Glitch in 2010 Law May Affect Board of Regents Nominee

(KCPW News) Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Springville Mayor Wilford Clyde to serve on the State Board of Regents, but first the legislature must work out a glitch. Under a law passed in 2010, at least two rural Utahns must be appointed to the board by September 30th of this year. Senator Karen Morgan sits on the Senate Education Confirmation Committee.

“The intent of the original legislation was they just didn’t want every member of the board of regents to come from Salt Lake County,” she explains. “They wanted to some of the more rural areas to have some kind of guarantee in the legislation.”

But during yesterday’s committee meeting, it was revealed that a current member of the board, Mark Stoddard, who already filled a rural slot, doesn’t technically live in a rural area. That’s because his home of Nephi is actually considered to be metropolitan by U.S. Census standards.

Morgan says this error could disqualify both Stoddard and Mayor Clyde.

“Nephi really is a rural area, but according to this one federal census definition, it’s included as part of a larger municipal service area, so he probably was given that language by somebody who didn’t totally understand the meaning of it or the impact of it,” says Morgan.

The committee recommended Clyde to serve on the board anyway, intending to clarify the law during the upcoming special session on October 3rd. Morgan says that could mean designating rural areas by county population instead of U.S. Census numbers.