Rather than separating itself from the state, Moffat County should open up a dialogue with Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Craig Daily Press Editorial Board members:
• Noelle Leavitt Riley, Craig Daily Press managing editor
• Renee Campbell, Craig Daily Press general manager
• Amy Fontenot, Craig Daily Press office/circulation manager
• Randy Looper, owner of the Elk Run Inn
• Amanda Field, Wells Fargo home mortgage consultant in Craig
• Ken Wergin, retired
This week, Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid announced that he would like the county to move toward secession under the 51st State Initiative because of the county’s unhappiness with the direction Colorado is going under current leadership.
Specifically, Kinkaid and fellow commissioner Tom Mathers think that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and state legislators are not acting in the best interest of the entire state, therefore, they want Moffat County to leave Colorado and become part of a 51st state or join Wyoming.
We think this is a bad idea. Instead of separating itself from the state, we think that the county should open up more dialogue with the governor. We suggest that the commissioners invite Hickenlooper to Moffat County or go to Denver and visit with him about why they are unhappy with his governorship.
If the county feels ignored or separated from new legislation, then it should speak up and make itself heard rather than running away. We are not discrediting the fact that Moffat County feels disconnected from Denver — we understand that new laws signed by Hickenlooper this year don’t make sense for rural parts of Colorado.
Yet we think the best way to handle the situation is to face it head on.
The commissioners have said in the past that they are upset with Senate Bill 252, which set renewable energy standards for Colorado. The bill requires rural electric cooperatives in Colorado to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, which is a 100 percent increase from the previously required 10 percent.
Additionally, constituents from Moffat County are unhappy with the two new gun laws recently signed by the governor. We understand the feeling of disconnect. What we want to see is the commissioners be proactive by opening discussions with lawmakers on the Front Range, not reactive by separating themselves from the state.