This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
I have a hunch if Dorothy landed in South Jordan, she would turn to Toto and say, "We're not in Kansas anymore."
That's because and forgive me for mixing children's stories here the place is getting "curiouser and curiouser," as Alice would say.
Then there is Mayor David Alvord, tea party extraordinaire.
I wrote recently about Alvord's obsession with sending a letter to Congress from city brass, urging the defunding of Planned Parenthood and reiterating South Jordan's abhorrence of abortion.
Alvord pushed the council to unanimously agree to the letter, but some members insisted on toning it down. They eventually all agreed to it, but by the time they were ready to sign off, Congress was gone for summer recess and Gov. Gary Herbert had ordered state agencies to stop circulating federal funds for women's health services to Planned Parenthood. So some council members considered the matter moot.
Alvord put the letter on his mayoral Facebook page anyway. It provoked more than 1,500 comments, mostly critical of his post on an issue unrelated to city business.
The mayor tried to respond to critics, he said. But when he couldn't reach one, whom he previously had unfriended on his personal Facebook account, he got no response. So he looked at Facebook postings from people with the same last name to see if they could get this particular critic to contact him.
One of those was the man's 15-year-old daughter to whom Alvord sent a personal Facebook message. She responded that she is not allowed to communicate with strangers on Facebook, and the family posted on its Facebook page a concern about the mayor contacting a minor with a personal message.
Alvord said he did not know who she was, just that she had the same last name as the critic. He said he did not know she was a minor; he simply was trying to get the critic to call him.
Nonetheless, the family contacted the South Jordan Police Department, which forwarded the complaint to West Jordan police because of the potential conflict of interest.
Missionary work is never done • When complaints about Alvord's aggressive social-media activities surfaced on Facebook, former state GOP Rep. Carl Wimmer weighed in with his own story about the mayor.
Wimmer, who had represented South Jordan's neighboring city of Herriman, resigned his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at about the time he left the Legislature and moved to Sanpete County, where he is a high school resource police officer and is studying to be an evangelical Christian minister.
He began receiving Facebook messages from Alvord in response to his own postings about his religious convictions.
Wimmer said he finally had to unfriend Alvord because he became too persistent and pushy with his pro-Mormonism arguments.
Alvord said he was just interested in the ecclesiastical discussion but concedes he became more aggressive when he believed Wimmer was attacking aspects of his faith, especially relating to the abandoned practice of polygamy.
"I can see where people might question a public servant's use of social media that way, and I'll try and be more careful with that in the future," Alvord said, adding he wasn't trying to be confrontational. He just wanted a discussion.
Speaking of social media • Former Republican state legislator and conservative blogger Holly Richardson is missed by a liberal.
I received an email recently from John Talcott, who described himself as a Utah County Democrat, asking me whatever happened to Richardson and her popular "Holly on the Hill" blog. He said she doesn't post it any more.
"She was very active in Republican politics and on the Internet, and then she just vanished from sight," Talcott wrote. "I used to enjoy being the bee in her bonnet, responding to her blog with a liberal's point of view."
Richardson told me she's still around. She is busy with women's issues and volunteer work. But it's nice being missed, she said. Even by a liberal.
She still does political blogging at Utah Politico Hub.
Yes, we have no tomatoes on display • When Sarah Palin comes to the Grand America to speak at a fundraiser for a pregnancy resource center next month, hotel management might want to ensure no fruit is on display.
The last time Palin was in Salt Lake City, in December 2009, it was for a book signing at Costco.
Helen Rappaport was shopping there that day and was shocked there were no tomatoes. A manager explained that they were hidden because Palin had been pelted with a tomato earlier in her tour, and that wasn't going to happen here. He had a clerk go in the back and get Rappaport some tomatoes, which he gave her for free.