Utahns are generally agreed on what is important to the future of the state. How to arrive at desired goals is another challenge, participants in a statewide "town meeting" indicated Tuesday night.
Residents in 35 locations were linked by telecommunications to discuss a vision statement for the state. The statement, being developed by the Strategic Planning Committee, will undergo a third revision, incorporating the opinions expressed in the statewide meeting, and be presented to the Legislature in 1991. It will become a guide to policy decisions.In most of the town-meeting locations, concerns were in general the same, said John Fellows of the Office of Legislative Research. Themes that emerged consistently were the environment, economic development, education, arts and culture, the need to preserve family values and the importance of a positive outlook.
Meetings were held in urban senate districts and rural house districts, representing all of the state's major communities.
KUED-Channel 7 aired a one-hour program based on the meetings and will re-broadcast the program Sunday at 10 a.m.
Rep. Nolan Karras, R-Roy, a longtime proponent of strategic planning, said he felt the statewide meeting was a success. A small number gathered to represent Weber area interests, but they had a "constructive discussion," he said.
"I expected some detractors. We had none," said Karras. "In general, the people here liked the vision statement. They specifically wanted protection of family values added, though there is disagreement on a definition of family these days."
Karras, who has been speaker of the Utah House, will leave the Legislature this session, having chosen not to run for re-election. He predicted that the "tough part" of pursuing the general concepts of the vision statement will be dealing with specifics.
The statement is not, however, too nebulous to be useful, he said. It will be a guide to help Utah use its strengths and shore up weaknesses "instead of just letting things happen."
Concepts in Vision Statement:
- Nurturing of a diverse, open, just and compassionate society.
- Building an economy and infrastructure that provides broad opportunities for citizens.
- Enhancing local and global environments by balancing development and protection of natural resources
- Promoting personal well-being by encouraging healthful lifestyles and supporting access to quality health care at reasonable costs.
- Educating citizens by providing an environment that supports lifelong learning and enables all to reach their full potential
- Broadening understanding of humanity with opportunities for artistic expression and appreciation.
- Encouraging self-sufficiency while helping those with special needs
- Protecting society by supporting public safety so residents can be free of fear.
- Assuring open, just and accountable government.
- Strengthening free enterprise while providing a reasonable, protective regulatory environment.
- Preparing for the challenges of tomorrow and today.