Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 16, 2017
When governments fight, the citizens lose

Here we go again: one government organization suing another. I would like to remind our government officials that “When governments fight, the citizens lose.”

I am not on either side, but this one is quite unique. I feel sorry for the citizens of Grantsville. They pay their city taxes so they can sue Tooele County; they also pay their county taxes so the county can defend the suit. When governments fight, the citizens lose.

It just seems like the war continues between all of the government agencies in our valley. We are a witness to our society becoming more “uncivilized’ all around us with the events and opinions we read and watch in the news every day.  I would only hope that in our great county, we could place all of the old baggage of the past in a bag with our egos, and throw it in the lake and try to work together. We live in a wonderful county with tremendous potential to become even better. We need to appreciate what we have and who we live around.

There are two ways to make a person look good: 1.) work together with others and help each other succeed, or 2.) tear down those around us so we will feel better about ourselves. I think we should strive to live the first way.

We as citizens of Tooele Valley would be thankful if we could see government officials from Tooele County, Tooele City, Grantsville City, Stockton, Rush Valley, Vernon and the Tooele County School District working for the good of “all” of us. See if you can find other agencies doing things right instead of looking for things you think they do wrong. Let’s see some articles in the newspaper of issues that the various government officials have joined forces to solve, like the Tooele County Council of Governments and Tooele County Economic Development Board to make positive plans for the future, solve current issues, and not just fight about the past. I wish I could have done this better while I was a public servant.

We citizens also have a responsibility to find the good in our leaders. I have noticed in politics, sports, entertainment and even in families, we are very opinionated and unforgiving about those representing us. Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Weber State University, and Utah State University fans are the quickest to “hate” the others. Not just the athletic team, but the whole institution and even the city it is in! Now really, just because you don’t like the athletic team, doesn’t mean the university and the city are also bad? We all know that is not true. They are located in four of the finest cities in America. But, BYU does have the best baseball program, because I had a son and a grandson play for them!

The politician can do 99 percent of the things right in our opinion, but if they make one decision that we don’t agree with, we are quick to “hate” them and think they are no good, dirty-rotten scoundrels. Usually they have far more information than we do before they make the decision that we disagree with. I wish we as citizens would learn how to “like” one organization or party without “hating” the other. Let’s find the good in each other.

And remember: When governments fight, the citizens lose … and the lawyers win!

John Cluff is a Tooele City resident and a past Tooele City Councilman. He is currently the chairman of the Tooele County Tourism Tax Advisory Board.

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