Questions about how the operational costs of Utah's new Partnership for Education and Economic Development should be met are disappointing, said Donald B. Holbrook, Partnership chairman.

The Partnership recently requested that higher education, public education and the Department of Community and Economic Development each contribute $50,000 for the Partnership's 1991-92 operations. Although the agencies are supportive of the partnership concept, it is not clear that all three will seek the $50,000 in their budgets or that Gov. Norm Bangerter will approve them in his budgeting process. There is disagreement whether the day-to-day operations of the Partnership should be funded by government or the private sector."From the standpoint of the business end of the Partnership, we think it is unfortunate and short-sighted that previous assurances are being questioned," Holbrook said in a news release. The Partnership provides an excellent avenue for channeling volunteer efforts by businessmen to help the community, he said.

"I am disappointed that we are diverted by such small matters," said Holbrook. Government underwriting of the costs of such projects is not unusual, he said. "If government and education are unwilling to provide their fair share, then the Partnership's ability to move forward with effective and progressive programs will be significantly impinged."

Holbrook said the Partnership will go forward regardless. But its greatest potential lies in a true partnership, he said. The goals of the Partnership are to benefit both education and economic development through the pursuit of more than 150 specific goals.

The business community has already financed the office's first year of operations, Holbrook said. The $150,000 annual operating expenses are modest, he said.