Editorial: Set sights on diversification

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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

With some of Craig and Moffat County’s primary industries under attack, economic diversification has never been more important. To this end, our local governments and organizations must get on the same page and work toward common goals.

Last year was not one many in natural resources would most likely care to remember.

First, our coal mines came under attack with Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.

Next came regulations that entail Tri-State Generation & Transmission spending millions on new technology.

Although Editorial Board members are optimistic for the future of these industries that are critically important to our community, the events of 2010 certainly brought to light the necessity of developing other industries so we’re not overly reliant on any one or two.

Which brings us to economic development, or more specifically, the glaring absence of a unified vision among our elected officials and agency leaders in this area.

The Editorial Board contends it’s time for the Craig City Council, Moffat County Commission, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Moffat County Tourism Association to gather and begin strategizing.

By this, we don’t mean a work session with just some of those players involved lasting an hour or two. A summit, of sorts, is a better description for what the Editorial Board is calling for.

Over the years, each of these groups has made some positive strides in economic development, and we appreciate that.

However, is there any doubt that with each of these groups all on the same page, with each pulling in the same direction toward the same end, there’s a stronger chance of our community gaining more in the way of new businesses, employers, jobs and additional revenue to broaden the tax base?

There is no bigger issue for our community — or any community, for that matter — than strengthening and improving its economy. Not with the shape of things today.

Each of the groups we’re asking to unify can play a key role in breaking our community out of this slumping economic time.

With a little planning and a proactive vision, our area could be among the first to do so.

Our leaders can play a big role — if they’re actually the leaders they’ve claimed to be, that is.

The time for letting the market fix itself has past.

Unless we want our future left to the whims of lawmakers and lobbyists hundreds of miles away, unless we want to continually, year-after-year, cut budgets and burden taxpayers, it’s time to get proactive, unify and, ultimately, diversify.

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Comments

wellwell 3 years, 11 months ago

In addition to the leaders the PUBLIC needs to get involved. This representative government is by the people. It is necessary that the public attend these meetings and be heard. It is necessary that the public meet their representatives eye to eye, or by phone. If not that write, email or facebook. Heck, carpool to see them.

The point is leaders can't and should not lead without representing.

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JimBlevins 3 years, 11 months ago

I couldn't agree more with the intent of diversification, but there is relatively little that government can do. What is needed more than anything is a general attitude of support for innovation. We need residents to welcome that which is new and different. If someone has a good idea, they need and environment of support and encouragement.

Jim Blevins

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wellwell 3 years, 11 months ago

Jim Blevins,

I too agree that innovation needs to come forward and be accepted. We have seen innovation held down by policy, big business, and leaders that should represent and encourage.

Diversification marketing and added value products are growth minded.

Added value products are taking your product (or service) to a new market or level of service. It is like getting interest on your savings.

Diversification is having more businesses of differing products or services. This is like investing your money for growth in more places so that if one fails the others still are giving return. (Not all the eggs in one basket)

In order to get letters of support, zoning and planning, advertising, financial aid, and liberal amount of governmental programs these are the things that government controls. The goverment is gaining more and more control.

Yes, Americans need to become more innovative and be given a supportive, encouraging environment.

Just be ready for govermental control.

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