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Comments about ‘My view: Orem's biggest problem is UTOPIA’

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Published: Wednesday, May 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The real problem is that it is not just Orem and not just UTOPIA. It’s every town, city, county, state in America. The scams include Broadway theatres, Trax, Art’s, Zoos, Business bribes, and about everything you can name.

Even though the process is the same time after time, the public never seems to wake up until it’s too late.

First it’s the need. Either real or made up. Then the promises of filling the need and securing benefits.

Second it’s is the funding by borrowing money by bonds in the taxpayers name.

Third, the money gets spent. Whether the venue gets built or not.

Forth, the developer businessman leaves, with the taxpayer on the hook for the bonds.

Fifth, Bankruptcy.

Mick Stupp
Happy Valley, UT

I agree with Richard. This is what happens when government starts competing with businesses by giving lots of money to a favored business. I hope Orem and other Utah cities have learned their lesson.

dalefarr
South Jordan, Utah

It wasn't just a grand idea poorly executed. It was a lousy idea carried out by politicians and investment bankers ("financial advisers") who had no understanding of the market and the inability to competently run a competitive enterprise. The taxpayers got and are getting hosed on UTOPIA

JesseHarris
Sandy, UT

Orem's problem is that it spent decades betting on sales tax revenues. Until a few years ago, those bets paid off very well and Orem could live on shoppers from neighboring towns. Now that this well has started to run dry, Orem's over-dependence on retail is coming home to roost. A responsible political leader would explain this to the voters and come up with solutions. Opportunists like Mr. Brunst prefer to find a scapegoat that fits their existing political biases.

Orem would be better served by a mayor who will accept the reality of the situation and attempt to make the best of it, not a low-information populist who seeks to feed and feed on anger.

rlsintx
Plano, TX

Maybe the answer is there are too many towns competing.
Provo and Orem should just merge and get it over with, you can't tell the different in them anyway - cut the overhead, merge services and leadership.

VST
Bountiful, UT

Orem needs to follow in the footsteps of Murray and Tremonton. Both city councils decided to "cut the cord" and recently told UTOPIA to "go pound sand" – no more money from their city coffers.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I think those big empty "skyscrapers" on State Street give Utopia a run for its money...

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

I spoke in favor of UTOPIA at the hearing, I thought it was a good idea in theory, so I will ask for you to pass the salt while I eat crow on this one. Perhaps it is time to cut our (I was a resident of Orem for over 30 years and recently relocated but still own property there) losses.

I agree with ultrabob's comments. Sometimes there are problems that government should not try to solve. Specifically those items that require bonded dollars which leaves the public hold the bag, and note, while those who made up the idea, whose friends made out like bandits, move on.

As to merging Orem with the city to the south, Forgetaboutit. Orem may have its issues but Provo has subscriptions of problems. Being bigger would exacerbate the problems both cities face, and city government would only get bigger. Oh, each city has liabilities that the other city would also incur, meaning a new city with a lot of debt. We need to play nice, share and take our turn, but stay separate and single on this one.

Impact
Orem, UT

Together Utopia and the Orem City leaders have done irreparable financial harm to the citizens of Orem. The Orem City officials should be voted out of office and Utopia fired. Now that Google is here, Utopia should fold and allow a legitimate business to take over. The idea that my property taxes should be inordinately hiked to support a failed business is criminal.

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