If you’re an American, you’re wondering what the next four years will bring in terms of economic recovery.
But there is still some very good news around these days.
First, I came across a photo of the Maverik station taken just a few months ago near Bountiful’s new roundabout. The sign listed regular gasoline at $4.19 a gallon. And I believe it climbed even higher before it started down.
Over the weekend, I drove to Logan and found gasoline along the route costing just $1.69 a gallon. There’s no denying that’s a whopping discount from the $4-plus prices we were so nervously paying this summer. If I’d told people then that we’d be paying — albeit nervously still — $1.69 a gallon before Christmas, I doubt many would have believed me.
But truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction.
The truth I’m about to pass on to you in a moment would also have been seen as stranger than fiction had I expressed it a little over a year ago. It’s simply this: Salt Lake City’s mayor is actually calling for cooperation with Davis County.
After nearly a decade where Utah’s capital city was at odds with everything Davis County wanted, new Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s recent comments were stunning.
Consider what things he told the Davis Chamber of Commerce at a meeting in Bountiful last Thursday (see story on p. A1):
• He wants to repair past damage to relations between Salt Lake City and Davis County.
• He says there are many areas in which Salt Lake City and Bountiful can work together.
• He called the Legacy Highway an end result of enormous value.
• He said a good deal of Salt Lake City’s success depends on treating Davis County as a full neighbor and partner.
• I doubt he was actually offering, but he seemed to hint that once revenues from Salt Lake City’s City Creek complex got on line there would be enough for the city to share with theater projects in Davis County. At the very least, he said there could be mutual cooperation with Salt Lake City’s downtown Broadway-style theater plans.
• Utah’s Capital City is also planning a major recreation complex right against its borders with North Salt Lake. This complex should even benefit Davis County residents — yet Becker was not coming with his hat in his hand, and did not seek financial support from Davis County.
• He wants to improve Beck Street, a key gateway to Salt Lake City for Davis motorists.
• He proposed an energy zone that would build upon the area’s complex of refineries, which are huddled close together in both Davis and Salt Lake Counties.
For wary Davis County ears, it sounded almost too good to be true. It was almost as if Santa Claus had arrived early.
But what we can take from all this is that there’s a new sheriff (er...mayor) in town. The rules have changed, and there’s no longer the need for the Salt Lake City government to denigrate its neighbors to the north.
Frankly, this was all very refreshing, and as welcome as a canteen full of water to a person parched with thirst.
There are still a lot of hurdles to be crossed to bring some of these great ideas to fruition. The devil is always in the details.
But there is a new ray of sunshine glowing on the horizon to our south. There’s a changed attitude in Salt Lake City that focuses on cooperation and working together — the very values that have governed relations between Davis cities for years.
The change is downright refreshing and promises to usher in a new era of cooperation. And I’m sure that this can turn into a win-win that benefits everyone.
So when we’re inclined to feel nervous about the economy these days, falling gasoline prices and rising cooperation with our southern neighbor should bring at least a little relief.
Oh, and by the way, Becker also said Davis residents were actually welcome to drive into Salt Lake City once again.