Front Page Follies
We were going to say, "OK, he's a sonofabitch," but then commenters beat us to it, calling him an "a-hole" and a "jerk." That's Rocky Anderson, former SLC mayor and probably not the man you want to work for. But let's talk #realnews. That some self-respecting women would not want to work for him is probably not front-page news. A couple of former city employees, including former City Councilwoman Deeda Seed, won judgments for working in that "hostile environment." That was in 2005. Anderson isn't mayor anymore and wasn't accused of sexual improprieties. Just because The Salt Lake Tribune has a story doesn't mean it's worth Page One and two inside pages, with people singing his praises or denigrating his style. Inside, on page B3, is the story, "Former Mormon Primary teacher charged with sexual abuse." Who do you think had a bigger impact?
The Peoples' Victory
Chalk one up for the people. Mess with them too long, and you're bound to get burned. Just ask Salt Lake County, West Jordan or Eagle Mountain. And frankly, there are probably a whole lot of deals being made behind closed doors because nobody's looking. The Salt Lake Tribune estimates that up to 93 percent of West Jordan City Council meetings were closed to the public, you know, because they could. Mayor Ben McAdams just overturned zoning for a huge development in Herriman—because people rose up and raised hell. West Jordan lost a Facebook site because its closed-door meetings didn't sit right with the people. And now a big data center is going into Eagle Mountain with little public input, and to the detriment of education dollars. Cities hang their hats on the words "real estate" and close meetings. That's bad government—and the people know it.
Jay Evensen of the Deseret News had a great argument for having more kids. Really. Think Social Security, the labor force, paying off the national debt—stuff like that. He thinks we should find a way to encourage having more children, and of course, raising them well. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Utah has seen a steady increase in population since 2011, and is expecting a wave of people by 2050, for whatever reason. There is a critical lack of affordable housing, home prices are out of sight and rentals are sending people farther into the suburbs. Mega-mansions are not the answer and high-rise living is becoming an expensive option that isn't for everyone. The rush to bring in big businesses and people is more about money and less about quality of life, the air and the water supply. Utah needs to start thinking systemically—now.