You have to love living in this country of freedom. The freedom to be able to voice our opinions and ideas and to take appropriate actions based on our feelings. One might even say that because of those freedoms, we have a responsibility to take part.
One thing comes to mind that we have all heard, "if you don't vote, don't complain." The only non-voters who have a right to complain are those under 18 years old. And if they are complaining about anything dealing with politics or government in general, kudos to them for being involved.
Next week citizens of Layton will be asked to take an active part in planning for future developments within the city. Jan. 24 to Jan. 28, Layton city, along with private landowners, will hold a series of meetings called a "Charrette," conducted by the city and involving an outside consulting group. These meetings will be for the specific purpose of encouraging input from the public regarding mixed use, both residential and commercial development of 140 acres in west Layton.
Through many hours of study and education, (from a wide variety of resources), the Layton city staff and elected officials have learned of some new ideas for designing open land for the best use of that land for residents now and in the future. This method of planning is called "form-based code" and has been used some in other parts of Utah.
With this involvement, citizens of Layton can feel comfortable with the planning process in the decision by Layton city staff and elected officials to use an outside consultant. To the city's advantage, elected officials come from a variety of backgrounds and professions and because of that wide array of expertise, a professional decision was made to contract with a consultant for this planning process. In this writer's professional business opinion, it has been proven in many scenarios to be much more cost-effective to use consulting firms when going a new direction than to use educated guesses.
Citizens may also feel comfortable with this statement considering the KSL radio editorial on Monday, Jan. 10. In that editorial, Chris Redgrave of Zions Bank, spoke on "Speaking on Business" about Layton city as being the largest city in Davis County, 70,000 strong, "robust and doing well."
She said, "This Davis County municipality hasn't been as affected as most by the downturn. "This is because of their strong fiscal management, which includes being debt free as much as possible." She said, "The council is financially responsible and has avoided making any property tax increases for over 20 years."
This development, being considered, is a means whereby tax revenues can be realized for many years to come, and the raising of taxes for the city to be able to continue to provide for the general health, safety, and welfare to the citizens of the city may be put off for another number of years.
Flitton is a member of the Layton City Council.