How should we address “hot button” topics like recent debate about the Pony Express Rodeo? Hot button topics by nature elicit strong emotional responses from people. While it isn’t always easy to discuss these topics, I think it is beneficial to have everything out in the open. Certainly, I am not immune to feeling strongly about a subject, and I imagine you aren’t either. In some cases, the “hot button” topic can result in lines drawn in the sand between neighbors and friends. This is why I place such a high premium on communication. Communication is the only way to reach understanding. Understanding is not the same as agreement, and I would argue that understanding is the more important of the two.
With respect to the Pony Express Rodeo, for many people the rodeo itself really isn’t an issue. I believe for most people with concerns, the issue has been the cost, or the potential cost of the rodeo. This has been the case for me as well. On Tuesday, September 2, the City Council (in a 4-1 vote with Council Member Bradley voting no) awarded a contract to purchase bleachers for the rodeo grounds with an agreement that the non-profit rodeo committee make payments for a significant portion of the cost, with the remaining funds coming from a developer as part of a renegotiated agreement with the City.
Your representative government, (the City Council and me) have very different roles. From time to time, our ideas, values, or vision may be in opposition. It isn’t easy when that happens, though that is EXACTLY what is supposed to happen. Homogeneous thought results in a lack of critical thinking. While swift action by government is something I would like to see more of sometimes, it is far better that each and every elected official be challenged by balancing powers. This means disagreements will arise, especially with “hot button” topics, and sometimes the solutions aren’t ideal to every party.
I enjoy our western heritage. There is a romantic element to the Wild West, and Eagle Mountain’s history is tied to it. I recognize there is value in celebrating that heritage through rodeo, even though I have opposed some of the solutions to doing so. Be that as it may, the time for disagreement has passed. I recognize and appreciate all of the hard work and effort the volunteer committee members have put forth to continue the rodeo. It is that passionate community involvement which makes Eagle Mountain such a great place to live! I will always encourage our residents to serve others and offer value to the community. I believe that is exactly what this civic improvement committee intends to do. I have chosen to focus on how I can help in a personal capacity. I have volunteered to assist the rodeo committee in whatever way they need me. Whether it be taking tickets or picking up trash, I’ll support their efforts.