“The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by lesser men.” – Plato
I know I am going to get FLAMED for this post, but I can’t just sit by and watch what is happening to the City of. It is being ripped apart.
In 1692 in Salem Village, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams (ages 9 and 11) started what has now been known as the Salem Witch trials. “The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions, according to the eyewitness account of Rev. Deodat Lawson, a former minister in the town. The girls complained of being pinched and pricked with pins. A doctor, historically assumed to be William Griggs, could find no physical evidence of any ailment. Other young women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviors. When Lawson preached in the Salem Village meetinghouse, he was interrupted several times by outbursts of the afflicted” [Source]
Historians later note that they believe that it started over a “family feud”, and a vicious rivalry between the Putnam and the Porter families. Because of what is know as group think (“A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action”), no one in the town stood up for the first set of people on trial. History then tells us of the spread of the accusations. The end result were over 150 people arrested or imprisoned, with even more accused not formally pursed. Giles Corey was even executed using the form of punishment called peine forte et dure (stones were piled on his chest until he could no longer breathe).
If a few people would of stood up to the trials, and not allowed the false information to be spread, then the trials probably would not of happened or could of been minimized. As Plato mentioned in the first quote, if people do not get involved in politics, then they can reside themselves to the fact that less people will rule them.
No to Stoney” movement in the city. This group has gotten so “deeply involved” that they can no longer “realistically appraise alternative courses of action”. The main course of action that they have taken is belittling, and falsely accusing other people. I encourage every resident of Saratoga Springs to go to the No to Stoney page. Read the comments, and come up with an opinion yourself. I believe their rantings will show that they are on a personal mission to attack, and slander everyone that does not agree with their movement. My favorite is them calling Stoney and Jarvis, “Bi-Polar and suffering from Borderline Personality Order.” Really?? You have proof from a doctor that they suffer from these conditions? (On a side note, Saratoga Springs has a City Council, not a City Counsel, unless you are referring the the Cities Lawyer.)has its own version of the Salem Witch trials going on. The Witch trial is not being done by the Justice Courts, Police Officials, or City Officers, but by a hand full of residents against the Judicial Branch of the cities Government. It started out as a few “families” that disagreed with some judgments handed down by the Justice Court of . It has now moved to include accusations against the Administrative Branch of the city Government as well. I am talking about the “
The flames have been fanned by the bias writings found on www.cityweekly.net. There have been several articles written about Saratoga Springs and the No to Stoney claims. All of them have been written by Stephen Dark. If you look at articles written by him, you will see a common tread, he does not like police, and the judicial system. His articles are not objective, but are written to forward his anti-police stance. He is fanning the flames and stroking the egos of those in the No to Stoney camp. His articles NEVER include the other view point.
The results so far have been the resignation of Lindsey Jarvis. She is quoted as saying: “This was all an attempt to make it look like they got me to leave, I’m not playing these games anymore. I’m tired of being attacked.” [Source]
They are now going after Mayor Love and Council Member McOmber, because they have not done what the group feels they should do.
If you think that Judge Stoney has violated your rights, then get him removed from his position. The way to do that is to put him under judicial review. Bring the evidence you say you have to the higher courts and have him removed from his position. Don’t start a slander campaign on anyone that you think does not agree with you or you feel is standing in your way.
I did a GRAMA request a little while back, and got the court judgments from Jan 1, 2010 to Nov 5, 2010. I encourage you to take a look at it. You can find it by clicking here. One of the main points they are making is that the Justice Court is only there for money. KSL.com did a report on this on Feb, 3rd 2011. In their report, they show Saratoga Springs collected $282.993.80. I suggest that you read the court rulings. If the court really was just about money, then why do the majority of the rulings lower the fine from the allowed amount. On most of the decisions, you will see a “Fine Suspended” line. If the court was so into making money, then why are they suspending any of the fine amounts? If they did get rid of the court, then I bet the City Council would come under fire for raising property taxes to fill in the budget gap the Justice Court leaves behind.
I am also leery of anyone that makes broad generalizations when making an argument. The No to Stoney camp does this all the time. All Justice Courts are evil. All Saratoga Springs police are corrupt. Everyone in Saratoga Springs does not like the courts. These generalizations are false and very dangerous to make.
Here is an example of how figures and generalizations can be false. They claim that 53% of the residents of Saratoga Springs do not want Judge Stoney in our Justice Court. They have also made the statement that those same residents don’t want our city to have a Justice Court. They get that number from the Judge Retention election that was held during the 2010 general election. (The county voted at 75.51% to keep him). They are correct in saying that 53% ( 1394/2630) of people who voted said No to Stoney. But if you look at the number of registered voters in Saratoga Springs only 22% (1394/6306) bothered to say No to Stoney. So to say that 53% of the residents of Saratoga Springs voted No to Stoney is a incorrect statement. If you look at the total residents in Saratoga Springs, then only 14% (4763 residences with two adults per residence) actually felt that it was important enough to say No to Stoney. The percentage would even be lower if we had the actual numbers, we are assuming that there are only 2 members of each residence over voting age. This is by far not the MAJORITY of Saratoga Springs residents. (It is also interesting to note, that many of the No to Stoney group voted NO to all judges in Utah County because they feel that all Judges will eventually become corrupt with a love of power. Which is ironic itself, they are using the retention law they dislike to affect the Justice Courts in other cities.)
I think that the witch hunt needs to stop with the slander and false information. If you do indeed have proof that Stoney is violating the law, and that some of the officers in the Saratoga Springs Police Department are corrupt, take it to higher authorities. Calling people Bi-Polar and insulting them does nothing to help your cause.
On a side note, the group has done some things that I agree with. They did help get legislation past to move the Judge vote to the City level instead of the County level. For details, you can check out H.B. 74 – Municipal Justice Court Judge Elections. S.B. 318 – Justice Court Modifications also passed that now requires Justice Courts to operate a recording device in each court room. I wish that this was in effect a year ago, so I could see what the No to Stoney group is saying happened in court.
From what is said on theirpage, they are also pushing litigation up the line of command. This is how this should be handled, not by name calling and airing dirty laundry in the public view. It will be interesting to see if their proof actually exists and if it pulls enough weight to get him removed by his superiors.
This may just be a case of False Allegations, like the recent incident at the University of Virginia where a student claimed racial profiling by police in a letter to the editor. It was later found that the student just wanted to make a statement, and the incident never really occurred. Is that what is happening in Saratoga Springs? If the evidence really does exist, and the No to Stoney group really is pushing litigation in the court systems, then time will tell.
But until then, lets put a stop to the witch hunt, and let the City Council, Mayor, and other City Employees do what they are suppose to be doing. Running the City of Saratoga Springs, and not being attacked daily by the No to Stoney group.