David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

Previous Post          Printer-Friendly Version          Next Post


Thursday, July 21, 2005
No, We're Not Trading Park Land (This Time)

Last month I blogged about a proposal by American Fork City Councilman Keith Blake to trade a strategic piece of Hunter Park to a developer. See also this letter from several residents of the area.

Now I read in the American Fork Citizen (as I had previously heard) that the proposal is officially dead.

I think this is the fate it deserves, but something positive should be noted about Councilman Blake, who proposed it. The City has some serious fiscal challenges, and he is willing to think outside the box to address them. That, in itself, is commendable.

The leader who is willing to think outside the box, especially if he talks about it in public meetings and in the presence of reporters, faces the risk (let's be honest, the near-certainty) of being the lone target of all opposition to his idea. This seems to have happened here. And Councilman Blake really was alone on this one; his motion received only silence from his peers, when they were invited to second it.

Going it alone means that the opposition can identify a single person as their target. This tempts them to engage in personal attacks. Even if they don't, the leader himself may take even perfectly appropriate opposition personally.

I'm not aware that Councilman Blake was the object of personal attacks, though I'm pretty sure the opposition was not shy about naming him as the proposal's source. That sort of personal attention is both necessary and perfectly appropriate. The only thing the politician who receives it can do is have a good, thick skin; I hope he has one.

As I said, I didn't think much of the proposal itself. As a matter of general principle, however, thinking outside the box is a bold and commendable thing. I hope Councilman Blake will keep doing it.

Previous Post          Printer-Friendly Version          Next Post


Bookmark and Share