Tensions high as residents comment at meeting

Monticello resident Kim Henderson was on the agenda during the work session of the April 16 meeting of the San Juan County Commission.
Henderson said she is concerned about morale in San Juan County and the lack of input from county residents.
Henderson referred to a recent directive from Commissioners for county employees to seek input from county residents and added it is “only proper that commissioners live by the advice and standards that they ask of others.”
Commissioner Maryboy admitted that he had not sought advice or input from county residents or county employees on recent resolutions and added, “The only person I would go to is our county attorney, but I don’t trust him.”
The tense meeting took another turn when Henderson said that commission decisions are impacting people in the county.
Commissioner Maryboy asked, referring to the people attending the meeting, “Is it impacting everyone back there in the peanut gallery?”
Henderson shot back, “I take great offense sir with what you just said. You called your constituents the peanut gallery. Which of this group is the peanut gallery?”
Commissioner Grayeyes said he was “dumbfounded” by the sudden turn of events.
Henderson said, “I am dumbfounded that this is the way people are treated by their commissioners.”
Monticello resident Shanon Brooks was also on the agenda during the work session.
Brooks said he is “thoroughly convinced that the vast majority of Anglos and Natives are against Bears Ears.”
Brooks spoke in opposition to a resolution regarding the expansion of Bears Ears National Monument to 1.9 million acres.
“This is not a restoration,” said Brooks. “This is an entirely new monument.
“Why does this Commission consistently promote and support resolutions that contradict and oppose positions that are not supported by the majority of the people?”
Brooks also expressed concern about the legal services that are being provided to the Commissioners by Steve Boos.
Commissioner Maryboy has stated that Boos is the author of many of the resolutions that have been considered by the Commission.
“Why does an attorney who does not live in San Juan County, or even in the State of Utah, provide pro bono services to our county?” asked Brooks.
He characterized it as an “immoral and unconscionable practice.”
Referring to Boos, Brooks said, “He, by proxy, has gained control of San Juan County.”
In the public comment portion of the meeting, a number of Grand County elected officials met the Commission and expressed the desire to collaborate on tourism efforts.
A joint Grand County Council / San Juan County Commission meeting may be held in June.
Derrell Williams, a legislative aide to Navajo Nation Council Delegate Charlaine Tso, discussed a willingness to work with San Juan County on issues of common ground.
He said that Utah Senator Mitt Romney and Representative Rob Bishop have introduced a bill before Congress to address Navajo Water Rights in Utah.
In other public comment, Alan Nauman encouraged the county to take advantage of solar energy incentives.
Bill Love encouraged the Commission to pause with the proposed moratorium on commercial development along Highway 191 in Spanish Valley.
Sarah Fields said she is concerned about appointments to county boards, adding that the county website needs to be updated with information about expiring terms.
Shanon Brooks said he would like to see town hall meetings and committees and allow time for the public to read the proposed resolutions before they are voted on.
Kiley Miller said she supports the proposed moratorium in Spanish Valley.
Miller admitted that she is not a resident of San Juan County but said, “Well over 100 residents of San Juan County came to the meeting in Spanish Valley” and support the moratorium.
Bob Turri said he has been a resident of San Juan County for 50 years. “I do not like or agree with any of the recent decisions of the Commission,” said Turri. “You are only a puppet for special interest groups.”

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