Ever played the game of Sim City? It’s a great lesson in governmental oversight and planning and zoning. Why should we care about how our city runs and what effects it’s success? – because it affects our property values, the makeup of our blocks and the importance of open and honest government. Government is not here to dictate what we do with our lives, it’s here to establish a level playing field and a set of rules that everyone plays by. There should not be special rules for special segments of the population – that was Martin Luther Kings premise – equality.
How Cities (known as political subdivisions of the states) manage those responsibilities determines the quality of life for the residents of the town, the future development of the town, and how the town grows (if it does). Escalante has experienced a decrease in population due to the lack of employment. Not an unusual issue for a small, extremely rural town. There seems to be pressure to throw away all the rules in order to attract new residents and new companies providing more jobs. You don’t do that by throwing away all the rules. And you can’t do it as long as you have an official city controlled by the State Statutes.
Escalante City Council members, Mayor, City Recorder and Treasurer have taken an oath of office to “uphold the laws of the State of Utah”. Attempting to disregard planning and zoning requirements, Business Licensing requirements and City Ordinances is in violation of State Law. I’m going to do a four-part series, of which this is the first, on these issues. I’ll provide you with state laws and where you can find and read them for yourself. I’m not going to interpret them for you – you’re smart enough to do that yourself. But you’ll have the information you need to decide if your elected officials and hired staff are adhering to the scope and spirit of the laws. And at the end of each edition I’ll offer my own suggestions on what can be done to address these seemingly thorny issues (from totally my perspective).
I welcome your comments. I’ll post anything in the way of comments as long as they do not attack any one person individually. Thanks for reading.