Citizens address board

Residents ask commissioners for endorsements on ballot issues

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In other action, commissioners:

• Signed revised resolution for Memorial Hospital ballot issue

• Signed second addendum to Airport Hanger lease with Bruce Timberg

• Approved personnel requisitions for a master control operator for the jail, a Housing Authority Director, a custodial technician for Parks and Recreation and a mechanic for Road and Bridge Department

— Moffat County resident Wes McStay warned the Moffat County commissioners that he was going to criticize them pretty harshly at the Tuesday meeting for not taking a stand on ballot proposal issues.

He wasted no time getting to what was on his mind.

"These are critical proposals, and I don't think you understand the gravity of it," he said. "It sets a terrible example by not speaking your mind. You are failing the public."

The commissioners have expressed personal opinions on the school and hospital ballot issues, which will go to the voters in the November election, but the County Commissioners refuse to endorse the proposals as a board because of earlier promises, Commissioner Saed Tayyara said.

"I have never not spoken my mind," he said. "But I told the public I would not raise taxes when I was running, and we have a policy to not collectively endorse (ballot issues)."

Saying the public has a right to ask the commissioners to change the policy, Tayyara said he personally wants a new hospital, "as bad as you do," but he cannot tell anyone how to vote.

Craig Daily Press Publisher Bryce Jacobson also expressed concern that the board would not take a stand on the two bond issues facing voters.

"We elected you to make decisions for the county, and not speaking on this issue is scary to me," he said. "You will take a stand on (drilling for energy in) Vermillion Basin, but not on the hospital, and that's my point. Tell me, is it a good idea (to build the hospital)?"

Commissioner Tom Gray said the board is speaking for residents on Vermillion Basin because it's an issue that doesn't come before voters.

McStay warned that not supporting the new hospital would be hardest on those who are sick or injured as well as children in the community, and he recommended the policy be changed to allow commissioners to endorse ballot proposals in the future.

Jacobson also asked the commissioners to consider funding the Economic Development Partnership for another year while new approaches are attempted to draw businesses to Craig.

McStay also requested the board look into women being paid one-half of salaries men earn in the same positions.

In other action, commissioners addressed a complaint from the town of Dinosaur about no one watering the grass at the Dinosaur branch of the Moffat County Libraries.

Library Director Donna Watkins said while they would prefer grassy areas for children reading outdoors, the cost would prevent some book purchases at the facility, and she would rather have the books.

Commissioners agreed to look into obtaining funding for watering the grass at the Dinosaur Library in the future.

The search for an assistant director for the libraries changed to searching for a new director, as the only candidate applying for the assistant position has turned down the job.

The new search will focus on finding a replacement for Watkins in the next year or so, with the director staying on to assist as long as needed.

Watkins said she would be recruiting candidates for the director position at both the American Library Association meeting in January and the Public Library Association meeting in March.

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