Herbert: ‘Time for action, time for doing’ regarding rural job growth

Alex Goodlett, Deseret News

FILE – Utah Governor Gary Herbert speaks during a ceremony at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 17, 2017. Gov. Gary Herbert said he scratched out an additional action plan to stimulate job growth in rural Utah on the plane to Cedar City for the 30th Utah Rural Summit, making a surprise announcement that embraces an “all hands on deck” approach.

CEDAR CITY — On what was to simply be the statewide rollout of his 25,000 rural jobs initiative, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday he wasn’t satisfied that enough is being done.

“I’m not really as happy as I think I should be about this effort,” he said of the effort he outlined in his 2017 State of the State address in January.

“I feel like we have had great discussions,” he told the crowd at the 30th annual Utah Rural Summit, “but we are at the crossroads where we actually have to do something.”

Consider these county job losses from 2007 to 2016:

• Emery County, 28 percent

• Daggett County, 23 percent

• Piute County, 53 percent

Herbert said that on the plane ride down for the summit in Cedar City, he scratched out some core principles on a piece of a paper. And in an announcement that he said he was a surprise to his staff, he challenged rural leaders to participate in his “do more” effort.

“It’s time for action, time for doing. The time for talking is past,” he said.

Herbert then challenged rural leaders to identify their community problems, the hindrances to getting them solved and craft a plan of action and bring it to Salt Lake City for a meeting to hammer out an “all hands on deck” approach to revitalizing rural Utah.

“We have a high degree of know-how. We have a low degree of do-how,” Herbert said, which needs to change.

When the governor took questions and comments in response, Carbon County Commissioner Jake Mellor pointed out the two large hindrances to economic growth in his area are roads and reservoirs — big…

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