Breakfast with the Gov
Governor Gary Herbert said during an address to local business and political leaders on Tuesday morning that at times he is almost embarrassed by how well Utah is doing compared to other states during the present recesssion.
"I was speaking in Sacramento (California), and as they introduced me and were telling about Utah, the number of times they listed Utah as the number one state in various categories almost embarassed me," he said. "We are so lucky to be in Utah right now because so many other places are in such bad shape."
The address that Herbert gave was given during a breakfast sponsored by the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce and Zions Bank, which was holding it's regional business meetings at the College of Eastern Utah on Tuesday. Herbert flew into the airport, zooming right over the college campus in a jet, and was transported to CEU with his security people. After the speech he left just as quickly because of other commitments in northern Utah. But while he was at the college he shook a lot of hands and greeted a lot of local people of both political parties.
"Congress is good for two things," he said during his address. "One is for doing nothing; the other is for overreacting. Luckily in Utah, our partisan politics don't lock us up like they do in Washington D.C. Right here in this room we have two county commissioners (pointed to Mike Milovich and John Jones, both Democrats) who are of the opposite party from myself. But when we have issues to deal with we put that aside and work together for the common good of all."
It was the first time in the week the governor will be in Carbon County. He will also be here to sign the bill merging Utah State University and CEU on Saturday morning and then he will address graduates of CEU during commencement exercises.
But for Tuesday's address, he concentrated on what Utah has done to be one of the top states economically and technologically in the country. His main three issues during the address included economic development, education and energy.
"I am a small government kind of guy," he told the group. "Government has the ability to let business thrive or it can get in the way in the form of high taxes or over regulation. That's not to say I am against taxes, they just should be fair and as low as possible."
He also spoke a little about the challenges that face the state in education, particularly about higher education in the form of CEU.
"You have had your struggles here in Price with CEU," he stated. "But I think a lot of that is going to be resolved by the change that is going to take place (the merger between USU and CEU)."
He also spoke at length about about energy remarking about the future of energy in the state including coal gasification and carbon sequestering to make coal cleaner to burn.
The governor then asked for questions that ranged from who one individual could contact for help in getting a business started and finding good employees to an inquiry about how Utah played into the national defense. He was also asked a question about water, particularly pertaining to the Gooseberry Narrows project.
He entertained the question by describing how important water is and what an emotional subject it is as well by telling a story about a friend of his who nearly got in a fight with his own church leader over water being turned into the friend's pasture instead of the bishop's.
"Water is a hard subject to deal with. I believe we need to come to a resolution on that project that will provide a win-win situation for both Carbon and Sanpete counties," he said. "This has been a burr in the saddle for both counties for a long time and I think it needs to be solved, and I would like to see that done."