Lance Scranton: 2017 a year of important decisions for Moffat County School Board, Craig City Council and nationally
December 26, 2017
It's been an interesting year in our community and around the country. Much has been said (as is usual) but what has impressed me is what has been done after all the talking. Agree or disagree with the decisions, it's been a year of consequential leadership in our school district, on our city council and at the federal level.
The year began as our local school board was tasked with making some important structural decisions to help sustain the future stability of our schools. The discovery of some surplus monies in the budget allowed the school board, superintendent and members of the negotiating team to work toward giving the salary and benefit packages some well-deserved attention after more than three years of stagnant wages.
The year concluded with the outgoing board handing off a school closure decision to a new board. The difficult process was handled with diligence by hiring an outside, unbiased company listened to the community and brought forth a recommendation which the board and superintendent accepted.
Our city council was plagued most of the year with budgetary problems brought on by a number of factors that have affected our city coffers. The decision to ask the community to supplement the budget via a tax increase was a huge talking point as summer rolled into fall. The tax increase passed by a slim margin but likely cost our local college a mill levy increase. Various city personnel and local committee issues have been fodder for community discussion, but leaders have done what they said they would do if elected.
No president in my lifetime has garnered as much attention as our current leader, who came into office saying much about how Washington D.C. was broken, seemed more like a swamp and worried more about the status quo than taking care of the people's business. Both houses of Congress, led by Republican majorities, seemed well on their way to self-destructing but eventually passed a tax reform bill just before Christmas.
Along the way, President Donald Trump said much about how the country should be doing business and handling our border issues by using his executive authority to redirect many of the previous administration's efforts.
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Public service is a tough job, especially for those who take on positions which require talking points and adopting positions to get elected.
As we head into 2018, the consequences of the decisions made will be more fully realized, and we will have much to talk about. I'll leave 2017 appreciative of our school district, city council and president, who put some action to their words.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.