The editor of the Provo Daily Herald wrote a nice compliment to our Pass the Bond Committee. Here is an excerpt. My thank you letter follows that went to the papers.
Sunday, 09 November 2008
in our view: What votes say about voters Print E-mail
11It's obviously a bad time to suggest more spending. But really worthwhile projects can win the public's backing.
American Fork voters sent five bond questions down in flames. Proposals for roads, parks and trails were defeated by margins of 2-to-1 or 3-to-1. Only a plan to add cemetery land came even close.
"The rejection of the bonds really isn't any surprise to me, given the uncertainty of the economy," Mayor Heber Thompson said. "I think families obviously feel it is just not the right time to get into additional expense. People are spending less money at the retail level. That reduces our sales tax revenues. Citizens are paying attention to that aspect of their budget. Just as families pay attention, the city will find ways to limit their spending to just essential items."
Those comments should be the unofficial motto of Utah Valley communities until the economy turns upward. Elected officials are expected to be innovative, and for some months (at least) they'll have to find new ways to do more with less. At the same time, voters will back improvements under the right circumstances.
In Springville, a $9.8 million bond for a new library garnered 58 percent of the vote. The key was likely grassroots support. A band of residents got together and worked enthusiastically to explain the need to their neighbors.
Other communities should pay attention. It isn't enough to get a few professionals to write up a plan, and then for elected officials to go out and proclaim the need for the project.
The people of a city have to get excited, especially if a solid core of them get off the couch and work hard for it.
Springville is a great city! We will be adding a beautiful new library to our downtown district thanks to the many citizens who voted FOR the bond. Without that vote we would not be building a library starting next year. Special recognition also needs to be given to the many volunteers who worked for months to get the information out to our citizens. There are too many volunteer names to list here, but you made a difference in your community and you are appreciated. To those many citizens who made a financial donation to The Friends of the Library, we thank you for your support. Springville City elected officials, administrators and employees contributed patience, positive attitudes, and lots of hard work. Thank you to everyone who made this campaign a success – we are building a new library!
The Library Bond Passage Committee