Former economic development director puts in a final word

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To the Editor:

As most of you know, I was hired for the position of economic development director last year. The organization that hired me is the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership Inc. The state of Colorado and the IRS recognize it as a duly organized non-profit 501 C-6. I feel that I need to state this so that you know that it is not part of the government of either the county or the city.

In my research of Craig, there have apparently been at least two distinct prior attempts to create an economic development organization here. Both failed. So a concerned group of founders met over a fairly long period of time to create the existing organization. I have interviewed each of them and I encourage the Craig Daily Press to do so. Specifically to determine what their intent in founding this organization was.

I believe that I can speak for them in stating that they share a commonality of purpose in that "while the financial support of the city and the county is essential, neither the city or the county should govern this organization. Rather it should be governed by a board of directors elected from the business community."

How then did Les Hampton, a county commissioner, become the leader and chair of the organization?

Last week the board of directors met in a special session, called by the secretary of the corporation after receiving written requests from three members of the business community to discuss two things: the bylaws and the organization of the corporation.

Les Hampton, however,4 apparently had his own agenda and neither of those things was his first priority.

As was reported to you by Chris Currie, Les survived a vote of no confidence and then immediately called an executive session to discuss a personnel issue -- terminating me. Since a staunch supporter of mine immediately resigned in disgust -- the vote of the board on this issue was deadlocked.

Successful economic development requires the complete support of the community it serves. I felt therefore that it would not best serve the interests of the community to continue in a divisive atmosphere with such a split and submitted my resignation.

However, the original issues still remain outstanding. I call on the community to express its interest and concerns, there is unfinished business to discuss.

Sincerely,

Wally Ralston,

Craig

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