Editorial: Unwanted power struggle

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Craig Editorial Board, January to March 2011

Joshua Roberts, newspaper representative

Brian Smith, newspaper representative

Bob Grubb, community representative

Jane Hume, community representative

Dan McIntyre, community representative

Our View

The Craig Chamber of Commerce’s recent proposal to take over the county’s 1.9-percent lodging tax and, in effect, dissolve MCTA holds little merit. The Editorial Board contends these two organizations should work together instead of fighting for power.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce recently proposed an idea that would radically shift the management of tourism funds in our county.

Chamber officials seem to believe they could do a better job administering the funds raised by the county’s 1.9-percent lodging tax than the Moffat County Tourism Association. So, they have talked with the Moffat County Commission about taking that money away from MCTA, essentially forcing its dissolution.

The Editorial Board hardly sees merit in that idea.

Simply put, the Editorial Board doesn’t believe businessmen based in Craig should handle a tax collected and allocated for the promotion of tourism in the whole county.

What makes the Chamber think it can do a better job than MCTA?

The only reason we can find is their relatively strong membership base and location. Still, we don’t think the Chamber has the legal and moral ground to take away the responsibility of an organization that has worked tirelessly over the last decade to promote tourism in our part of the state.

This proposal seems more adversarial than it does cooperative, and that is not how we want our community run.

We have three organizations — MCTA, the Chamber and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership — that all have similar goals to improve our community.

However, it seems like these three groups are not communicating as to what the best path for bettering our community should be. We have said it before and think it is worth repeating — we need to pool our resources instead of trying to fight for power.

Giving the Chamber this amount of money gives that organization too much power. Sure, we might be comfortable letting the Chamber help manage the funds, but total control isn’t a good idea.

Can a membership-funded, business-based organization effectively market our county’s assets to outside communities better than what is currently being done? We doubt it.

Sure, MCTA seems ineffective at times and membership sometimes waivers, but there isn’t a board in this community that hasn’t had similar problems.

Sure, we admire the Chamber for trying to solve a problem that could help our community.

But, we have to ask — just where were all these Chamber members when MCTA was taking applications for open board positions?

It is easy to recognize MCTA and the Chamber haven’t gotten along in the past, and this proposal is evidence of that rocky relationship.

But, there is a higher purpose than petty disagreements. There is a greater good in the community and that is what your respective interests should be rather than who has the most power in the community.

Let’s work together to solve this problem. Open up lines of communications, participate in each other’s meetings and get along.

There is no reason for a power struggle when everybody’s goal should be the betterment of the community.

Note: Editorial board member and Craig Daily Press Publisher Bryce Jacobson did not participate in this discussion due to his role on the MCTA board.

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