Governor Not Fond of Plans to Overturn City Ordinances

(KCPW News) Utah Governor Gary Herbert may be siding with local governments on a few bills being considered this legislative session to overturn local ordinances. During his monthly news conference on KUED Thursday, he told reporters he’s not in favor of top down micromanagement of any form.

“Bottom-up is a much better way to reflect the wishes and the will of the people. I think local mayors and city councils and county commissioners are reflective of the people and if the people don’t like what they’re doing they generally will get replaced with somebody else who does reflect the will of the people,” he said.

Lawmakers recently advanced a bill that would prevent cities from passing anti-idling ordinances and another to prevent them from passing many billboard restrictions, both of which would directly impact Salt Lake City.

Herbert says those bills are overreaching.

“I know as states we kind of rail against and I’ve been a loud railer of the federal government’s overreach and micromanaging and telling Utah and other states how to do things on a one-size fits all basis. And I think it’s a little bit hypocritical for us turn around and do the same thing to the locals,” said the governor.

Herbert notes local governments are creations of the state, so it has the right to override those ordinances, but he says a bottom up approach works for these issues. Last year, however, he signed a bill creating a moratorium on new historic districts in Salt Lake City into law. A bill this session would extend that moratorium for an additional year.