Bullied by bureaucracy…
Oct 31, 2013 | 1302 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Saturday, I was explaining to my 3-year-old why he couldn’t ride his bike on the Sombrio pump track at the annual Moab Ho-Down, a nonprofit event that raises money for the Moab Bike Park and local trails. He was lucky enough to ride it last year and has been talking about it ever since.

So when I explained to him that the pump track was here, loaded in a truck just a few feet away, but that nobody was allowed to ride it, and that the people who drove it all the way from San Francisco would have to turn around and drive it back without ever unloading it, his response was rather astute: “That’s silly,” he said.

Indeed, it was silly. Apparently you need a special permit to place a pumptrack in a private parking lot in Moab. And only the city council can grant such a permit. And that council only meets once every two weeks. So even when the Ho-Down organizers were informed of this obscure requirement in the 11th hour, and even though they could deliver the information required to apply for such a permit, it was already too late. So for the Ho-Down staff, the Sombrio company, the racers, the attendees, and my 3-year-old, the city’s decision was “Sorry, but no.”

Rules are put in place to serve some benefit, but nobody benefited from this incident. And there’s no excuse for withholding such a permit when all requirements have been met and so many are affected by it.

Does the city council really need to be involved is such decisions? If so, do they really need a formal gathering to make such a decision? If the city wanted to, they could have addressed this issue very quickly, but instead they chose to be complex, inefficient, and inflexible. They chose to be bureaucratic.

I ask government officials and city council members to remember that “by the book” isn’t always the best policy, to consider the impact of your decisions on the community and our visitors, and to please, don’t be silly.

—Stephen Dimitrov

Moab

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