Economic development is not your business

The Economic Development Partnership, Inc. is funded with public money and the public has the right to know what it is up to.

For those who are wondering what Economic Development Partnership, Inc., which is funded by Moffat County and the city of Craig, is up to just keep on wondering.

Both governmental entities paid some $50,000 of taxpayer money to finance the organization but just try to get a glance at its budget, try to get an idea of what its goals are or try to get job descriptions, which all fall under what is accessible by the public under state law.

But Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton, the board chairman of the organization, said its none of the public's business what Economic Development Partnership is up to because the Economic Development Partnership is not a public entity under the law.

But under the law public entities are defined as all boards, committees, commissions, authorities or other advisory, policy-making, rule-making or other formally constituted bodies and any public or private entity which has been delegated a governmental decision-making function by a body or official are included under the law.

According to Hampton, the Economic Development Partnership is like the "United Way" or the "Chamber of Commerce." A Chamber of Commerce or a United Way that could impact the economic direction of the residents of Moffat County and spends thousands of dollars of taxpayer money.

The analogy would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.

The Sunshine Laws were written to ensure that public business would be conducted in public and that those who would rather work in the dark would have no place to hide.

We urge the Economic Development Partnership board to do the right thing and let the taxpayers know where their money is going.

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