Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nonessential Services?

Rather than raise taxes by twenty percent (an increase of $64.89 per year on a $170,000 home, or $5.41 per month), should the Council have shut down the Arts Council, the city celebration, and other so-called nonessential services? Some who were present at the August 8 tax hearing suggested this course of action, but the Council couldn't see the wisdom in it.

Here's a gem from our handbook, Powers and Duties: A Guide for Utah Municipal Officials, published by the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
The development of a sense of community is an often overlooked role of local government. People like to belong. Preserving an existing community or building a new community is in many ways as important as providing services. People's identities are tied to where they are from. One role of local officials is to make that place special. This is the reason festivals, town days, and ccmmunity events are held. Arts councils and youth recreation leagues are not a waste of time and money. They are part of what builds a sense of belonging and place. No one ever identifies themselves as being from service district number five. Everyone wants to have a home town. A local official's job is to make sure this happens.


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