Tag Archives: state of the city

Mayor Poppins for Reelection?

It seems that Provo’s current mayor, Michelle Kaufusi, enjoys something of a penchant for showmanship, making quite a number of appearances on camera in brief musicals and parodies and such.  (And, on a related note, our city definitely enjoys some notable videographic talent!)

Mayor Kaufusi’s most notable appearances have arguably come during her State of the City addresses.  During last year’s address, she appeared in a pre-recorded Star Wars parody video that portrayed her predecessor, Mayor Curtis, handing her a light saber symbolizing our city to wield.  During this year’s State of the City address, she appeared in another pre-recorded video, this time parodying Mary Poppins floating above Provo while promoting “getting everyone together to talk it out.”

As for her latest appearance, it’s laudable that she is striving to use the “bully pulpit” of her office to promote both civility and cooperation and unity, especially in a pursuit like politics that seems to naturally attract the proud-and-contentious.  But, at the same time, her latest video is almost propagandistic in its over-the-top ending that gushes over how Mayor Kaufusi/Poppins is “practically perfect in every way.”  Such messaging should be reserved for campaign funds rather than for tax revenue—which is a relatively small quibble, perhaps, but not a trivial one.

While teamwork is highly beneficial, some would add that we should always cooperate in accordance with God’s two greatest commandments, which include the Golden Rule, which others would say includes mutually respecting each other’s equal God-given rights.  Sadly, such respect for basic rights has proven sadly lacking among Provo city officers for at least two decades.  These officers need to stop trying to run Provo but, instead, set it free.  Like any other political system, Provo’s municipal government’s proper role is to assist us in defending our rightful liberty from others’ aggression, and not to otherwise control us.

If you agree with us that better city government is needed, then please get educated, informed, and involved in Provo’s city elections regularly, and help your like-minded neighbors to do likewise. And, if our website helps, then please feel free to use it.  This year’s municipal elections are only eight months away.


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Centrally-Planning More Efficiently

Ideally, people should be free to sell and buy and develop land as they please, provided that nobody violates anyone else’s equal God-given rights in the process of doing so—and political systems should intervene ONLY to help defend rights from aggression while otherwise allowing people to remain free (and NOT to seize control of every aspect of the development process).

So, it’s sad that Provo’s municipal government has gradually become so controlling about development within its jurisdiction, which has needlessly impeded such development from taking place.  In response to such concerns, Mayor Kaufusi has decided to act, not to alleviate municipal intervention into the local economy, sadly, but to increase the efficiency of that intervention.  Government efficiency is always a challenging goal—it’s achievable, yes, but it’s also the rare-and-fleeting exception to the rule, whereas the exact opposite is true of the private sector.  Moreover, although efficiency is definitely a good goal in general, doing the wrong thing more efficiently isn’t as worthy of a goal as doing the right thing instead.

And the right thing is a city government limited as best as possible to its proper role of rights-defense, rather than one that seeks to run the economy, which is the only to way for Provo to remain such a marvelous place to live.  If you agree, then please help rally, inform, and organize your neighbors to vote better in this year’s municipal elections.  And you’re welcome to use our website for that purpose if it helps.


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Provo’s State-of-the-City in 2018

Provo officially inaugurated Michelle Kaufusi this January 3rd as its newest (and first female) mayor.  She delivered her first state-of-the-city address this January 18th, which proposed both good and bad for Provo’s near-future.

As for the good, Mayor Kaufusi encouraged both community spirit and volunteerism, which is always commendable.  She also proposed a new wastewater treatment facility, which sounds like a fine idea, as long as it’s genuinely needed.  And she proposed a newly-consolidated customer-service department to better help patrons of the city’s growing array of business ventures.  So far, so good.

It’s this latter item that introduces the bad, though, because no city should ever need a customer-service department.  This department has become necessary only because our city officers have followed our federal government’s bad example by running so many businesses.  In fact, for all practical purposes, our city’s mayor currently doubles as C.E.O. of over a dozen city-run business ventures, which now include a redevelopment agency, a power company, an airport, a television channel, a library, a money-losing performing arts center, a thriving recreation center, a fitness center, a golf course, an ice rink, a water park, a park service, a gun range, a garbage-collection service, a recycling service, and a cemetery.  And, by the way, our city officers have shown interest in expanding this list to include both a museum and a beach.

Altogether, this diverse array of at least 16 businesses arguably constitutes far too much responsibility for a single conglomerate to manage effectively, especially a conglomerate that’s entirely led/managed by politicians.  Whenever such public businesses perform well (as Provo’s new recreation center has been doing), it’s always a rare-and-fleeting exception to the timeless universal rule, which is one reason why we would do well to fully spin-off all such businesses into the private sector.  Another reason for such spin-offs is that our public sector should avoid distracting itself from its core responsibilities (and proper role) of expertly helping us to defend our God-given rights.

And our politicians should definitely only defend rights and never violate them!  Sadly, our city officers have already been infringing upon our equal God-given rights by trying to centrally-plan development in west Provo, while cracking down on landlords’ private property rights, which are two other sad items that Mayor Kaufusi mentioned in these remarks.  If she continues to exert ever-more political control over our now-thriving city economy, then such control will ultimately devastate it, much as Detroit governed itself to death in 2011.

So, altogether, Mayor Kaufusi seems poised to perpetuate the relatively-statist policies of her predecessor, sadly, and to fulfill her campaign slogan of wanting a “strong” Provo—which, as best as I can tell, includes rendering our city government strong enough to control the local economy and even decree grocery stores into existence at will.  This means that we’ll need to remain vigilant, and prepare ourselves to mobilize our like-minded neighbors to oppose such bad policies—and to help them to choose better in 2021.  If you haven’t already done so, then please peruse our website to learn more about what’s wrong with Provo, along with how we might solve those problems together.

Do you agree with this analysis?  Why or why not?  What more can or should we be doing to foster a freer Provo?   Please leave your feedback below.


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