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Pleasant Grove City Council rebukes Lehi City Council over ASD split agreement



The Alpine School District (ASD) split is dominating the political landscape of Utah County this week, with every city in the district holding special meetings to discuss its future. On Monday, the Lehi City Council entered an interlocal agreement to form a new district with Highland, Alpine, Cedar Hills and American Fork, with all partnering city councils voting unanimously in support of the process. 

Along with the northeast region partnering together, Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, Cedar Valley, and Fairfield also held meetings to support the creation of a western district together unanimously. 

On Tuesday morning, the ASD Board of Education held their own special meeting to discuss their plan. The board voted unanimously to file the two-district option with the county clerk. However, board members were conflicted on the three-district configuration option, which narrowly passed the vote to notify the county clerk that the district will continue working on that option with a 4-3 vote. Wilson, Beeson and Clement dissented. 

Ten of the 14 ASD cities and towns have unanimously supported the creation of three new districts. The remaining cities of Pleasant Grove, Orem, Vineyard and Lindon, however, have not reached an interlocal agreement. 

On Tuesday evening, the Pleasant Grove City Council held a special meeting to discuss the current situation. The council and staff expressed criticism toward Lehi and its council over its role in forming the northeast interlocal agreement.

“We were not invited to be a part of that interlocal agreement. Now, I can’t address the reasons why because I don’t know. You would need to ask the reasons why from the council members of Lehi, Highland, Alpine, Cedar Hills and American Fork… This is really political. Maybe I’m just stating the obvious. I don’t think these decisions are data-driven,” said Pleasant Grove City Manager Scott Darrington during his presentation to the council. 

“I would hope that option three ultimately gets recommended to the ballot and reduces the confusion for all the residents in this valley… You’re only helping out the Lehi group by showing them that you’re OK with what they’re doing… which makes zero sense to me,” said Pleasant Grove City councilman Eric Jensen to Darrington in opposition to joining an interlocal with Orem, Vineyard and Lindon. 


“I’d really like to have two districts. I feel like this is a power grab. It was done in the early days of the legislation, and, in my opinion, it’s been done in dark corners and bad alleys. It’s a push for control. It’s not in the best interest of the students, and it’s definitely not in the best interest of the teachers,” added Councilman Todd Williams. 

“I think that Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain are growing to the point where it could hurt us to include them. I could be for option one, keeping it as is, but I could be for option three, having them separated off. I don’t want to be separated from Lehi, Highland, Cedar Hills, Alpine and that area. We just aren’t growing enough here, and that will hurt our students if we’re on our own with Orem, Vineyard and Lindon. We need to be a part of the Lehi group. I am disappointed that we weren’t included in the discussions, and I do think it’s political,” said Councilwoman Cyd LeMone. 

Darrington said that Pleasant Grove City will issue a statement Wednesday morning to encourage its residents to get involved in the process and express support for option three, which would create a new district stretching from Lehi to Orem. With the Pleasant Grove City Council declining to participate in an interlocal agreement, Pleasant Grove residents will only be able to vote on the split option decided by the ASD board. 

“I’m not going to help them [Lehi interlocal group] out. I’m going to encourage option three,” concluded Jensen. 

There will be a 45-day public comment period with at least two public hearings to solicit community feedback in each of the interlocal areas and Alpine School District. After the 45-day window, the respective city councils and ASD will convene separately to vote on establishing the new districts for voter approval on the November ballot. Legislators are currently discussing possible legislation to deal with competing ballot initiatives. 

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