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City Council Shifts Again: No Public Money For Biskupski Transition

Whittney Evans

In a surprise double reversal, the Salt Lake City Council voted not to pay for Mayor-elect Jacki Biskupski’s transition into the mayor’s office. 

Biskupski left Tuesday night’s council meeting early, following a council vote to reform the city’s campaign finance laws. Her spokesman, Matthew Rojas says as of late Tuesday afternoon they were sure the transition ordinance, that would have provided public funding for Biskupski’s transition team, would pass. 

“These are individuals who are doing the people’s work and they should be compensated by the people,” Rojas says. “Mayor-elect Biskupski is going to have to fundraise additionally to continue to pay staff to move her transition along.”

Last month, in a straw poll, the council voted against Biskupski’s request for $25,000.

The council changed course last week and informally agreed on an ordinance to fund the transitions of councilmember’s and mayors-elect. In the past, transitions were typically paid for with private money. But Tuesday night Coucilwoman Lisa Ramsey Adams called for an amendment to delay the ordinance, excluding Biskupski from the funding. 

“I think some councilmembers did not realize that the mayor-elect had gone out and solicited funds to pay for her transition and that she had accepted office space from one of the city’s big developers,” Adams says. “So consequently, those needs for her transition were being met.”

Matthew Rojas says nothing in the ordinance precludes elected officials from fundraising, while accepting public money for the transition. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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