As a citizen and a taxpayer, I have watched this whole Olympic hoopla with a very skeptical eye. Having lived through the elation - and now the total chaos - that it has turned into, it was with some dismay that I picked up my Deseret News this morning and read the headline, which indicates the governor is pledging tax dollars to support the 2002 Games.
As a taxpayer, I protest and protest strongly. I will get no benefit from these Games. I will not be able to see a single event in person due to very high price tickets. I have endured all kinds of inconveniences due to the total revamping of the roads - and that is only the beginning. I have watched venues go up with the explanation that they will be used for the community after the Olympic Games are over. I have a question for the governor: Has he ever tried to get to the E Center for a concert or event? (Try it and be prepared to spend a frustrating hour and a half in your car both before and after.) Has he ever tried to get to the speed-skating oval in Kearns? (Hint: 5400 South is still two lanes most of the way out there, and don't even think about 6200 South. I ride by there every day going to and from work.)I live in a modest home in West Jordan (actually in the unincorporated county with little provided in the way of services) and already pay high taxes. I do not mind supporting schools, feel teachers are woefully underpaid and feel there is much that could be done to improve our community. But putting out tax money so some wealthy people can sit and watch events and live it up in hotels built just for that purpose is not my idea of responsible use of tax dollars.
Daily we read of increased costs for the community in providing for these events. The cost has already escalated, and we still have four years to go. How much will it go up, $1 billion, $2 billion? And you can bet that a lot of it will not filter down to help our communities with problems of growth, crime, education and other needs. I read Mike Cannon's interview of the Huntsmans last week with interest, and they raised some serious questions. What good are the Olympics going to do for our community in the long run, say, 10 to 15 years from now?
And now you want to use my tax dollars to finance them, after promising me that I would not see them put to this use? Not without some protesting from me.