Editorial: Hickenlooper forum should be production, respectful
November 22, 2013
The news has spread: Gov. John Hickenlooper will visit Craig on Monday after months of receiving negative publicity from Moffat County constituents.
His visit comes on the heels of this month's election where the secession movement failed on the county ballot with 55 percent of voters against the measure and 45 percent in favor.
Although the measure failed in Moffat County, it passed in five of the 11 counties where voters were asked to pursue secession by forming a 51st state.
The reason? Well, rural Colorado feels ignored by Front Range politics. For example, many rural Coloradans feel as though legislators and the governor didn't consider how various laws would affect those who live outside of the Denver Metro area, including the two new gun laws and the new renewable energy requirements.
We certainly understand that Moffat County residents feel that they've not been heard by Hickenlooper, but we want to remind the community that he is the governor.
That means we hope that those who show up to the community forum will show our elected official respect, regardless of any disagreements and/or sour feelings towards Hickenlooper's politics.
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The visit needs to be a constructive forum where the governor and residents can productively discuss differences.
We'd also like to commend Moffat County residents who asked the governor to visit. Likewise, we'd like to thank Hickenlooper for listening and making the trip to our area.
It is concerning, however, that the governor will only have 45 minutes to visit with his constituents here in Northwest Colorado. Originally, he was supposed to visit for an hour and 15 minutes.
Now, his visit has been cut and he will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 12: 15 p.m. We'd like to encourage Hickenlooper to visit longer with Moffat County residents if his schedule allows. If not, then we'd like to see him come back in the next six months and make it a priority to stay longer.
It's a long way for the governor and his staff to travel for only 45 minutes.
Despite his short visit with residents, he is meeting with elected officials for 30 minutes after the forum to discuss the sage-grouse initiative.
So, let's show Hickenlooper respect, ask him thoughtful questions and exemplify the reasons why we feel rural Colorado has not been heard in the past.