Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rocky Says He Will Have An "Open-Mind" Regarding Skybridge

I've been bored of Utah politics lately, other than the Legislature selling out our fourth seat, there really hasn't much that I have felt like writing about. However we can always count on "Rocky" to make Utah politics interesting (even if slightly) again.

The DesNews had an article this morning on Rocky's fear that a skybridge in the new Downtown plan being pursued by the LDS Church might threaten downtown vitality, but that he is "softening" his opposition. This was my favorite part of the article "Anderson said Monday that the council has the final say, unless he vetoes their decision." I guess he is either, giving a lesson on our system of government (the legislative branch (city council) votes, and the executive branch (Rocky) either signs off or vetoes the proposed issue), or he is unofficially planning a veto if things don't go his way.

After a tenure as mayor that has done nothing of substantial benefit for Salt Lake City (other than the little orange flags at street corners for the Olympics, national political activism, and acrimony between his office and the state legislature) he now asserts himself adversely when a real solid plan for urban revitalization is being introduced. He stated that "no one seems to have fully considered or analyzed the tremendous amount of time and the comprehensive public policy" that went into the '90s-era plans". Last time I checked the 90's era plans have left downtown SLC a graveyard of failed businesses and empty shops, one key to good government and good leadership is the ability to adapt when one plan fails other options need to be pursued. Rocky seems to lack this trait, he has failed to act in the city's best interest on countless occasions.

I don't care for Rocky Andersen, but I will admit that I will miss his antics, he has made politics in this state a much more interesting topic. However, Salt Lake City will be better off (at least economically, and managerially) when his tenure finally comes to an end.


Alienated Wannabe said...

I think Rocky Anderson has had a polarizing effect upon many of us, Phil. But, one thing that softens my heart toward him is the account I heard him share of his meeting with the late Elder Neil A. Maxwell.

This righteous disciple of Jesus, one of the great heroes of my life, showed compassion and brotherhood toward the mayor. Elder Maxwell told him that his name was still on the records of the Church--that he still belonged!

But, the part of the story that always catches me in the throat whenever I am reminded of it is when the mayor finishes his account by saying, “I love Elder Maxwell.”

Even after his death, Elder Maxwell continues to teach me how to properly treat God’s children. It makes me lament all the unkind things I have said or written about the mayor or any other child of God.

Simple acts of love and kindness are far more powerful than stinging criticism in producing positive change in this world. But, which approach do we bloggers typically take? The answer is sobering, isn’t it?

Phil, I suspect that I owe you an apology. On SLCSPIN I made a comment about how I couldn’t understand how social conservatives could vote for a Democrat.

Since you had just written that you had voted for Pete Ashdown, it probably seemed like I was taking a shot at you. Please forgive me. I honestly did not intend it that way. I actually hold you in very high regard. I hope you will please excuse my thoughtlessness.

Anonymous said...

So what does that essay have to do with the topic of the post? Regardless of whether or not he's a member he has still made his mistakes and voicing an opinion on whether or not his opposition on the topic of the skybridge is another testament of his leadership abilities should not bring a lofty reprimand from a wannabe. Lets try and focus on the authors points of discussion and not stray to sacrament meeting chatter.

Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear Anonymous,

Please find your statements italicized and bolded below, followed by my responses.

"So what does that essay have to do with the topic of the post?"

Both posts were about Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Reading Phil's comments prompted a memory of a cherished lesson learned. I believed that it was relevant to the current topic, and I felt impressed to share it.

"Regardless of whether or not he's a member he has still made his mistakes and voicing an opinion on whether or not his opposition on the topic of the sky bridge is another testament of his leadership abilities should not bring a lofty reprimand from a wannabe."

I am sorry that my comments came across as being a lofty reprimand. That certainly was not my intention. I apologize for being inarticulate.

I agree with you that the mayor's membership in the Church is not the issue here. For me, that was not the point of the story. Rather, it was that Elder Maxwell treated the mayor, despite his supposed differences with the Church, as being someone who "belonged," a brother rather than "the enemy."

I have come to see that as being a key principle in successfully dealing with people in all areas of our lives--including politics. It is a lesson I am trying to better put into practice in my own life.

Unfortunately, I am such a weak and foolish wannabe that I am constantly falling back into bad contentious habits. Trust me, I have been far more excessive in my attacks on the mayor than anything I have read in Green Jello. Thus, my comments here actually had more to do with my own repentance than anything Phil has written.

"Lets try and focus on the authors points of discussion and not stray to sacrament meeting chatter."

I sincerely believed that I was focusing on the author's points of discussion. I was attempting to identify an approach for interacting with the mayor that would bring about the desired results, rather than an approach than would further divide a community.

Like Phil, I believe that the sky bridge is necessary for the new development to be successful.

I do not believe that making people suffer the inconvenience of having to descend a level, exit the building, wait for traffic, and stumble across a Trax line, just to get to the other side of the development, is going to produce any benefits for the city.

Rather, it may actually hurt the city by making the development less user friendly, and thus less inviting to patrons.

The mayor is an intelligent man. He also sincerely wants what is best for the city. I choose to believe that by respectfully reasoning with him, and taking into account his valid concerns, one can reach a mutually acceptable solution.

As for straying into "Sacrament Meeting chatter," please allow me to clarify my perspective on such things:

Ideally, my religion is not something I do for only a few hours on Sunday. Rather, it is something I seek to actualize in my everyday life. It is the source for what is best in me, the moving cause of the best things I do. It is my world view, my hope, something inseparable from how I think about everything else--including politics.

My intention in contributing here was not to engage in "chatter." Rather, I was attempting to be as generous as I am capable of being. I was sharing something of great value to me.

I am busy. I have other things to do with my time. I do not blog for the heck of it. I do it because I hope to make a difference in the world.

I have come here to support "Green Jello" because Phil has been supportive of me. There are only a few blogs I take the time to visit. The greatest compliment I can show to another blogger is to take them seriously, give of my time, and to engage them in dialog.

I hope that Phil takes my humble gesture for how it was intended. What I have shared here is the best that I am capable of giving. I am not sure that I will write many more important things in my life than what I have written here about Rocky Anderson & Neil A. Maxwell.

I do not apologize for doing so. I only apologize for not having done so in such a way as to successfully convey the love and pure intentions that I felt while making the attempt.

With Deep Sincerity,
Alienated Wannabe