Early Friday morning I received a copy of an outline of the newest Mountain Accord agreement.This document is likely the predecessor to the next Mountain Accord Blueprint and was what was being discussed at a Mountain Accord retreat yesterday.
As previously mentioned, there are a number interesting aspects to the outline. One of the most interesting however is in Section 3. It says:
“To accomplish the above, we [the organizations signing it] agree to support the Accord publicly and within our constituencies.”
To me this says that organizations’ that sign this will have agreed to not criticize any part of the Accord publicly. Since policy decisions must legally be discussed in public, that would mean that there could not be criticism (constructive or otherwise) of the Mountain Accord. Should Roger Armstrong continue to not support a connection between Park City and Big Cottonwood Canyon, he would be legally bound per his position in the Summit County Council to only support the Accord.
I brought this up with a member of the Summit County Council and that person’s comment was that he/she felt that most Council Members would not sign onto any agreement that would limit the Summit County Council’s ability to make sure our area’s best interests was served.
My concern is that, looking at the language of the outline, it does seem designed to be an agreement. I as a citizen of Summit County don’t want to wonder whether every council person’s comment supporting the Accord agreement is because they agree with it or because they HAVE TO AGREE with it.
I frankly can’t believe language like that is being considered at all (or even legal). It’s one thing to work for a company and have to sign a non-disclosure document. It’s a far different thing for an agreement to regulate our elected officials free speech on a topic of great controversy.
That in of itself tells you a lot about the Mountain Accord process.