Lance Scranton: Budgets or people
Budgets can be some of the most difficult challenges that an organization has to take on because the numbers expose what a company or government entity chooses to value.
A really good local preacher who I know is fond of saying that your checkbook tells you just about everything about your priorities. People can talk all they want; but what is really important is reflected in the many lines of a budgetary spreadsheet.
The biggest issue with our present city and county budget is that we don’t seem to be collecting enough money to continue with the services that we have gotten used to as a community. I’ve been through the budget process as a public school teacher and find it interesting that sometimes all it takes is a different look at the numbers to discover that maybe things aren’t as stormy as previously forecast.
What is most concerning about our present fiscal malaise is the people who are being affected. Many are long-time members of our community and have chosen to stay in Northwestern Colorado and make a life in our community.
I’m not a numbers guy, but I do know that we as “Craigites” tend to take those who have been here a long time for granted. But, budgets and priorities can have a chilling effect on some of the most dedicated in our community.
We often take for granted those who have been here the longest and, when tasked with trying to make difficult choices, default to the replacement or “cost effective” mentality. It’s often easier to hide behind numbers and data to make determinations than to try and establish new or different paradigms for how we operate as a collection of entities within our community.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers for our cost issues and tax burdens, but it is clear that we need to take a different approach to how we treat our most committed who have dedicated themselves to our community or we will eventually have problems that no amount of money can fix.
People make Moffat County happen, and we need to figure out how to keep those who have chosen to make Craig and the surrounding areas home.
So much for the models that predicted a cool, wet summer for us here in western Colorado — at least I think it’s hot this July. Ranchers are probably relieved that it’s been a good haying season, and after the cool spring, it’s nice to have a “normal” summer, but it is indeed hot.