To the editor:
I have been watching the press coverage and letters about ballot #1A. I think that some of us have missed a few issues.
There are two economies in Craig. There is the “institutional economy,” which includes the plants, the mines and the government sectors. The security of these jobs is controlled by national policies. These jobs don’t depend on the local economy.
The other economy is the “local economy,” the retail jobs and small business in Craig. The health of the local economy and security of these jobs are directly dependent on our institutional economy. The local economy could disappear and it would not affect the security of the institutional jobs. The opposite is definitely not true. If the institutional jobs are hurt the local economy really feels it!
There are two factors in 1A. Does the city need the money? Their budget is at 2008 levels. I think all of our expenses are higher than they were nine years ago. I believe if this question fails, the city will be forced to make cuts that will hurt Craig in ways that some of us may not have thought about.
Craig needs to diversify its economy, attract new businesses and new people. No business or person wants to relocate to a community that has major financial and infrastructure issues in the local government. The LMD was a great first step, but we have to have a financially solid local government as part of the recruitment package.
I believe the TABOR issue has been misunderstood in regards to 1A. The TABOR Amendment requires tax increases like 1A to go to a public vote. It can’t be done by the city council.
If you vote against 1A, you have decided that the city needs to cut expenses into prosperity. It doesn’t usually work that way with local economies. Like any investment, you have to spend money to get a return.
If you vote for 1A, you believe that nobody is going to help Craig, other than the citizens of Craig to improve our economic future. You want your kids to be able to stay in Craig, if they want to, and get good jobs. You believe that you wouldn’t move to a city that had major infrastructure issues (Flint, MI) and insufficient government services and opportunities for our citizens. Vote Yes on 1A.