SLC Council criticizes city officials on topic of future of homeless shelter

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jan 20, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — Some hot button issues were discussed at Tuesday’s Salt Lake City council meeting.

First, the council grilled city officials on a plan that could potentially move the city’s homeless shelter.

Last year, Mayor Ralph Becker established a commission of service providers, lawmakers and business owners to look at issues facing the Rio Grande/Pioneer Park area.

However, the council criticized the mayor’s staff for not including them more in the process; even pointing out commission members they do not believe should be included in the process.

“I don’t want to call it out, but Greg Hughes is on here, and he’s on the prison relocation commission too. And I have a real problem with that because I’ve seen the mode of operation with this, and I think in my opinion it’s going to go the same way,” said councilman James Rogers.

Speaker-elect Hughes, R-Draper, is one of nearly 30 commission members who will be evaluating the shelter and the possibility of relocating it.

According the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, Jill Love, the criticism from the council is premature, as they have yet to really even begin working on the issues.

“To hear them talk about how they’re frustrated with this process is frustrating for us because the process hasn’t started,” Love said. “So, that is why we’re here tonight, to get their feedback and input. But we haven’t even taken step one in the process.”

During the council’s work session, they also took on the issue of the city’s failing golf courses.

Members of the council’s Golf Task Force, as well as an outside consultant, presented a list of solutions they believe could cut costs and get the facilities back on track.

All four presenters recommended closing at least one course, the Wingpointe course, as well as raising the course prices during peak seasons and hours.

“It is possible that we would consider closing a course, maybe even two,” said councilman, Kyle LaMalfa. “But one thing is for sure, that the golf system needs systemic change in order to be successful, in order to not be a drag on the taxpayers’ of Salt Lake City.”

Finally, the public weighed in on a proposal to rezone a Salt Lake City neighborhood to become a historic district.

The five streets are in Yalecrest and include the following: Normandie Circle, Princeton Park, Upper Harvard and Yale Park, Upper Yale 2nd addition and Upper Yale.

Following mixed review from dozens of residents who attended the hearing, the council did not make any decision.