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U of U political science professor Luke Garrott is running for Salt Lake City’s District 4 council seat against Brian Doughty, Carol Goode, Jack Gray and (incumbent) Nancy Saxton. He is also the nephew of a good friend of mine. We touched base with Garrott to ask what five things Salt Lakers should be most vexed about:

Meaningless and gratuitous public comment: Put this under the title of “Broken Democracy.” It breaks my heart. Too many city processes incorporate the public’s voice but at a stage too late and too narrow to really make an impact. For example, community councils are meant to have serious input on land-use additions within their jurisdiction. Now, they are simply a check-off box within this larger process.

Streets built only for cars: Brigham Young granted us these beautiful wide streets, and we should be using them a lot smarter than we are. Look at State Street: Frankly, it is asphalted blight.

Loss of unique commercial districts: I’m incensed it’s taken the city council this long to wake up. Now there is some legislative intent to protect unique commercial districts. I’m afraid it’s going to be too little, too late. And you know what? East Broadway is not on the list to be protected. It’s ripe for the picking. We could see all that funky retail go away real quick.

In denial about Salt Lake City’s entertainment culture: You’re telling me you can’t dance after 2 a.m. in Utah? No TRAX service after 2 a.m. on weekends? The fact there can only be two private clubs per block is counterproductive in so many ways: It’s bad for the economy, the walkability and vibrancy of downtown and public safety.

Loss of historic buildings that aren’t in historic districts: Salt Lake City’s competitive advantage vs. other areas is our history. If we aren’t preserving historic buildings, we’re undermining what is special about Salt Lake.
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