DRAPER (ABC4 News) – A Draper City councilwoman is “shocked and surprised” by the backlash she’s received for scheduling a town hall meeting to get citizen input on open space at the current site of the Utah State Prison.
The 700 acres of prime real estate is a dream for developers as a site for new subdivisions and shopping malls once the prison is demolished in about two years but Councilwoman Michele Weeks wants to make sure enough land is set aside for parks and outdoor sports facilities as well.
“They’re only predicting about 15-13 percent open space for the 700 acres. That’s not nearly enough,” Weeks told ABC4 News Tuesday. “I mean where are the ballfields? Where’s the open space? Where are these people going to go in order to enjoy and recreate outside?”
Councilwoman Weeks scheduled a town hall meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Draper City Hall to get public input but she says she’s gotten backlash from Mayor Troy Walker and her fellow Council members.
“The mayor and the council have been very hostile towards me,” Weeks said. “I was so surprised and shocked about the animosity and the hostility that I felt from my mayor and council about this town hall meeting.”
Weeks shared e-mails she’s received including one from Mayor Walker that reads in part: “This meeting she is attempting to conduct is not official and should not be conducted at city hall as if it is official. Using city hall for her personal meeting is not right.”
“The mayor and the council have written nasty letters to me threatening me with injunctions,” Weeks said. “Proposed special meetings that would change the ordinance to keep me from having this Town Hall meeting, been very vocal and citing a lot of regulations that they said I have broken which I have not. It has been very hostile and I’ve actually had to get my attorney involved in order to have this Town Hall meeting.”
Drape Public Relations Officer Maridene Alexander told ABC4 that Mayor Walker had no comment since it was not an official city meeting.
Weeks said that the public is welcome to attend and provide ideas at the 6 p.m. meeting at City Hall, located at 1020 Pioneer Road (12450 South).