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Davis Mason-Dixon line is silly
Aug 09, 2012 | 1085 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’ve heard that in the business world, dollars and cents often matter a lot more in creating new partnerships than do group affiliations, political viewpoints or even historical disputes. It’s all about the bottom line, and everyone knows that. It makes the business world pragmatic.

The same is true in politics, or journalism, or even polite socializing in large groups. It takes alliances to get almost anything done. We have to swallow some things we don’t like and befriend some people we are unfamiliar with, or even antagonistic toward, to achieve real and meaningful change.

Davis Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jim Smith understands this idea well, and he is applying it as he steers the chamber toward meeting its goals such as securing funding for a new building at the Weber State University Davis Campus in Layton. He achieved that one, but only after gaining support from the chambers of commerce in three other counties and many state legislators. He’s helping them, in return.

Smith is also using the idea of pragmatic partnership as he tries to unite the northern and southern ends of Davis County. He is up against a decades-old notion that he calls Davis County’s Mason-Dixon line, which separates Clearfield, Syracuse and Layton from Woods Cross, Bountiful and Centerville. People up north might as well be Ogden-ites, and people down south are snobbish, I have heard.

I didn’t know about this imaginary line until I started working at the Clipper about one month ago, but the topic keeps coming up. This, despite the fact that most of the people I talk to about it think it’s silly.

I agree. Whatever vestiges remain of the Davis Mason-Dixon are nonsense, and should be left in the past.

First, I hardly know when I’m leaving South Davis and entering North Davis. In fact, I hardly notice when I’m leaving Salt Lake County and entering Bountiful, or leaving Clearfield for Roy. Due to cars, trains, phones, computers and TVs, we are not as geographically bound as we once were.

Second, there is a lot of overlap between south and north Davis County, regardless of the line. Some people who work at Hill Air Force Base live in Bountiful, certainly. And at least some of the participants in this weekend’s Bountiful/Davis Summerfest and Magic on Main sidewalk sale will be from Layton and Clearfield.

Finally, it is harmful to county residents socially, economically and politically to think of Davis County as being divided. What happens in every community here affects all the others, whether it’s new businesses, crime, a municipal fiber-optic network or a horrible windstorm. Some of these things don’t pay attention to lines on a map, and neither should we.

That said, local news is vital for each of these communities and for the Clipper, as well. For that reason, we are very pleased to see the success of our sister publication The Islander, which focuses on Syracuse and west Layton. We also remain committed to covering south Davis County and all the issues that affect residents here, even if some meetings about those issues occur in Clearfield.

rpalmer@davisclipper.com
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