Rick Bowmer, Associated Press
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams looks on during a committee hearing in Salt Lake City on April 10.
Experts claim the murky air hugging the Wasatch front last week was caused by heat, ozone and forest fire smoke. We believe political hot air is to blame.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ben McAdams created a moderate kerfuffle when Utahns learned that he had spent a night on Salt Lake City’s streets and another in the main homeless shelter. His experiences helped move other leaders, including House Speaker Greg Hughes, in developing solutions. Was this just political grandstanding or a real attempt to understand the problem?
Pignanelli: “Internalization is used in this country as a very effective political tool.” — Kathy Acker
As my former legislative colleagues will attest, I excelled at flamboyant antics and obnoxious grandstanding. Indeed, that other daily newspaper editorialized against me for such behavior. I have no regrets because the approach works.
Last week, after leaving a late movie in the Gateway area, my family witnessed a drug deal at the crosswalk, while observing attempted car break-ins across the street. So Mayor McAdams deserves accolades for learning, and internalizing, how to correct the problem while garnering massive attention. Furthermore his nocturnal activities uncovered other important aspects of this tragedy.
Speaker Hughes’ comments for the National Guard to pacify the Rio Grande area were also viewed as theatrical antics. So what? I learned decades ago that dramatic statements guarantee a spotlight and results. Hughes is now universally considered an invaluable element in any resolution.
The downtown homeless and criminal crisis is beyond another task force or touchy-feely deliberations. Hughes and Mayors McAdams and Jackie Biskupski should utilize more histrionics to rally the community and compel other leaders into action. Give them a standing ovation.
Webb: Politicians frequently take fact-finding trips where they travel to some exotic location, often wear cool military gear, get briefed by…