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Letter to the Editor - Re: Am I All Alone on This One?

Article Date: 
21 September, 2012 (All day)

Dear Editor:
Dialogue and debate about what Morgan was, what Morgan is and what Morgan will be is nearly constant and of upmost importance to all of us who call Morgan home. For those reasons there are continual discussions with school board, county and city governments, and Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC), including more extensive and detailed surveys and community forums such as Envision Morgan (EM). Because EM was the most recent survey done, it best answers the questions addressed in the letter submitted by Mr. Ellis. The initial presentations and final report are found easily online for the public to view.
A core issue being discussed with Envision Morgan was that, based on census data and projections of population growth, the population will increase.  Growth brings many challenges. That growth is through migration of those with no previous ties to the valley, as well as many who were raised or have family here.
And while Heber’s geography and Wasatch Back location are similar to Morgan, the specific negative characteristics of Heber’s traffic are unique to Heber. It is a major hub of travelers from Eastern Utah, Southwestern Wyoming and all travelers going between Utah County, Salt Lake County and the Wasatch Back.  Despite the fact that we will never see traffic flows like those in Heber, there is still the issue of growth and business.
With the fact that growth will continue as in many other parts of Utah, we have theopportunity to participate in what the growth looks like.  Since 95 percent of Morgan is privately owned, there are interesting challenges as the public attempts to shape that growth. And the local governments and school are left to deal with the financial strains that occur. One statistic stood out to me, as I sat in one of the initial Envision Morgan open houses: for every $1.00 generated through development income, or through the building of a home, it eventually results in a burden of $1.65, which is a net drag on local government and schools. Because we will not stop all new home development, we focus on solutions to the situation.
One simple solution is to increase property taxes. Homes are taxed at 55 percent of value and business property at 100 percent. I don’t know one property owner whi wants to increase property taxes. So having commercial property is one part of the solution. Better yet is a business that also generates sales taxes. The value of spending our hard earned dollars in town cannot be stressed enough. Perhaps one nice side effect of high fuel prices is that many of us think twice about that trip to other areas to shop, and end up benefiting us all tremendously. And when it comes to cutting costs, Morgan has proven itself as getting a lot for very little, in both the schools and services provided by our local governments.
Involved community members and business owners are interested in not simply bringing business, but in attracting the right businesses. When possible, those businesses will provide services and goods to our residents. They are also interested in those companies that provide good incomes, have little negative impact on the high quality of life, and that help fill that gap in budgets of schools and services that we are not meeting. As the MACC has worked diligently to help create an Economic Development Plan, the quality of life is at the forefront of every decision. And stating that we are working on the process to bring in business means that we are doing those things to market Morgan to the right businesses. We will not immediately fill every vacant lot with a business, but we brand ourselves as the educated, hard-working population that we are, to bring the right ratio of businesses to residents. We hope to avoid 40 students per classroom, bankrupting local government, and breaking the back of the businesses already here. Those existing business owners want additional businesses! They pay more than their share of taxes, get approached by every student club and sports team and help subsidize almost every community event that makes Morgan great.
The Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce opens the door to community participation and for volunteers who want to have an impact for good in our beautiful valley. We are working hard with local governments and should also applaud their efforts that are helping us all.
~ Regards,
Jason Johnson
Member: Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce
 
Dear Editor:
In response to the article you published in the September 14, 2012 edition entitled “Student participation in school lunch program dwindling,” I would like to say that more fruits and vegetables are not the issue here - at least not in our household. 
We have three children who attend the Morgan School District. In past years, we have always purchased school lunches. But when we learned that the federal government has raised the price of school lunches and forced the children to eat healthier, we decided this year to only purchase school lunches a maximum of once a week. We are tired of the Federal Government controlling more and more of our lives. Where we have a choice, we will stand up for our individual freedom and liberty.  We are our children’s parents and we know what is best for them.  In a way, not purchasing school lunch is just one small protest.
We simply do not want to be forced to comply with everything our president and his wife dictate to us.  If he is allowed to retain his presidency, I believe there will be many more opportunities for protests of this kind.
~ Keanen and Angie Farr