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Opinion: Lehi needs to support youth and family recreation and the arts: Vote “YES” on Prop 7/PARC tax

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What are the most cherished memories of your youth and childhood? Growing up in Lehi in the seventies, mine were crossing the street and playing nearly every summer afternoon in Wines Park. They included riding my bike in the summer to swim at Saratoga Resort and summer theater productions at Glen Smith’s homemade backyard amphitheater.

As an adult, my most cherished memories as a parent were watching my teenagers play soccer, lacrosse and participate in choir performances and plays.

As someone who loves Lehi, I respectfully ask you to vote “YES” on our PARC tax. Here’s why:

No one likes new taxes–especially here in Utah County, where we are notably frugal. It’s part of our pioneer ethic. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was a mantra most of us heard in our homes growing up. Guess what? We are precisely doing that with our current parks and art facilities. We are using them up and wearing them out. And guess who suffers when we don’t support arts and recreation? Our youth.

I feel that part of my duty as an adult is to support the youth of my community. The most cherished memories of childhood include participation in sports and artistic endeavors. Our current venues are literally overused, and residents complain about the condition of our parks in late summer. My friends’ children can’t play sports with their friends because the teams fill up so fast. Our theater programs are woefully lacking. Show casts rehearse in the summer on a parking lot because there is no room in the Lehi Arts Center.

The PARC bond presented to voters in 2016 was not clearly explained, and fund allocation was not transparent. This one is different. It’s just a penny for every ten dollars spent in Lehi. Our retail sales base is diverse and varied. Shoppers come from throughout Utah to shop at our stores. Let’s let all the shoppers of goods other than groceries and gas (which are not included in the tax) help support our parks and arts programs, which are waiting to be developed.

Now especially, with the upheaval caused by the pandemic, let’s invest in our youth’s mental, physical and emotional health. Let’s develop the parks we already own and create memory-making venues that our community deserves.

I have studied this issue. We, like you, are averse to new taxes, but this one’s worth the penny on ten bucks. Vote for your children and grandchildren’s future recreation and artistic expression—vote YES on the PARC tax.  

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