Weber County Residents are tired of Politics as Usual

Friday , June 15, 2018 - 12:00 AM3 comments

JAMES COUTS
Guest Columnist

In a recent guest commentary, the author details his opinion on the difference between “transactional” and “devotional” politicians. Like many of the recent articles published in the Standard Examiner, it included a lot of criticism from one elected officials camp to the next. It had accusations of “cronies”, “insiders”, and “back-room dealers”, while the individual making those accusations claimed to have “nothing against” the individual he was disparaging. To add context to those accusations, the author, by his own admission, has previously received contracts from the very commissioner he is supporting. I’m certain I am not the only Weber County resident who finds the entire premise rather hypocritical.

Quite frankly, as a Weber County resident and voter, I think enough is enough. Like many of my friends and neighbors, I am sick of the constant back and forth we have seen in the newspaper from the camps of these two politicians. Weber County residents deserve a fresh face in their county government. An individual free of the accusations of cronyism and back room deals and with no connections to individuals and businesses making a living on the taxpayer’s dime.

I’m certain there are tens of thousands of Weber County residents who meet that profile, unfortunately, on the morning of the candidate filing deadline, none of them had filed. The only two candidates for Commission Seat A that morning were his transaction and devotional politicians. It was then that I decided I needed another choice; that Weber County residents needed another choice. And so I filed, 15 minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline.

Back to the guest commentary. I found it interesting, but not surprising, that there was no mention of “Couts” in the guest commentary. In retrospect, I understand why the author would leave me out, and actually appreciate it. He was trying to distinguish the difference between two politicians, and I, most certainly, am not a politician. I am a Land Surveyor and a Project Manager. My involvement in politics has always been of the volunteer variety, and I don’t have business relationships with or other ties to Weber County Government. I am simply a Weber County Resident trying to make a difference. In 2016, I actively opposed the proposed 25% property tax increase by auditing the budget, speaking out against the increase and with a call to action for republican voters to email and call the commissioners with their opposition. It is that same passion for limited government that I will bring to the Weber County Commission.

Our guest commentator mentions that Ebert “serves all of the people of Weber County” and Froerer “counsels with special interests.” A politician is not serving all of the people of Weber County when he takes money from everyone and gives it to a few. I wholeheartedly support charity through private donations. However, charitable initiatives are not the proper role of government. There are very few, if any, undertakings in which a government will do better than a private individual with the same amount of money.

I personally believe that Weber County residents don’t want a politician at all. Whether it’s an incumbent politician that is devoted to the idea that he can use your money to help people better than you will or a “transactional” politician who has spent a significant portion of his 12 years in the state legislature voting for expanding the reach of government, I believe Weber County residents want and deserve something different.

Nearly every day a new article comes out talking about how one of my opponents has ties to something or someone within the county, and the other one has done something that that appears to be indulging in the “good ol’ boy club” and cronyism. Quite frankly I don’t see how Tim Vandenack or the readers have stayed up on all of it. I’m certain I’ve missed a few of the articles along the way. But in my opinion those articles and the accusations that initiated them boil down to what Thomas Sowell (a leading conservative economist) said, "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems -- of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2. Whatever is No. 3 is far behind". I believe we’ve all had enough of politicians being politicians.

This month Weber County residents have a choice. The differences between the three candidates couldn’t be any starker. We have two politicians, who in their own right have significantly different approaches to expanding government and spending your tax dollars, and a Land Surveyor who believes in governing by the constitution and limiting government’s intrusion into your lives and your pocket books. Please do your research. Voting records can be found on the state and county websites, and Utahgrassroots.org is very user friendly. I certainly don’t expect your vote after reading this. If you and I disagree, and there is a candidate with whom you agree more, please vote for him. Because as long as the residents of Weber County know their options, and vote for the person who they feel will represent them the best, I will be happy knowing I offered one of those options.

Regardless of your choice, your vote is your voice, so please use it.

 

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