At a regular meeting of the Cache County Council on April 26, Council Vice Chair Paul R. Borup (second from right) issued a public apology to fellow council members for his behavior after their last meeting on April 12.

CACHE COUNTY – Paul R. Borup, vice chair of Cache County Council, open the panel’s regular meeting on Tuesday, April 26 with what sounded like a sincere apology.

“After the last council meeting (on April 12),” he said, “I made a critical error and let my emotions get the better of me.

“It was my fault and due to my mistake, this council has experienced drama and distraction.”

But the person he needed to apologize to – County Executive David N. Zook – wasn’t there, having been excused to attend a meeting in Davis County.

Instead, Borup addressed his apology to his colleagues on the council.

“I want to publicly apologize to my fellow council members for my error,” Borup added.

Borup was referring to a heated discussion in which Zook called a motion made by Borup a personal attack, followed an altercation that took place in the county executive’s office that is being investigated by the Brigham City Police Department.

Since then, Zook has attempted to defuse the tension between himself and council members.

After identifying multiple things that caused turbulence in e-mail messages, Zook has promised to affect changes to end the growing rift in the county’s government.

But Borup’s so-called apology Tuesday suggested that the hatchet might not be that deeply buried.

“I’ll never apologize for being a staunch advocate of openness, of checks and balances, and commitment to widespread consensus,” Borup said.

I won’t apologize for demanding transparency and appropriate budget practices to ensure that we don’t have financial shenanigans going on here.”

On Mar. 29, Borup moved that the council members end Zook’s contact with the Lincoln-Hill Partners lobbying firm and replace it with a contract with themselves.

That motion passed, but Zook on April 12 indicated that the council had not communicated their desire to him, so the contract had not been canceled.

Borup then proceeded to move that the council transfer funds from the county executive‘s budget to fund a policy analyst for the council.

Zook called that motion “ … a personal attack against me, my office and my staff.”

Borup’s motion failed.

Following the meeting, there was an exchange between Borup and Zook in the county executive’s office.

The $4,500 a month lobbying contract had been a bone of contention between the county executive and the council from its beginning. In February, council member Gina H. Worthen accused Zook of violating sections of the county code for executing that contract without obtaining prior approval, but County Attorney John Luthy disagreed.

“I’m committed to doing more with less,” Borup said, “that we don’t raise taxes and that we never get complacent.

“You won’t hear me say things like ‘we have a $100 million budget, so a little more here or there doesn’t matter.’ It does matter because it’s your money, the citizens’ money.

“I’ll never apologize for making sure that we never take that or the citizens for granted,” he concluded.

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