Although Free Provo focuses mostly upon municipal issues, city issues are sometimes closely connected with broader trends in Utah County. This site’s previous blog entry warned about attempts by local politicians to reorganize Utah County’s commission, arguably so that it can shoulder greater responsibilities for centrally-planning Utah County’s economy. These efforts roughly coincided with related efforts to devise some central planning guidelines, as composed by Envision Utah.
Envision Utah is a group of prominent Utahns who dislike free-market-driven growth for being too “chaotic” and “accidental” (as they’ve been quoted in the local news) and, as such, prefer our political system to assert control over that growth in order to start centrally-planning it. Envision Utah has devised central plans for other parts of Utah and, now, it’s apparently Utah County’s turn.
Envision Utah started a “Valley Visioning” initiative about two years ago under the excuse of managing Utah County’s rapid population growth. Its carefully-refined visioning process has involved (1) hosting various surveys and workshops and such to determine Utah County residents’ wants and values and priorities, then (2) using this input to develop a communal vision for Utah County’s future that will serve to guide county-level central planning in the coming years, and finally (3) leveraging Utah County values to sell this central plan to residents after it’s finished.
Envision Utah’s statist vision of Utah County is apparently finished now, and it will be presented publicly on November 17th (Tuesday) at 2PM during a news conference. It will then coordinate/guide local statist politicians in planning where new move-ins will live, what sort of homes they’ll inhabit, how they’ll landscape their yards, et cetera, rather than leaving such decisions to free people in free markets.
Central economic planning has devastated both entire nations like the USSR and great cities like Detroit, and it will innately do likewise here. It will greet Californian move-ins with the same sort of heavy-handed state policies that created the terrible conditions from which they’re currently fleeing in droves. The plans of the few, no matter how expert, are always inferior to the plans of the many. Some may denigrate free societies as “chaotic” and “disorderly” and “selfish,” but others perceive the beauty of virtuous free people spontaneously creating order amongst themselves.
So, let’s keep our politicians focused on defending our rights (and maybe maintaining our infrastructure) and NOT expect them to exercise their coercive powers to guarantee us the future that we think that we want, which would be counterproductive. It’s better for us to work out out our county’s future amongst ourselves as free people, while our politicians defend our rightful liberty (NOT carefully limit it). So, let’s please regularly scrutinize our politicians’ actions, including whether-or-not they’re complying with this central plan, and then elect ONLY those who will fully respect our rights.
Sadly, it shouldn’t surprise us if Provo’s current city council embraces this central plan, since they’ve already endured a similar process at a city level. About a decade ago, mayor John Curtis initiated a similar citywide visioning process, soliciting input from residents that he used to create Vision 2030, which Provo’s city council openly admitted to using as a guide for centrally-planning the city, gradually transforming its abstract vision into concrete city code. Vision 2030 proved so successful that they began to replace it with an updated version called Vision 2050. You can read more about these vision statements elsewhere on this site.
We endure such municipal politicians not because most Provoans love statism, one might argue, but because most Provoans abdicate to it because they don’t bother to participate in municipal politics. Again, let’s please motivate, educate, inform, and organize our like-minded neighbors to involve themselves in municipal elections to help replace Provo’s central planners with free-marketeers. And why not make a plan for such activism today? If this website helps you at all, then please use it.
- Defending Utah: “Who is Behind Agenda 21 in Utah?” (2019 Jan 19)
- Brookings Mountain West: “The Utah Model: Lessons for Regional Planning” (2012 Dec)
- Envision Utah
- Utah Valley Visioning
- Valley Visioning Survey
- Provo Daily Herald: “While groups fight to keep open spaces from development, county has no comprehensive plan” (2016 Dec 11)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Utah County leaders tackle impending growth with launch of Valley Visioning project” (2018 Nov 15)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Mayors’ column: Let’s work together to shape a future for Utah Valley” (2018 Dec 08)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Initial Valley Visioning results surprise some, more input wanted” (2019 Jan 05)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Second annual Utah Valley Visioning Summit emphasizes priorities” (2019 Apr 17)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Envisioning Utah County’s Future: Sustainability group, local leaders explore valley’s growth opportunities” (2019 Dec 17)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Guest opinion: Utah Valley visioning requires the voice of business” (2020 Sep 12)
- Provo Daily Herald: “Envision Utah presents Valley Visioning report during Utah Valley Chamber Executive Summit” (2020 Nov 13)
- Provo: Provo City Vision 2030
- Provo: Provo City Vision 2050
- Free Provo: Problems: Envisioning Statism
- Free Provo: Solutions
- Facebook: Free Provo