Bum rap
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a firefighter who attended the Utah Fire Caucus luncheon for legislators, discussed in "No such thing as a free lunch? Tell Utah legislators" (Tribune, Feb. 18), I bring perspective to the discussion about access to legislators.

The caucus is made of legislators (not firefighters) who care enough about Utah citizens and communities to get together with constituents who are firefighters (not lobbyists) to dialogue about proposed legislation that affects the safety of the communities they serve. That is the essence of our representative government.

Having conversations with people from your district who understand issues flows from the responsibility to be informed. Anyone is nuts who thinks salad and dry chicken have any influence beyond keeping legislators from passing out from hypoglycemia.

The caucus honored three Oak City volunteers who were seriously burned last summer. In my 20 years of going to Capitol Hill on fire issues, I have had reasons to criticize legislative actions, but the vast majority of legislators serve with the same sense of civic responsibility as the Oak City firefighters.

Apparently, they're just as likely to be burned, too, but by the heat of bad public relations, not by a wildfire's flame.

Steve Lutz

Salt Lake City