|Hal Miller represents District 3|
Nine months ago I took the oath of office as a member of the Provo City Municipal Council. I promised to sustain the Constitution of the United States and that of the State of Utah and to serve the citizens of Provo. Essentially, I promised to serve each citizen legislatively, with an eye toward taxation and property use, specifically.
The ensuing months have been laden with learning. Reading, conversing, attending conferences, participating in meetings and retreats, and corresponding have been the primary means for learning. My primary mentors have been my Council mates and our staff, the City administration, and fellow citizens. I have much to learn yet and mentors still to meet, and thus much to look forward to.
You might assume, and correctly, that much of my learning to date has been about the City’s infrastructures, both physical and organizational. I have discovered a hidden side to those infrastructures. That is, what you and I customarily see of the city and its working depends on a vast and unseen substructure. Especially what we take for granted as the “taxpayer’s due”—roads and sidewalks, water and electricity, police and fire protection, storm and sewer drainage, garbage and refuse removal, , library and arts, parks and recreation, and . . . and . . .—is made reality by a highly competent and largely invisible network of people, who utilize a highly complex and largely invisible network of materiel. And they do so with admirable espirit and efficiency. What I have learned most of all thus far is that we citizens of Provo are paying unusually capable, creative, and conscientious people to maintain our city and move it ahead.
A corollary follows: Our city is best maintained and its future best served when citizens speak up, lend a hand, share their vision, and otherwise give themselves out of respect for the city’s past and an active interest in promoting the well-being and prosperity of all who call it home. Although those duly elected or appointed and those whom they duly employ are constitutionally responsible for the city’s operations and policies, only broad citizen involvement can bring a genuine sense of community—that this is a place to take pride in and be part of. Indeed, having come this gestational distance, I look forward to becoming increasingly alive to a Provo not mine, not yours, but Ours.
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