This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Because of his busy schedule, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker didn't make the first cut in the County Council's proposed list of mayors to sit on a committee that will decide what parks and recreation projects get big funding over the next decade.
But the Democrat was added as an at-large discretionary member Tuesday out of deference to Salt Lake City's importance to the county as a whole after Republican County Councilman Max Burdick said he had received assurances from Becker that he would try to be at most meetings.
Becker's inclusion satisfied Democratic Councilman Jim Bradley, who had argued "we should pay more attention to the mayor of Salt Lake as the flagship city of the county."
Noting that the city and county have a rivalry of sorts as the biggest local governments around, Bradley said the sometimes-rocky working relationship is good now and "I would like to keep that partnership flavor up. … It would be short-sighted not to include the mayor of Salt Lake City."
Republican Councilman Michael Jenson, who presented the proposed list to the County Council as a whole, was amenable to the addition of Becker.
Salt Lake City is at the north end of the valley, he noted, adding geographical balance to the composition of a 17-member board that will advise the County Council on how best to use some of the tax revenues authorized by county voters' overwhelming support last fall for a 10-year extension of the Zoo Arts and Parks (ZAP) tax.
The parks portion of ZAP tax revenues will help pay off a general obligation bond that the county will ask taxpayers to approve in 2016. County officials believe voters will sign off on the bond because, without raising anyone's tax rate just extending payments for another decade the county could raise up to $75 million for new and existing parks, recreation centers and trails.
To help the County Council decide what projects to pursue with that money, the advisory board will spend next winter vetting funding applications submitted by a late October deadline.
"We wanted geographical diversity" on the board, Jenson said, "from all the council districts and representative of different user groups."
The board will include four other valley mayors Carmen Freeman from Herriman, Kim Rolfe from West Jordan, Rob Dahle from Holladay and Troy Walker from Draper.
Other members include:
• Eric Gardner, a Salt Lake City resident and bicyclist;
• Corey Rushton, a West Valley City Council member;
• Brett Helsten, a community leader in Kearns;
• Micah Bruner, a West Valley City resident who ran unsuccessfully for the County Council in 2014;
• Aimee McConkie, former Millcreek Community Council chairwoman;
• Eliza McIntosh, a wheelchair basketball player and University of Utah student;
• Lisa Bagley, East Millcreek Community Council;
• Carter Livingston, a consultant who helped promote the ZAP tax extension;
• Mike Peterson and Mitzi Huff from the county Parks and Recreation Board;
• Chris McCandless, Sandy City councilman and county Open Space Advisory Board member; and
• Martin Jensen, county Parks and Recreation Department director.