Tuesday, March 03, 2009

WHEN DID THE PLANNING STOP?

THE ISSUE:
Over the last few years, some of the brightest and most forward looking students of BYU, University of Utah and Utah State, have presented information, supported by facts and figures, that made the case, for Wasatch County and Heber City and to a lesser degree Midway, to plan for traffic growth and conscious support for local businesses.
The meetings were held, pictures, professors, students, planners and so forth, and all present were given the same message, “plan for the future‘. So what happen? Why are the growth problems and traffic now taking center stage when our leaders were made aware of what the future held many times?

COMMENTARY:
Many of the current elected officials, ran on platforms, that growth planning, and traffic containment and the resulting mediation would take place on their watch. Sadly, measurable solutions, even today, can not be found. The mistress of growth, lured many of our elected leaders, to down play what they promised, and to become intoxicated with the vision of larger kingdoms, with the resultant influence with no thought for tomorrow.
Deals were made, in order to facilitate their friendships with developers and land speculators. No one discussed, viewed, or worried, about the problems associated with the growth and the dangerous traffic, that current citizens must endure.
The vision, of serving people, now lost, led to a sick reality that many citizens saw, of elected and appointed leaders, walking that narrow line, between receiving and giving.
No one it seemed, in the rush of accomplishment, pulled out calculators and added the costs, or remembered the promises of old.
The theory of annexations for some, giving what was demanded by others, and increasing the investment value of developers, as if their elected or appointed position made them bankers ,only added to the current woes.
The driving force, that has created the current problems, is that immature, unrealistic philosophy, “that if we don’t do it, they will.”
This asinine response became the driving force, for big box, for the red ledges, the north village and countless others that were approved at break neck speed, even in some cases, suspending the laws of the various agencies, until they could create what was necessary to support the actions already agreed to. This mentality, created an environment of broken promises. And they offered public comments, to make it look as if the law was important and real planning was going on.
A careful review of the minutes of meetings, attendance at public hearings and in some cases, even sources telling what went on in the “executive session” made a case for how little, concern was shown for citizens now and those that would come in future as they wheeled and dealed promises, money and permissions

But in this mess, citizens must share some of the blame. When it came time to vote, they elected the same ones. Attendance at public meetings is at an all time low and generally apathy is reining supreme.
The hand wringers and head holders, need to do more than practicing the verse; “woe is me”.
It is evident, that our valley must move from point A to point B, if we are going to solve the problems. And the longer we wait, worse it is going to get.

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