David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Monday, October 20, 2008
More on 1120 North and the Bonds
A few more thoughts from me, a blog from other opponents of the first bond issue, a fun blog from a resident opposed to all five proposed bond issues, and an official City informational meeting this week on the proposals.
Last week I analyzed one group's opposition to one of American Fork's five proposed bond issues. Earlier I articulated my personal opposition to all five of them (also here). Here are a few more notes from me and some links to additional discussion by others, including the group opposing the first bond issue, which includes the planned completion of 1120 North.
A Deseret News article sheds a little more light on the discussion at last Tuesday's neighborhood meeting. Here's one noteworthy paragraph:
"Absolutely travesty"? "Amazing"? "Even remotely consider"? The group's arguments against the bond issue -- which, you will recall, I too oppose -- would be stronger if they weren't badly overstated. A calm, rational discourse, without the hyperbole, would be a greater service to good government.
Dialing back the rhetoric a bit might also make it easier for these opponents to detect another problem in their own reasoning. Their apparent willingness to pit neighboring cities against each other is a lot like what they accuse the City of doing: deliberately pitting different neighborhoods of American Fork against each other.
Speaking of which, lost in the heat here is the fact that at present 700 North in American Fork is absorbing quite a bit of traffic that 1120 North has long been intended to handle. If invitations to Tuesday evening's meeting had gone as far south as 700 North, perhaps there would have been someone at the meeting who could have pointed out that some people live on a much busier street because 1120 North isn't finished -- countering one neighborhood's self-interested "Not In My Back Yard" with "So? It's Already In My Front Yard!"
Also lost in this discussion is the obvious need for some degree of regional transportation planning.
A Blog: afroads.blogspot.com
I learned from the aforementioned Deseret News article that this group of bond issue opponents has a fairly thorough blog. It's worth a look. It answers a lot of questions. At one point it concedes -- sort of -- that "connecting 1120 North to 900 West *might* reduce the traffic volume on 700 North."
Another Blog: The Bloghorn
I visited local resident Ben Burr's blog for the first time over the weekend. He articulated his opposition to the bond issues in a recent post. Looking at earlier posts, I see that he sometimes takes up local and national politics, when he's not holding forth on subjects ranging from continental philosophy and postmodernism to turkey farms and a possible hostile takeover of SeaWorld.
Burr can turn a phrase, and he exhibits evidence of a reasonably advanced level of bookish education. Here are three felicitous phrases from an August post on PETA:
Wednesday Evening's Meeting
This Wednesday evening, October 22, at 7:00 p.m., at American Fork's Historic City Hall on Church Street, there will be an informational meeting about the bond issues. This is an official City meeting about the proposals, and it should be a good opportunity to ask questions if you have them. I understand that Mayor Thompson and most or all of the City Council will be present, along with, one presumes, a selection of senior staff. Bear in mind, if you go, that the City technically is not permitted to advocate a particular vote on any of the proposed bond issues; they are only to provide information. (That doesn't mean that individual officials forfeit their First Amendment rights to speak out as citizens. They just can't do it on the taxpayer's dime, so to speak.) I hope to be there myself, at least for most of the meeting.
Before you go, you may wish to study that multipage document the City sent you in the mail last week. It's an adequate, more-or-less readable description of each proposal. It needed a rewrite by a good writer before publication -- amateur hour, as I've said once or twice lately -- but it's at least usable as is.
Wendy Hickman comments (10/24/08) (quotes from the post above are indented):
Those "badly overstated" comments quoted in the Deseret News article were made by a resident attending the meeting and expressing his own opinions, not by the organizers of the meeting (as you attribute them). Much of the rhetoric in both articles published by the Daily Herald and Deseret News are actually comments made at the meeting by residents -- not the organizers of the meeting. If you read the articles carefully, you can usually distinguish who is talking. Sometimes it isn't so clear, and often wasn't us. In fact, we tried to correct many inaccuracies and overstatements that were made by the residents -- which was not usually represented in the media articles.
Also, we are not trying to pit neighborhoods against each other. We recognize that 700 North is bearing more than it's share of the traffic burden right now. It is unfortunate that poor traffic planning sent a lot of the current traffic to 700 North. Fixing that problem with the cheapest and easiest option only to create more serious problems is not the solution.
Meeting invitations were sent home with all AFJH students. Invitations not only went down to 700 North, but even went beyond, throughout the whole city. We did, in fact, have some resident representation from the 700 North area at the meeting and we acknowledge and understand their concerns.
David Rodeback comments (10/24/08):
Thanks for the clarification and correction. I did not mean to suggest that everything quoted in the press or the blog post was spoken by one of the meeting's organizers. I will strive for greater clarity next time. That organizers attempted to correct inaccuracies and overstatements in the meeting is certainly a good thing.
Copyright 2008 by David Rodeback.