To the editor:
Recent legislative and regulatory actions by the state and federal governments have threatened the future viability of the coal and natural gas industries, two staples of the Craig economy.
These actions have uncovered two vulnerabilities threatening the stability of our wonderful community. The first vulnerability is the impact organizations far-removed from this community have on the coal and natural gas industries.
The second vulnerability is the influence these two industries have on the Craig economy. The correlation is obvious — future restrictions to these industries will jeopardize Craig’s economic growth and stability.
The unfortunate reality is that these two industries will continue to be under attack for the near future. Craig’s future economic health relies on the community’s ability to diversify its economy.
Approving Referendum 2B is a critical step in achieving this economic diversity. This measure generates the funds necessary to promote and cultivate the tourism industry.
Tourism is simply more than attracting weekend visitors. It is the ability to host festivals, conferences, trade shows and expositions. Craig does not have the current infrastructure to support these activities. Craig will not have this infrastructure unless it passes 2B.
Expanding tourism is not the only way to diversify the economy. However, approving 2B is an immediate way to expand our tourism industry.
My family moved to Craig a year ago. We moved here because of the quality of life I experienced as a native born and raised in this community.
As a father of children ages 5 and 7, I am concerned not only about Craig’s economy today but Craig’s economy five, 10 and 20 years from now. The community cannot afford to ignore the need for economic diversity.
Referendum 2B provides this diversity by funding not only the promotion of this region but by creating the infrastructure necessary to expand Craig’s footprint in the tourism industry.
More importantly, Referendum 2B is a tax paid by visitors to Craig, not the citizens of Craig. Each of us supports the economic development of other communities when stay in their hotels and pay their local taxes. Let’s reciprocate and have those visitors develop Craig’s economy.
The recent passage of Colorado House Bill 10-1365 and the BLM moratorium on energy exploration in the Vermillion Basin are real threats to the immediate future of Craig’s economy.
It is important for this community to fight these threats. It is of the same importance that this community protects itself from the economic impact of these uncertainties.
I am voting yes on Referendum 2B because I am voting yes to Craig’s economic future.
Remember, your voice won’t be heard unless you vote.
When you vote, vote yes for Craig’s future. Vote yes for Referendum 2B.