Herald Journal Editorial - 12/3/15
Let’s talk a bit about the Cache County Council’s decision to financially support the American Lands Council, an organization that is spearheading the fight to have federal property turned over to states.
The County Council has reportedly made payments totaling $10,000 to maintain a “silver membership” in the organization led by Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan. When contacted by The Herald Journal for an article in Sunday’s newspaper, County Executive Craig Buttars defended the expenditure, saying the county supports “the organization’s stance against the federal government’s overreach.”
Obviously, Buttars didn’t mean everyone in the county supports the cause, just the county’s elected leaders, but that’s among concerns raised by a number of local residents after learning of the situation. Since when, they are asking, has county government spoken for the whole community on a divisive national issue of this kind?
And since when has there been any expectation that local tax dollars be devoted to causes outside the purview of the government entity collecting those taxes?
Forget for a minute the issue at hand — control of public lands. And let’s even overlook the controversy surrounding Rep. Ivory’s $95,000 salary for running the nonprofit American Lands Council. It doesn’t matter what the issue or organization is.
Local government simply shouldn’t be spending taxpayers’ dollars on any advocacy organization, be it the ALC, the NRA, NOW, Green Peace, PITA, you name it.
So here’s a simple solution for any local political leaders wanting to support any such organizations. Reach into your own pockets. That way you won’t have to face any more criticism of this kind, and you should sleep a little better to boot.