Editorial: Sorting senator’s priorities
January 5, 2011
New state senator Jean White should have a few areas of emphasis for Craig and Moffat County, including stimulating the economy. Also, exiting senator Al White deserves thanks and appreciation for his 10 years serving Western Slope communities in the state legislature.
A marathon meeting Monday at the Moffat County Courthouse ended with the anointment of a new state senator tasked with representing our community.
Jean White, a 60-year-old Hayden Republican and the wife of exiting senator Al White, was pegged as her husband's replacement to the senate's Eighth District, edging out five other candidates.
Al, after 10 years of loyal and commendable service to Northwest Colorado, will take over as director of the Colorado Tourism Office on Jan. 11. Jean will serve the remaining two years of Al's term in office.
With our state and Western Slope going through lean and difficult economic times, Jean has no small task ahead of her in trying to repair things, the Editorial Board contends. Board members were relieved to hear that the economy was at the forefront of her concerns heading into office.
To that end, board members hope Jean focuses on protecting some of our community's primary industries such as coal, oil and gas. The former has come under nothing short of an attack at the state level, putting the future of many of our residents in doubt, as well as the community as a whole.
Mitigating the damage of Colorado House Bill 10-1365, the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, has to be a priority for Jean going into her service.
But, that's not the only issue we hope our new senator tackles.
Education funding in Moffat County has been woefully low for years, hamstringing our educators and administrators in their mission of preparing students for the future. There aren't many frills left in the Moffat County School District's budget, and if cuts keep coming, at some point the rollbacks are going to reach teachers and students.
This can't happen, and we hope Jean is thinking of our school district while serving in Denver.
The Editorial Board wishes her luck going into her first legislative session, which begins Jan. 12. We're glad she'll have an experienced legislator to confide in and seek advice from in her husband, Al.
He deserves this community's thanks for standing up for Craig and Moffat County specifically, and the Western Slope in general during his decade in Denver. We hope Jean's service is of the same quality as her husband's.
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