Our View: Reason to feel fantastic

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"We feel fantastic about that."

That was Boys & Girls Club of Craig executive director Jonathon Godes' reaction to the community raising $24,000 for the youth club during the recent Cowboy Christmas.

He shouldn't be the lone person feeling fantastic about it, and it's not the lone event to feel fantastic about.

Craig and Moffat County residents (and some Routt County residents, too) have stepped up this holiday season and given a tremendous amount of money to charities.

The $24,000 raised at this year's Cowboy Christmas was $11,000 more than last year.

"They have stepped up," Godes said. "It's showing us ... how much support and how much the community values us."

The 93.7/102.3 KRAI and 55Country Holiday Drive raised a record $25,000 for four local agencies, as well as bringing in 5,800 pounds of food and between 500 and 1,000 toys, station owner and manager Frank Hanel said.

"There has to be something in the water in this community that makes people give the way they have," Hanel said.

The Moffat County United Way Drive has pulled in $415,000, which puts it at 88 percent of its goal.

Moffat County's population is estimated at 12,000 people. That means, on average, charities are getting nearly $39 per county resident -- and that's not including money raised for Habitat for Humanity or the Museum of the Northwest Colorado's fundraiser.

While the stat is misleading on who contributes, it doesn't stop us from knowing that there are people who truly care about Craig and Moffat County. We applaud you.

A good start

Before the 2006 election, Tim Jantz said if he were elected as Moffat County Sheriff, he would provide a new direction.

With his selection of Charlene Abdella as undersheriff, the editorial board believes he did just that even before taking the elected sheriff post.

Before making the announcement, Jantz -- a Republican who defeated two challengers in the general election -- said he had his own direction for whom the undersheriff would be, but "what we talked about all along is that the sheriff needs to be a representative of the people of Moffat County."

So does the undersheriff, and we think Abdella is that person.

She worked her way up the Craig Police Department's ranks, first as a dispatcher in 1989, before becoming a reserve officer. She then became a full-time officer, moving up to the rank of detective. She also worked as the Drug Awareness Resistance Education officer, which can only be a benefit in Jantz's charge to tackle methamphetamine use and trafficking in the area.

Some may view the move as risky, considering she has been out of law enforcement for 10 years. We think it was a bold move on Jantz's part to get a fresh perspective on Moffat County from someone who knows what it's like to be in the trenches, but hasn't been limited by the trenches' view of the last decade.

Not to mention, she is likely the first female undersheriff in Moffat County history.

Only time will tell if Jantz will keep his vow of taking the sheriff's office in a new direction after he is sworn in on Jan. 9, but we believe having Abdella on staff is a good start.

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