|Congressman Jim Matheson (right) visits with David Hinkins and Greg Killpack during Emery Telcom's Customer Appreciation Barbeque.|
Congressman Jim Matheson recently visited Emery County and attended the Emery Telcom Customer Appreciation Barbeque.
He said, "When Emery Telcom officials visited Washington D.C. last winter they came and visited me and invited me to come down to Emery County to attend their annual barbeque. I'm glad to be here and I'm really impressed with the community aspects of the event. Emery Telcom impresses me as a company that has made a lot of advances. They have remained stable in the telecommunications market during a time of a lot of changes and challenges. Look at WorldCom and others and Emery Telcom has thrived during this time.
"I am Utah's congressman, I don't really care where the district boundaries are; it doesn't really change what I do. I'm not familiar with all the issues that Emery County faces, but I am on the House Transportation committee and I think it is important to address Highway 6 and transportation issues. I think federal monies are key in that regard.
"I realize the importance of the energy industry and the importance of coal to the county. I met this morning with representatives from the coal industry. We discussed the long term viability of the coal industry and I look forward to working with them. PacifiCorp is still looking at adding Hunter 4 and I think it is an important addition. This is the logical place to build it, we've got it all here and it's an important thing to have.
"I am keeping an open mind about the monument proposal. I'm encouraged because the process will bring all stakeholders to the table and the local component will be involved in the decision. I think this is an appropriate participatory process in contrast with the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, which was inappropriate and accomplished with the stroke of a pen without discussion with the people of the state of Utah.
"Whether it be a monument, national conservation or heritage area, it's important to keep an open discussion on what should happen and where trails should be open and all other issues; it should be an open process which is better to reach a consensus. I do not support the Red Rock Wilderness.
"I think the process to protect public lands should include a process with a lot of different stakeholders. Public lands decisions should be made with all components being considered. I do not support one-sided legislation. I think without developing more of a consensus that any bill will have trouble in Congress. Thanks to the constitution it is hard to pass a bill which is controversial. It would be difficult for it to move through both the House and the Senate. It has a ways to go and there won't be a vote on it this year.
"I have a big district which is the size of the state of Alabama. I plan on getting out to meet people. I was here during the fair and served food at the lamb fry. It was a nice event with a good community feel. I want people to learn about me and I want to get to know the people here to see what's on their mind. Congress will be back in session in September and I'll be in Washington during the week, but I hope to get out in the district. I am an independent voice and have my record in Congress to stand on. I have a record that says I'll do what I said I would do. I hope to reach out to everyone," said Matheson.