The Salt Lake County Council is standing up to Gov. Gary Herbert again when it comes to appointments to water-district boards.
Council members voted unanimously to include two multi-term incumbents, Royce Gibson and Richard McDonald, as their nominees for seats on the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District board. The district primarily sells wholesale water to cities and other water districts in the Salt Lake Valley, but also has some retail customers in unincorporated areas.
Gibson, who represents Kearns and Magna, has been on the board for 18 years and is its finance committee chairman. McDonald, an east-side representative, is completing his second term.
"In the past, we have defied the governor in recommending people for a third or fourth term. Experience is certainly a good thing," said County Councilman Randy Horiuchi, referring to a council decision last month to nominate Councilman Michael Jensen to a third term on the Central Utah Water Conservancy District board. Jensen is currently that board's chairman.
In lobbying for council support, Gibson echoed many of the arguments Jensen put forth for staying on the water board namely that water planning is extremely long term and complicated, making it advisable to have experienced people who understand the nuances of water law.
"I have decades of experience in the water industry that qualifies me for this position. I've served the citizens well," Gibson maintained. "I've been diligent attending meetings and learning the ins and outs of how the water industry works. I can see how everything interrelates. I'm pleading for a continuation."
To comply with the governor's directive, the council submitted two other names along with Gibson Greg Christensen from the Kearns Improvement District and Mick Sudbury from the Magna Water District.
Joining McDonald on the council's list of eastside nominees are Councilman Richard Snelgrove and Steve Owens, former Utah State Bar president and son of late Rep. Wayne Owens.