Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Details on DABC 'Deep Dive'


An interview Tuesday with DABC director Sal Petilos and Kristin Cox, director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, gave a deeper look into the recently concluded review of the troubled Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

So far, despite a GRAMA records request by Salt Lake magazine, very little has been made public of the the far-reaching probe into the agency’s operations and work culture. Only a one-page summary of what Cox called a “deep dive” into the DABC’s operations—including interviewing more than 120 DABC employees has surfaced.


Here are some highlights of the interview:

— Gov. Gary Herbert will propose in his state budget a restoration of the $500,000 cut from the DABC last year. He will also ask for additional funding for the agency. “There will be more money in the budget for compensation,” says Cox, and additional money for operations and “more soldiers on the ground, more man-slash-woman power.” Sen. Jerry Stevenson, who will be the Legislature’s point man on alcohol proposals, told Salt Lake magazine that he also supports restoring the cuts and increasing DABC’s budget.

Those expenditures, of course, will have to be approved by the Legislature.

— The controversial policy of putting one manager over two or more liquor stores will NOT be changed, Cox says: “We stand by the position to consolidate positions—but not unless you also change some of the business practices to streamline management. If you free up what managers do, consolidation is sustainable.”

— Managers will have more input into the DABC’s centralized ordering system that many customers say has reduced the selection to mainly “value-priced” wines and liquors. How much say remains to be seen because store managers will have to convince Petilos of the benefit of their change requests.

— Though many DABC employees and critics say real change is impossible as long as Petilos and his regional managers remain in place, Cox says Petilos, at least, will stay on the job. “I have confidence in Sal’s commitment to employees. I don’t question it,” she says. “Sal is sincere.”

— But the open assistant director position, critical to the DABC’s operations, is about to be filled—and Cox says that person should win the trust of the employees. Former Assistant Director Tom Zdunich resigned at the height of the DABC controversy last summer. “Tom’s gone,” Cox says. “Let’s be honest—I don’t know if I agree with everyone—but he was a point of contention. You are going to have someone new in there with a significant impact on operations and culture.”

— The replacement for Zdunich is being vetted by a panel that includes a representative from the restaurant industry (Gastronomy), a DABC Commissioner, a DABC store manager, a member of Cox’s team and Petilos.

Cox says the changes will take time to play out: “You can come back to us in three months and we can show you some outcomes.”

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Have a peaceful Tuesday evening ☮️

Everyone could use a breath of fresh air! 🌞⁠

Be sure to follow social distancing rules on the tails. 🌲 Check the link in bio to read our convo with the Executive director of the @mtntrailspc foundation, Charlie Sturgis, about being part of the covid-19 solution. ⁠

Be gentle with one another, Salt Lake ❤️

Our September-October issue is on stands now! ⁠

Salt Lake magazine has traditionally devoted its September-October issue to travel, describing trips to destinations all over the world. This year, confined by COVID, we’re looking closer to home. ❤️⁠

Stay well and be sure to pick up our latest issue or subscribe to our magazine through the link in bio!


Happy Monday 🏞
Who else is dreaming of the weekend? 😴

“The power of the people is always stronger than the people in power." - Angela Johnson⁠

Check the link in bio to read our Q & A with protest organizers. ⁠

Photo credit: Max Smith @phhhhhhhhhhhotos⁠

It's getting HOT in here! 🌞 Check out our list of the best swimming spots in Utah to cool down at! Link in bio. ⁠

Have a safe and responsible weekend, Utah! Oh and P.S. Wear a mask ❤️⁠

📸: Photo courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism⁠

Something fishy is happening on the eastern edge of the Jordanelle Reservoir... ⁠

A municipality is attempting to annex unincorporated land across a county line without that county’s approval. If this sounds like madness, that’s because it is. Read the full story though the link in bio. ⁠

📸 Photo courtesy of: Utah Office of Tourism

Summertime slush! Soft cold slurpy sweet treats- the classic seasonal delight. 🍧⁠

Here’s where to get the best and how to make them yourself, check the link in bio! 🍭

We're a little red rock crazy this weekend if you couldn't tell. (But how could we not be!)⁠

🏜️ Check out 3 pup friendly hikes in our beautiful Moab 🐶 Link in bio! Happy Hiking! ⁠

📸: Utah Office of Tourism

We ❤️ Red Rocks! 🏜️⁠

Thinking about getting into car camping this summer? 🚘 We've got some tips on how to find the right rig for you! Check the link in bio. ⛺ And keep exploring!