Local officials to reflect on 2009 at State of the County | CraigDailyPress.com

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Local officials to reflect on 2009 at State of the County

City, county and state issues focus of Friday’s State of the County

If you go

What: State of the County featuring state Sen. Al White

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Highway 13

Cost: The event is open to the public, but tickets cost $40 for dinner. Tickets can be purchased at the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way.

Call: For more information, call the Chamber at 824-5689

Residents will have an opportunity to get a firsthand account of local and state issues at Friday's State of the County address.

Northwest Colorado officials will gather at the address to discuss and listen to the events of 2009 and what 2010 possibly could have in store.

The event, hosted by the Craig Cham­­ber of Commerce, will feature a State of the City address from Craig Mayor Don Jones, a State of the County address from com­­missioner Audrey Dan­ner and a State of the State address from Colorado Sen. Al White, R-Hayden.

Among state issues to be discussed will be budget shortfalls, the economy, energy, resource development and the growth of the state, White said.

"What I would really like to do is talk about the budget, the situations I'm in here at the state and how it is going to affect people in Northwest Colorado and Craig," he said.

In addition to the speeches, various awards will be presented to the Small and Large Businesses of the Year, Businessperson of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

The Chamber also will recognize its Ambassador of the Year.

In its fourth year, the event will give representatives a chance to discuss the past year and issues to come.

"It serves to report what the city, county and state did in 2009," Chamber executive director Christina Currie said. "What are they proud of, what were their accomplishments, how did they use our tax dollars, and looking forward to 2010, what can we expect?"

This will be the first time White will speak at the event.

Inviting him to address constituents was important to the Chamber to get a broader view of issues, Currie said.

White contends that he wants to bridge perceived gaps between rural areas and state government.

"When they see things happening by way of reduced state services, impacts on their schools and reduced grants to their cities and their counties, they need to understand why," he said. "I think that people feel fairly disconnected from their state and federal government, and I want to offer them a level of connectivity."

Danner agreed that such events are important to residents.

"I believe it's important to give a retrospective, but then also talk about how we are looking forward, what we will be doing this year — the activities, the services, how we are going to be looking at our budget," she said.

The event tries to host speakers that represent issues currently facing the local community, as well as Colorado as a whole, Currie said.

"We wanted to get some information and get a bigger perspective on the state level," Currie said. "Every day, we're hearing news about daily state level changes to make up for the budget deficit.

"As a committee, we wanted to sit down and try to see what is going on at a local, regional and state level."