Editorial: Back to the table

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Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

Our View

The Craig Police Department potentially leaving the Moffat County Public Safety Center due to a continued stalemate between the city and county is contrary to public good. The two governments need to stop the bickering and posturing and reach an agreement that’s best for taxpayers.

It’s clear voters were wise and proactive 10 years ago when they chose to place the community’s three law enforcement agencies under the same roof.

There is no disputing the Moffat County Public Safety Center is one of the biggest assets our community has in both the relationship it fosters and partnership it forms between the agencies.

But, what voters wanted then is now threatened thanks to stalled negotiations between the Craig City Council and Moffat County Commission — our community’s most prominent governing bodies — regarding the facility’s future.

The Editorial Board’s wish is no different than that of voters — law enforcement agencies are at their best when roommates.

The stalemate between the city and county on the Craig Police Department’s lease of the safety center is starting to appear childish and our elected officials ineffective, board members contend.

After months of negotiations, it seems our two governments are even more divided about what a fair price for the space should be. We need better — not more — discussion about this issue.

However, it seems instead of continuing to hash it out in hopes of a fair resolution, the two sides are intent on diverging.

The commission requested a two-month break from negotiations, and the city council is using that hiatus to explore building a new police station.

These developments are amateurish and accomplish nothing but increasing the chances our law enforcement agencies divorce from one another come later this summer, when the current lease expires.

The Editorial Board understands both sides believe they are acting in the best interest of their respective taxpayers, but momentum is building toward a resolution contrary to public benefit.

We also wonder what the county would do with the spare space at the safety center if the police department moves out. Who would rent the space? Anyone?

Using the numbers in the last round of talks, the two sides are separated by $346,880.

While that figure is substantial, especially considering it belongs to neither side but instead the public, it isn’t as big of an obstacle as the two sides are making it out to be.

The Editorial Board says meet in the middle — $173,440 — and get this deal done.

That way each sides wins a little without losing too much — face included — and this problem doesn’t become bigger than it’s already been, eroding the public’s confidence in our elected officials even more.

This negotiation is critical for the relationship our two governments will have in the future, and more importantly, imperative to law enforcement agencies accomplishing their primary responsibilities — protecting and serving the public.

That task — serving the public — hasn’t been a big talking point so far.

With all the chatter about dollar figures and the constant grapple for the upper hand, the Editorial Board wonders if that end goal is lost on our elected officials.

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Comments

John Kinkaid 3 years, 7 months ago

I can't say it any better and I couldn't agree more.

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wellwell 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, is it about time that we stop writing, stand up, be real people before the county comissioners and city council to let them know we want action??

This is what we voted to keep our cost down by combining the law forces.

This is what the law forces wanted to combine for better effectiveness.

We are paying for this combined building and we voted for the building.

This what the state of Coloado paid for by the Colorado State Patrol inclusion in the building.

We now have three county commissioners and seven city council members that have put a stop to negotiations.

This hold to negotiations was put on by the county commissioners. So you might say it was stopped by three people !!!!

Are you going to show up at the courthouse Tues. morning to complain??

Are you going to show up at 5pm at city hall to complain??? Note The Time Change For City Council

Are you going to call to let them know how you feel???

Let Them Know How You Feel !!

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als362 3 years, 7 months ago

I understand that it is our duty as tax payers and voters to contact the commissioners, and all elected officials and let them know our feelings. I have done this many times. Contacting all three commissioners via email, through the county web site with my opinions on several issues.
There are always two of the three that never reply to my emails.
Perhaps these two commissioners have an idea that it is not their responsibility to reply to emails from voters.
Or perhaps they have an opinion that maybe because they are from a different district, that gives them the right to shun a tax payer and voter.
Or perhaps they either don't know how to use emails, or how to read. I suppose any of these are possible reasons for these same two commissioners not repying to my emails.
But none of these reasons are valid. When you are hold an elected office, it is your responsibility to reply to ALL tax payers and voters concerns when contacted by them. If you choose not to do that, then you have no business holding that or any elected office and should resign that office if you do not want to do your duty and respond to the tax payers and voters when they bring their concerns to you.

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tam9sher1 3 years, 7 months ago

Both the county commissioners and the city council members are behaving childishly. It's time for all of them to put on their grown up clothes and get this dispute resolved. At the rate they are going now the real losers will be the taxpayers who will be footing the bill for yet another building and for unused space in the safety center. How can this have gotten to this point? Have all of these elected officials forgotten who they are supposed to represent? Get over yourselves and solve this. Splitting the difference seems as good a solution as can be hoped for -- and much better than stalemate and gridlock because no one is willing to give an inch. If this is not resolved without the need to build another building I can safely say that NONE OF YOU REPRESENT ME OR MY INTERESTS!

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