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Leaders should not accept gifts

SHARE Leaders should not accept gifts

It has been interesting following the discussion in the state Legislature concerning the issue of gifts and gratuities. Upon entering politics several years ago as a member of the Murray City Council, I knew that I would be faced with the decision as to whether or not to accept gifts or gratuities. The philosophy of the late Jack Carlson came to mind. He and I were members of the first MBA class at the University of Utah (1956). Jack went on to an illustrious career at the Air Force Academy and in various high level positions in the federal government. In my occupation I occasionally had to travel to Washington, D.C., I would always call Jack and we would have lunch together. He would never let me pay, even though I explained that I could put the lunch on an expense account. He stood by his principles. I made a personal decision to follow Jack's fine example.

The compensation for council members is austere considering the amount of time that they spend doing city business. Nevertheless, it always made me feel good that I was not beholden to anyone. Members of the state Legislature are similarly overworked and underpaid. However, I still suggest that they should not only refuse to accept lunches and other gratuities, but they should "put the shoe on the other foot."

Richard Stauffer

former member, Murray City Council