Guest Editorial, February 4-7, 2012 |

Guest Editorial, February 4-7, 2012

Randy Barton

I manage one fine nonprofit in Summit County and host a radio show on another. I am also the founder of Mountain Town Stages now Mountain Town Music. RAP tax grants sustain my legacy and my endeavors presently.

I am hoping that the current delay in funding of these gorgeous nonprofit groups will end and these "life blood" funds will be released quickly. I can honestly say that, without the RAP tax funds that all three of these organizations receive, they would not exist, or would not exist in their current form. They would not be able to enrich the lives of our local citizens of all ages and persuasions as they currently do.

To hear that "they can wait" for these funds does not understand the current reality. I would like to clear up a couple of misconceptions that I think exist. RAP tax funds are not meant to have an economic return. The RAP tax initiative is voted on by the citizens of our county to support Recreation, Arts and Parks. Funds generated from the tax are meant for the citizens of this county to enhance our lives. What would life be like without our nonprofits?

I am so proud of Mountain Town Music and fully believe they are justified in receiving the largest cultural grant from RAP tax funds. They offer programming that connects with all the residents of this beautiful county.

They have programs in all areas of the county. Nothing sells like quality free music in a variety of settings from Deer Valley Wednesday night concerts to Canyons shows to Peoa and Coalville.

I am equally proud of the Tom Fey-led volunteer RAP tax committee. They are charged with making very difficult decisions regarding the allocation of the available funds. They do a fabulous job! They understand "distribute the funds based on who most impacts and serves the residents of Summit County," not tourists or Wasatch Front residents but our people. RAP tax funds are again meant to support facilities and programs that serve locals.

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I call on the County Council to unconditionally support the recommendations of the committee and release the funds. All the applicants, our nonprofit groups, are so in need of this support.

Randy Barton is the manager/director of The Egyptian Theatre, host of "The Local View" on KPCW, and founder of Mountain Town Stages.