Lance Scranton: Community at work
October 24, 2017
Based upon my 21 years in Moffat County, I think it is safe to say that most everyone works hard. It's the nature of our community and the type of jobs available that can make for long hours and physically and mentally demanding work. The overwhelming majority of people I meet are making huge sacrifices to make sure they can do their very best to support the things their children are doing and help the community.
We are, in general, a county that rallies to the needs of others when they are in need. The purpose is to help, and the unspoken message is that we care. We want what is best for others and know that, sometimes, things are out of our control; we didn't ask for it, and most likely, didn't even deserve it, but it happened, regardless.
We all find ourselves at work doing the best we can to earn a living and make every dollar we earn go as far as possible. It's frustrating to see waste when we know it is our money that is involved. It's why we usually give to causes that are local, because we know about them and have some type of connection to the destination of our monetary kindness.
Taxes are another issue that can get in the way of a community doing all the things we have come to expect, no matter if it's smooth streets, plowed roads or attractive parks; we all like to have conveniences we don't really think about until we hit a pothole, get stuck in the middle of winter or wonder why the grass is so yellow on the city fields.
I'm not a fan of taxes that are raised to meet the needs of some government project designed toward socially engineering us into some kind of behavior. A tax that takes money from my pocket to fill the coffers of a bloated bureaucracy hundreds or thousands of miles away from where I live is as fundamentally wrong as me walking up to your house and asking you to raise my children for me, because I just don't have the resources.
Raising the amount of taxes that are taken out of our paychecks is a deeply personal and complicated issue. Locally, I support the ballot measures to make our community college system stronger and meet the needs of our diminished budgets. Do I agree with everything they are currently doing? Nope. But what I like even less are people who are so comfortable demeaning and degrading our corner of the state, while doing absolutely nothing to try and help at the local level.
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At work and at play, we all have a responsibility to make up our own minds about what we want for Craig and Moffat County. I'm making the decision that I'm willing to pay a little more to develop a stronger community and will hold those responsible to task when I see waste.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.