Last week, the Utah Transit Authority board of trustees met, as seems not-quite-appropriate for an agency that recently considered raising the rates for disabled riders, at Donovan’s steak house. The tab topped $2,000, not including alcohol. Also, last week, an Associated Press story highlighted the legislative tactic of claiming per-diem money for meals paid for by lobbyists, a practice which Rep. Neil Hansen, D-Ogden, defended by arguing legislators are poorly paid. Sadly, these two cases are a snapshot of the weekly lives for many of our state’s public servants, who seem to never quite understand the public’s frustration. After all, doesn’t everybody regularly meet at steak houses with their spouses in tow?
With the Gallivan Center renovation happening next summer, there is a lot of consternation about the location of Gallivan’s many events, especially the popular Twilight Concert Series. While organizers are unsure of where they will be held and if they will even return to Gallivan after the renovation, D.J. Baxter, executive director of the city’s Redevelopment Agency, said that next summer the city wants to keep as many of the events normally staged at Gallivan in the downtown area. While 2010 may not be a banner year for Twilight concerts, it is encouraging that city officials recognize the importance of generating nightlife and weekend activities in downtown.
Gov. Gary Herbert has firmly planted himself in the gated community of conservative Republicans. In various press conferences last week, he spoke against legal protections for gays and lesbians, put sex education in the hands of parents (who too often fail to educate their children), offered to host a symposium on the global warming “debate” and blamed the federal government and its wilderness fiefdom for the destructive wildfires. His positions should come as no surprise, however—which makes the lack of a legitimate declared challenger from either party, especially Democrats, all that more frustrating. Come on, Donkeys, at least make him earn another term.