Yesterday Matthew Taylor, who is getting paid handsomely by local tax payers
, has been plastering all over social media the news that The Hookah Collection, a local business in the downtown Provo area, will be closing and leaving the city
. Matthew couldn't be more excited to see a local business leave.
I get that the Hookah Collection isn't a popular choice among the predominantly Mormon community, but what about that "Welcome Home" attitude Provo City supposedly has? Heck, Mayor John Curtis himself "liked" the post from Matthew Taylor. What better way for John to tell the world "Welcome Home"? Are we seriously at this point? It's bad enough our own Deputy Mayor publicly mocked local feedback
, we now have city officials (including our own Mayor) publicly excited about the fact a local business has closed.
Several citizens agree and have posted their thoughts on social media:"What does it say to potential business owners when a director of a city department posts something like this on a public forum? It says that Provo City is anti-business. Whether or not that is true, and whether or not the business aligns with your personal belief system is irrelevant. Perception is reality. The fact that you are applauding any business that leaves Downtown is inappropriate." - Chad Pritchard
"Seconding Chad's take on the situation. I just noticed they'd moved when we drove by yesterday...and the first thing I thought of was how everyone's always complaining that businesses are leaving Provo and especially downtown...and how we supposedly want and welcome diversity...so I thought to myself, "Oh, no...another one gone?" And wondered why they moved to Orem. We live near downtown, and my husband (who's Turkish) and I checked out the place soon after it opened. They had lots more than just hookahs...which we were happy to discover, as we were looking for some gifts and also possible decorations to add to our home and our still-dreaming-about Turkish/Middle Eastern cafe. The owners and employees were friendly and helpful...and other customers I've seen in and around there over the years have in no way been problematic for others in any way (which I can't say the same about at other places in and around town, in my experience, both as far as the owners/workers and the customers are concerned). I'm sad...on a number of levels...to see some of the reactions to their leaving."
- Deb Tokarewich
Matthew Taylor, after realizing the hole he just dug himself, tried backing out of the excitement by claiming his opinions were made as a resident, not a city official. Really? "Chad, I am a resident of the Downtown Provo neighborhoods and an employee of the Provo City Council. As an employee of the Council I say very little about current Council policy issues on these sites. This is not a Council policy issue. So my sentiments posted here are mine as a resident. Do you believe my association with the City restrains my free speech rights as a citizen? I personally view this business as detrimental to the overall success of all Downtown businesses, and therefore it is a PRO business sentiment. Best Motel in my neighborhood is a bad acting business. I will be happy if they shut down, too, because they are detrimental to everything around them. It's not about the people who frequented this establishment, it is about the general effect on the overall success of the area. I have heard enough sentiments from people to conclude that this business was not helping the positive direction that Downtown Provo is headed in." - Matthew Taylor
Sorry buddy, but regardless "which Matthew" we had the privilege of hearing from, that's pretty messed up to go out of your way to repost to several social feeds about your excitement of a diverse business closing.
Personally, I couldn't care less about The Hookah Collection leaving Provo, but it sickens me when several paid city officials are publicly relishing in the fact that a local business has decided to leave the city.