After three months of evaluating, dissecting and writing about the top concerns and accolades in Craig and Moffat County, the Craig Daily Press’ editorial board has fulfilled its three-month commitment, and a new board is being formed.
Tom Cramer, community representative
Jo Ann Baxter, community representative
Noelle Leavitt Riley, newspaper representative
Renee Campbell, newspaper representative
Amy Fontenot, newspaper representative
We’ve tackled several hot topics, encouraged the community to glow through its giving spirit and cheered on our favorite men in blue and orange — despite the painful loss!
To wrap things up, we’d like to highlight some of the editorials we’ve written during this board’s tenure.
Hickenlooper’s visit to Moffat County
Gov. John Hickelooper’s visit to Craig in November was a huge deal for our community, and it came on the heels of several counties in Colorado — including Moffat County — pursuing secession due to lack of acknowledgment from Front Range politicians.
Members of our community requested that he make a trip to Northwest Colorado, and the governor listened. After the November election, Hickenlooper announced that he would visit Moffat County on Nov. 25.
Prior to his visit, the editorial board encouraged residents to show Hickelooper respect and to productively address concerns regardless of any disagreements and/or sour feelings toward the governor’s politics.
We hoped for a constructive forum where the governor and residents could productively discuss differences, and that’s exactly what happened. It was a successful day for the governor and our community. For that, we commend Moffat County residents and Hickenlooper. It says a lot about our abilities to work together.
CEO turnover at The Memorial Hospital
At the start of this year, TMH announced that its new CEO Chris Smolik was leaving the hospital. It was a shock for the community, so the editorial board wrote about how it might affect the hospital, Craig and residents in the long run.
We recommended that TMH and its board evaluate Quorum Health Resources, the hospital’s management company that helps search and replace top management. TMH used QHR to find Smolik, and he lasted only six months at the hospital's helm.
TMH now has an interim CEO, John Rossfield, who was hired by QHR. We hope, as the search continues for a permanent CEO, that the hospital’s board and QHR can find a stellar replacement for Smolik.
Secretary of interior shuts out media
Although the editorial board commended U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell for visiting Moffat County to better understand sage grouse conservation, she eliminated the press from a public meeting, which unfortunately overshadowed her visit.
The editorial board wrote about the situation, criticizing the secretary’s actions. After the newspaper sent a letter from its lawyer to Jewell stating that she violated the First Amendment, Jewell’s staff issued an apology.
Thus, the board is happy about the response, and — more importantly — views the visit as a productive sage grouse initiative.
Cheering for the Broncos
Although we dedicated an entire editorial to the Broncos, they didn’t deliver. Yet, it was fun to spread enthusiasm for our NFL team in the newspaper.
We found joy and anticipation in writing about the Broncos.
Although we got trampled, we were still proud to see Peyton Manning and his team make it to the Super Bowl. Every game leading up to the bitter end was thrilling, and we had a blast following the Broncos throughout the season. We’re looking forward to seeing them hit the field again next season. Go Broncos!
Hunting for a new school district superintendent
We had to add our two cents about Moffat County School District’s search for a new superintendent to replace Joe Petrone.
In our editorial, we stated that finding a new superintendent for Moffat County School District probably will be the biggest decision the school board will make this fiscal year.
We said that the new superintendent will need to hire quality teachers, focus on funding and have a real interest in the students and community.
The school board has narrowed its search to three top candidates, and we urge the board to consider all of those qualities before making its decision.
Looking for new editorial board members
The Craig Daily Press currently is looking for two or three community members to serve on its new editorial board that will have its first meeting at the end of March.
If you’re interested in being on the board, contact Managing Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or General Manager Renee Campbell at 970-875-1788. The board meets at 1 p.m. every Wednesday for a three months.