neiderhauser also said, “Every time certain cities go out and pass an ordinance, I almost anticipate us now having a bill in the Legislature over it.” That statement further suggests that he is in fact not a fan of small, local government, but rather, merely a fan of elected officials who agree with…
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