Utah will move in a positive direction only if the state has a leader who faces up to issues, makes decisions and then accepts the consequences, Gov. Norm Bangerter said Thursday.

"How do you give direction and chart a road map getting the state to move in a positive direction without a good leader?" he asked Provo Kiwanis Club members.At a club luncheon, Bangerter told members that if a politician's main objective is to preserve himself in political office, then it doesn't matter if he is re-elected or not because he is not facing the issues, making decisions and accepting the consequences.

"I don't want to make decisions that are only good for the next election. I want to make productive and long-term decisions and investments in the future," he said.

Bangerter said a good leader faces decisions on the best information available, referring to this year's new state and federal tax law. "We should go through the filing cycle, and then make changes based on the facts."

The governor also said it is important to understand the formulas and facts before making decisions. He said budget constraints and tightened state funding for education are "hard realities we have to face up to."

For every 100 adults aged 18 to 65, 47 children go to public schools in the state, he said. The national average is 31 children per 100 adults. That does not include private schools where 12 percent of school-aged children attend on the national average. In Utah only 1 percent attend private schools.