Legislative leaders and Salt Lake Organizing Committee officials met last week and apparently came away flush with mutual affection. That's a good sign.

Even better news is that many more similar sessions are planned and not merely in times of concern or crisis. SLOC seems to be moving toward more public interaction in the planning process for the 2002 Winter Games. That can only benefit everyone.House Speaker Mel Brown, R-Midvale, and Senate President Lane Beattie, R-Bountiful, said following the meeting things with the SLOC "looked good" and that the situation was "like a breath of fresh air." That's a far cry from sessions late last year when legislators challenged a $2 million severance proposal for former SLOC President Tom Welch and rattled swords about tighter government oversight.

Whether those threats had anything to do with increased involvement or if things have merely evolved that direction, a greater attitude of inclusion by SLOC is evident and to be commended. That openness may be fueling increased public support of the 2002 Games, and even a willingness by a majority of Utahns to cough up some tax money to pull them off.

A recent Deseret News poll indicated 67 percent of the populace favor hosting the Games, with only 29 percent opposed. In addition, 78 percent are confident the state will do a first-class job. Surprisingly, a strong majority said using tax dollars in six key areas of preparation - including security and community programs to involve Utahns in the Games - would be acceptable.

That sentiment undoubtedly has its limits, but residents are eager to see the updated SLOC budget and to be active participants in making the 2002 Games shine.

Compared to some of the stormy past through which SLOC has traveled, that is indeed good news.