It has been an interesting 25-year journey as the Southern Utah News editor. There have been many controversial social and political issues that have come and gone since moving here.

One thing I’ve observed is that the ‘natives’ think the ‘move-in’s’ like myself (only 25 years), aren’t entitled to voice an opinion concerning controversial issues that come up.

Southern Utah has been discovered as a terrific travel destination. Tourists are finding out what residents have always known to be true – we live in one of the most extraordinary and beautiful areas of the entire country!

The popularity has especially grown in recent years. This has meant great economic news for this area, actually some of the best in years. New motels are being built, new restaurants are opening, businesses are experiencing record sales, TRT and sales taxes are assisting the city and county budgets, and housing starts are growing by leaps and bounds.

This is what we have all been waiting for – things are working out right. But as the years have passed – I usually can predict what our elected officials will say/do on any given subject. Specifically, they like to shoot themselves in the foot.

The Natural Family debacle comes to mind! Let’s pass a non-binding impotent proclamation (something ineffectual, with no impact), just to make a statement that is going to cause hard feelings for many tourists and residents.

And what IS the statement this time concerning shrinking the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument? That you’re still mad about the Monument being named over 20 years ago? You’re angry that you as pioneer stakeholders weren’t consulted?

Well now that’s interesting – because OUR elected officials are doing the same thing to us! Let’s have a public hearing and let residents ‘think’ that we’re listening! Placebo, anyone? Don’t diminish peoples’ intelligence! It’s apparent that both the city and county already had their minds made up on the recent resolution.

You didn’t have to weigh in on the Monument reduction issue at all. You’ve only signed a proclamation indicating that you really don’t appreciate many residents’ opinions, and that the value of this beautiful land and the tourists and dollars it attracts, are not as important as making a statement.

Your silly, non-binding resolution may be far more destructive than you ever could’ve imagined. You’ve shot yourselves in the foot again!