Michelle Balleck: Choose Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Michelle Balleck: Choose Craig

Michelle Balleck/For Craig Press

Michelle Balleck

I chose Craig, but, in a way, Craig also chose me.

My first job out of college was photographer and features writer at the Craig Daily Press. Sure, I interviewed other places at other fine newspapers. But Craig was it.

The scenery was enticing, the people were sincerely welcoming and the community had a unique charm that drew me to it.

That was 2004, and those qualities remain the same. Craig is still an amazing place to live, filled with kind-hearted people and owning its authentic personality.

Last week, Craig voters approved Referred Measure 2A, a commitment to our community's quality of life and economic future. Beginning in July 2018, this measure will allow the city of Craig to raise $2.1 million annually through a 1.75-percent sales tax increase.

The city will continue to provide the services to which we've become accustomed: police protection, maintained roads, a lap and wave pool, youth sports programs, school resource officers, senior trips, 55 acres of parks and more. Craig City Council will also make investments in economic development efforts to ensure a strong future for years to come.

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At the same time, local voters turned down Moffat County Affiliated Junior College's Referred Measure 5A, which would have supported the Craig campus of Colorado Northwestern Community College. Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership supported the property tax measure, raising $2 million in its first year for programming and residence halls. I trust the board will continue to support the college as it looks at alternative ways to educate students and train our workforce.

We, the voters, have spoken on both measures, and our community will move forward. No matter how you voted, what happens next is what's important.

Have a voice in how the new sales tax revenue is spent. Attend a Craig City Council meeting — the next one is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Craig City Hall — or contact City Manager Mike Foreman at 972-369-9588 or mforeman@ci.craig.co.us, or call any one of the City Council members whose contact information can be found at ci.craig.co.us.
Support the local companies that support our community. Keep local retailers in mind during your holiday shopping and, particularly, on Small Business Saturday, the weekend after Thanksgiving. Recall that, for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the community. That same $100 spent online leaves our community with no return.

Most importantly, though, take your energy and use it for good to make a positive difference in our community. If there's something you believe can be better, be the change you want to see.

Remember why you chose Craig and why you continue to choose Craig. Let's all move forward together.

Michelle Balleck is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.

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