|Emma Huntington and Lindora Draper visit with Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert.|
It seems that campaign promises mean a lot to Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert. In keeping with a promise to visit Emery County even after the election, he attended the Lincoln Day Breakfast hosted by the Emery County Republican Party last week.
Chairman Bill Dellos introduced Lt. Gov. Herbert describing him as a real statesman who cares about the people, rather than a politician who only cares about himself. Herbert said he was talking to the governor and telling him he was going to be in Emery County. He asked what the governor wanted to tell the people of Emery County. The governor said just tell them that we love them all. Herbert said, "The governor has the desire to do the right thing. He brings humility to the office of governor. It's easy to get caught up in the trappings, but our governor is a down to earth kind of guy. He is a good friend and a visionary man. He thinks outside the box and it is a refreshing change. He is not your mother's governor," said Herbert.
Herbert stressed the importance of local government and its voice being heard. He remembered attending a history class at Emery High during the campaign and the question was raised that nobody in government cares about us and that we live out in the sticks. Herbert says he is familiar with the mentality that Utah stops at the Point of the Mountain. He and Gov. Huntsman will do their best to eliminate that perception. He believes each of the 29 counties in Utah are equally important to the overall success of the state.
"Gov. Huntsman is a very learned and well connected man. He brings to the table things we need. The governor is meeting in Washington with Pres. George Bush on making things better for Utah," said Herbert.
The governor attended a National Governor's Conference and spent time alone with Pres. Bush discussing things that are important for Utah. The governor is very concerned with making Utah competitive in the global economy. Gov. Huntsman is the only governor in America who speaks Mandarin Chinese which comes in handy in discussing opportunities for trade with other nations. Huntsman is actively engaged in revitalizing the economic development in Utah.
Lt. Gov. Herbert directly supervises the election process in Utah. He is responsible for instituting important statutory responsibilities. He joked that in order to prevent Florida type antics, this responsibility is important to him and one he takes very seriously. In addition to the elections, Gov. Huntsman has placed the transportation needs of the state under Lt. Gov. Herbert's direction as well. The governor also jokingly told Lt. Gov. Herbert when he had all the transportation issues in Utah solved, he could start on world peace.
"This means the governor knows what a big job transportation is in the state," said Lt. Gov. Herbert. "Transportation needs work. SR-10 is beat up by the truck traffic and the money to bear these impacts is disproportionate with the impact. They are putting 1,000 new gas wells in the Uintah basin and they do not generate enough tax revenue to address the roads," said Lt. Gov. Herbert.
Lt. Gov. Herbert said he is planning on taking a transportation summit on the road to generate ideas for solutions to transportation dilemmas around the state. He is working toward having a plan in place to present to the legislature in 2006.
He also said a water development plan is needed for long range development. Utah is currently keeping up with growth, but what will happen down the road 20-25 years, if new sources of water aren't developed and planned for now. Lt. Gov. Herbert is the liaison to local government and to the legislature on these issues.
Lt. Gov. Herbert is proud of the rural affairs office headed by former Lt. Gov. Gayle McKeachnie. He said this office is to make sure we address the issue of someone caring about rural Utah. McKeachnie will lead the way on wilderness and RS-2477 issues. He is aided on public lands issues by former Emery County Commissioner Randy Johnson. They said that Washington County has their wilderness proposal almost completed.
Lt. Gov. Herbert quoted Abe Lincoln, "The appropriate and proper end result of bullets is ballots," He spoke about the situation in Iraq and how a lot of bullets have brought about ballots. Lt. Gov. Herbert said it was important to witness the patriotism which took place after September 11, 2001 and how the people came together and there were flags everywhere and the National Anthem was sung with more fervor. But, the disappointing part was two months later when municipal elections were held the average voter turnout was 35 percent. Voting is the basic building block of democracy.
In Iraq, amid bullets and threats of harm to voters, the voters turned out in record numbers and 60 percent cast ballots. "Do we understand democracy? Are we worthy? These voters stood in long lines to vote for the first time. They were proud to be voting. There was a touching scene where a mother whose marine had been killed in action, was embraced by an Iraqi woman. This woman appreciated the sacrifice of the marine's mother to give the Iraqi people the chance to vote. Lt. Gov. Herbert said these things are significant and we can't treat lightly our right to vote. It is important to participate in the process and express our thoughts.
"Utah is the greatest state in the union, I realized this during the election when we toured all 29 counties. It is beautiful and diverse and filled with great people," said Lt. Gov. Herbert. He also stressed that in America even those living in poverty have three times more income than the world average. He said that some parts of the world are no different today than they were 2,000 years ago. America leads in growth in applying new projects even if they didn't invent the project. "Why is there so much progress in the United States?" it is because freedom works," said Lt. Gov. Herbert.
Lt. Gov. Herbert said he thinks Republicans aren't as good as they need to be in getting out their message and what they stand for. He said a question he always gets is, "Do you care about the poor," and yes, we do care about the poor, we are compassionate, but we believe in the old adage where if you give the people fish they will eat for a day, if you teach them to fish they will eat for a lifetime. Some programs although well intended have bad results," said Lt. Gov. Herbert.
"The governor is fond of saying it is a new day in Utah, and I would add to that, it is a better day in Utah, thank you," said Lt. Gov. Herbert.