Record editorial: Dumpster fire or year of prosperity? For Summit County residents, 2018 was both.
Summit County residents looking back on 2018 are likely to experience more than a little cognitive dissonance.
It was simultaneously a year of prosperity and a depressing disaster — depending on the field of view.
From a national standpoint, we are eager to bid 2018 good riddance. Turmoil continued to grip our country, and we will remember the year for trade wars and gun violence and the Russia investigation and a teetering stock market and devastating climate warnings and government shutdowns and the list goes on. The term “dumpster fire” barely does it justice.
A local lens, though, offers a much more optimistic appraisal. The list of encouraging developments is long. Residents in Park City voted overwhelmingly to preserve the Treasure acreage overlooking Main Street from major development. High school students inspired our community by marching out of their classrooms and then onto Main Street to call for gun reform in reaction to the shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida. The United States Olympic Committee selected Salt Lake City to bid on a future Winter Games, spurring excitement in Park City and opening the possibility of recapturing the magic of 2002.
Broadening the scope slightly, voters across Utah aligned with Summit County residents and backed three statewide propositions that represent progress in a time when regression on critical issues is far more common in our politics. Our state, despite its conservative leanings, will now have full Medicaid expansion, legalized medical marijuana (though the Legislature later tweaked what voters approved) and an independent commission to control the redistricting process, the latter of which could pave the way at last for fair representation for Summit County in the Statehouse.
There were, of course, bumps along the way — or curves, in the case of one particularly raucous controversy centered on the redesign of a certain road in the Snyderville Basin — but the good overshadowed the bad. From that standpoint, we’ll recall 2018 not with discontent but with fondness.
Squaring the two disparate assessments of the year requires perspective. Certainly, what happens elsewhere in our nation affects us, and the events of 2018 are troubling as our country continues to veer off course. But we have most control over what unfolds within the borders of Summit County, where there was much progress over the last 12 months. For most of us fortunate enough to live here, it was a fulfilling year.
For that reason, we’ll offer up a toast to 2018 at 12 a.m. on Wednesday. And while the national outlook for 2019 again appears bleak, our spirits will be high as we turn our attention to what we in Summit County will accomplish in the year ahead.
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