Complaints filed against Orem leaders amid Alpine School District split issue

Oct 20, 2022, 11:00 AM | Updated: 5:14 pm
Orem city council members are pictured...
Orem City Council members are pictured at a council meeting on October 11, 2022 in Orem, Utah. (Orem City)
(Orem City)

OREM, Utah — The state elections office said it’s gotten 24 complaints about Orem’s city leaders advocating to split from the Alpine School District.

The complaints stemmed from an Orem City Council meeting. The city broadcasted most of the meeting publicly, but blacked out some portions.

“They live-streamed their meeting, they turned off the broadcast and then made the rest of the meeting available by request. There’s an open meetings question there,” said Director of Elections Ryan Cowley.

Orem Mayor David Young defended the council’s decision about the meeting broadcast.

“Well, the reason the meetings were blacked out is we passed two resolutions. We passed one resolution concerning the bond, and we passed the resolution concerning prop two. And we did that because there was so much misinformation out there, that people were being told,” Young said.

Young also said the council had been very careful in following the law and consulting with attorneys.

The Attorney General’s Office will handle the complaints about the council’s meeting.

Cowley also said there were concerns the city recorder was violating the law by sending emails about a council meeting promoting Prop 2, the proposition that would separate Orem from Alpine School District.. The state elections office dismissed those allegations, saying the recorder is just doing her job and not responsible for the content of the meetings.

“That’s the city recorder’s job, it’s to record the minutes, record the meeting. She is not advocating, but the content of the video may or may not [be].”

Third and finally, Cowley said people complained Orem leaders were using public funds for political purposes. 

Young said that while he supports Prop 2 as a private citizen, the city is not using public resources to support it. The complaints will now go to the Utah County Attorney.

Related: How will the $595 million bond for Alpine School District affect residents?

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Complaints filed against Orem leaders amid Alpine School District split issue