Leeds mayor clarifies reasons for resignation

Leeds Utah Welcome monument St. George News photo by Joyce Kuzmanic
Welcome monument, Leeds, Utah, June 19, 2012 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Leeds Mayor Alan Roberts read a letter of resignation to the Town Council Wednesday. The resignation came in the wake of the resignations of two other town officials just after New Year’s. St. George News reported on the three resignations Thursday.

Roberts has taken issue with the report, inferring that a correlation has been made between citizen criticisms and his resignation, he has also demanded a retraction. While St. George News did not draw such a correlation, the mayor’s concern is understood and his clarification is offered here without hesitation.

In a letter to St. George News and others dated Jan. 11, Roberts wrote:

“Let it be known that my resignation has nothing to do with Grapevine Wash or the conduct by people’s criticism or comments. As an elected official, I expect to be criticized and that people would disagree with some decisions that are made. I can handle ‘the heat’. It is extremely irresponsible of you to imply or incorporate those assumptions in your article.

“The letter (of resignation) should have sufficed, however it is apparent that people will conjecture instead of getting the facts.

“The office of Leeds Mayor has consumed an enormous amount of my time and resources. I ran for election to serve the citizens of Leeds and to help protect the Constitutional and individual rights of the citizens. Leeds is unable and unwilling to provide the proper staff to conduct the daily operations required by a municipality. This requires more time and resources from Leeds elected and appointed officials. I did not run for office to be subject to slavery. It is critical that individuals elected to office desire to give service and not desire monetary compensation. However, it should not be a financial depletion on any elected or appointed person to hold a political office.

“With some changes in my personal and family needs, I find it necessary to focus my time and resources towards those needs.”

A copy of the mayor’s resignation may be seen here:  Mayor Alan Roberts letter of resignation

On editorial review, no retraction is found warranted. It is considered that Roberts’ exception concerns the inclusion of the following statement near the close of the Jan. 10 report:

“Over the last year some Leeds residents have been critical of Roberts and other town officials due to perceived conflicts of interest involving the controversial Grapevine Wash development.”

Allowing that such criticisms have nothing to do with Roberts’ resignation as he has said they do not, the truth of community dissent and debate between the citizenry and leadership of Leeds this past year is indisputable.

Among other things, such dissent and debate was reported in six separate articles of St. George News in 2012, with links provided at the close of each related report. Extensive discussion and dissent between citizenry and Leeds leadership is readily accessed via the website, “Get Involved Leeds.”

In a Dec. 17, 2012, post to the Get Involved Leeds website, for example, Annette Densley wrote of the possible need for the mayor and some officials to step aside:

“The Mayor & some officials are like many politicians in this country who have forgotten that their positions are to serve the community and represent the voice of the people, and not impose their personal views/agendas on their communities’ peoples.  Some who ran for office have forgotten their promises and platforms that got them elected. .…

“The mistakes that have been made by the Town of Leeds officials don’t make them bad people. They work hard and are dedicated to what they believe in, and to that end, try to do their best.   However, whether new or old to politics, it is evident that some do not have the knowledge, experience, or training in state or federal laws.

They should not be afraid to admit their mistakes and endeavor to do better in the future; if that is not possible, they should step aside.” (Emphasis added.)

The mayor’s response to St. George News’ invitation to comment upon residents’ criticism and conflict-of-interest is reflected in the statements first quoted above.

It is also noted that the dissent and debate has not been particularly pointed at the mayor, himself; he has been praised as well as challenged. Karen Markovich wrote, for example, on June, 7, 2012, following a meeting in which the mayor met personally with community members at a Town Hall meeting:

“We sincerely thank Mayor Roberts for his time fielding questions for almost 5 hours on Tuesday evening.  The time sacrificed by our current Mayor is reminiscent of our 2002-2005 Mayor Norma Gier, who literally worked selflessly around the clock for our townspeople for over 4 years.”

Grapevine Wash Development plans remain at odds between the Town and the developer.

Related posts

Leeds meeting considers highway interchange and town growthApril 19, 2012

Battle of public opinion continues over development near Leeds, June 5, 2012

Leeds town council temporarily tables controversial developmentOctober 26, 2012

Leeds town council votes down Grapevine Wash developmentNovember 15, 2012

Final vote on Leeds Grapevine Wash development stalled as public calls for reviewDecember 13, 2012

Attorney: Grapevine Wash Developer will sue Leeds for reliefDecember 19, 2012

Leeds: 3 resignations in a week; mayor plus 2 from planning commission, January 10, 2013


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Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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  • D Rex January 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    What’s that sound we don’t hear coming from Leeds? “Baaaaa! Baaaaa! Baaaaa!” Maybe the people there aren’t a bunch of docile sheep just following along…. like some of the sheep in St George.

  • Ronda Aurigemma January 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Interesting……..I don’t recall former Mayor Alan Roberts ever “running for election”. He was just installed as mayor by a simple vote of the town council members at the time when the prior mayor resigned. Of note,this was not a unanimous vote either. I agree with “D Rex’s” comment, maybe the effort of many informed Leeds residents has helped turn the tide. Leeds residents have chosen to no longer ignorantly follow along, but instead become more informed and involved in the future of their community.

  • iloveleeds January 14, 2013 at 9:04 am

    There was an open invitation to any willing Leeds resident to become Mayor after the prior Mayor resigned.He didn’t have to “run for election”.

  • DoubleTap January 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

    That should happen to the Mayor of St. George and his cronies who benefited from the new airport. D Rex is right about the sheeple in St.George who blindly go along with what the Mayor wants….as in another term as Mayor. If only the people of St. George were so fortunate.

  • ken January 14, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Amen DoubleTap!!

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