Editorial: Setting ground rules
February 12, 2011
Recent news that Gov. John Hickenlooper has decided to speak at a coming local event is very encouraging to the Editorial Board. However, we need to make sure we put our best foot forward for the governor’s visit in hopes of maintaining a good, working relationship.
Gov. John Hickenlooper continues to impress.
From his Western Slope cabinet appointments to his bottom-up economic approach to hosting a one-on-one meeting with the Moffat County Commission, it seems Hickenlooper is sticking to his promise to lend an ear to the whole state.
Especially to small, rural communities, like Craig.
It's clear that the governor's sights extend past those communities within a stones throw of the governor's mansion, unlike former Gov. Bill Ritter's.
But, despite all the good that's come from the new guy holding the state's reins, his latest action is what has us most impressed.
Hickenlooper recently confirmed he would give the keynote speech at the Craig Chamber of Commerce's State of the County event on March 9 — something a governor hasn't done in recent memory.
The Editorial Board is quite pleased with that announcement and thinks the Chamber and Craig Mayor Don Jones should be commended for their work in landing Hickenlooper for such a prominent and informative event.
But, there are several things we need to keep in mind when he visits the area.
Basically, we need to set a few ground rules, the first of which concerns our local elected officials.
We think our elected officials need to put aside their current disagreements and lead the community in putting its best foot forward.
We need to make sure our little town is clean, prepared and welcoming to our new governor — something we haven't always done in the past.
As one board member said, every electronic sign or business billboard in town should be welcoming to the governor.
It's also encouraging that we haven't heard anyone say they don't want the governor here.
Maybe, for once, if we can start the conversation with, "Let's talk," rather than, "Listen here," and if we can show him that the people of Northwest Colorado want to be part of the bigger picture, then maybe he will afford us that dialogue.
Maybe he'll remember us when putting his pen on legislation that might harm our part of the state.
But, it is not enough for us just to wine and dine the new governor.
We need to take this opportunity to remind him about our clean coal technologies and the amount of natural resources we have that can help balance the state's budget.
It is clear our elected officials have been doing a better job of voicing those concerns, but we simply can't stress our community's desires enough to the new governor.
We also can't rest on the first month of promise Hickenlooper has shown.
It is simply not enough to have these conversations once.
We need to continue to focus on being on the governor's mind, considering our community's now uncertain future.