Our View: Just our opinion

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So, the Craig City Council is upset with the Craig Daily Press and its Editorial Board because the board didn't point out the city's "infrastructure" plans - that is upgrading the water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities as well as some codes it has worked on - in the Jan. 19 editorial "Funding inaction."

In a letter to the editor, it accuses the Daily Press board members of being unprofessional journalists.

The accusation is rather odd.

Four of the seven Editorial Board members are not journalists, rather community members simply expressing their opinions, which is seemingly unprofessional to the council members.

If one follows the councilors' logic in the letter, then no one can question the council members unless they attended all council meetings.

For the record, the Daily Press did attend the public hearings for the budget, including the one where it passed, but did not attend the work session, which was a conscious decision made by the paper as the information was to be discussed in the public hearings.

If not being able to have an opinion unless you attend every single council meeting is indeed the members' logic, it is truly sad for residents of the area.

You would think council members would like to know what its residents are thinking.

Thus, one reason for the Editorial Board. Its purpose is to give an opinion. We did, and it apparently was not fully understood or appreciated.

Perhaps that is our fault, so let us make some points abundantly clear.

Yes, the city has done some work to the infrastructure.

And yes, we apologize for making the city such a large part of our editorial, and lumping them in with the Moffat County Commission.

But, more to the point that was seemingly missed: What is the City Council doing to invest in Craig's future? What is it doing to diversify the economy?

City Manager Jim Ferree told the Editorial Board that the council's attitude is "We'll get the infrastructure ready, but growth needs to take care of itself."

If this is indeed the council's attitude, then the Editorial Board disagrees.

That is not investment.

That is hoping for the best.

And that is our opinion. Take it or leave it.

And if that is truly the council's direction, the Editorial Board would rather see the 25 percent reserve funds be lowered, perhaps to the 3 percent TABOR requires, and give it back to the taxpayers.

If the city is not going to use those funds to invest in the city's future, then give it back to the taxpayers and let them invest in the local economy. In other words, let "growth take care of itself."

Because let's face it, that taxpayer money being used for reserves is merely a short-term stopgap if something tragic were to happen.

The difference between the council's growth strategy and the one the Editorial Board would like to see is the difference between a city being on life support if the energy companies leave to a city that may have to amputate a limb but will still live and thrive, with or without those companies.

Do not take this the wrong way. We appreciate the work the city has done. It needed to be done.

But it's not enough. Hoping is not enough.

We need to have a diverse economy and a vision for the future. The future is coming and growth along with it. We either can help it along or hinder it to the best of City Council's ability.

But again, that is just our opinion.

Take it or leave it.

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