Melody Villard: 1A is bigger than our elected officials
As a fifth-generation Moffat County resident, I feel I have a good grasp of the fibers that form our community’s fabric. One of the strongest fibers is our independence and tenacity. This trait has kept our community alive through numerous adversities for nearly 130 years. This trait is weaved alongside another of our strongest fibers — a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to government.
The possibility of a mill levy for the libraries and museum was met with skepticism and questions. I, along with many of you, have disagreed with many of the decisions our elected officials have made over the years. Even so, I decided to do my homework before disregarding the ballot question as simply a desperate money-grab with a hidden agenda. I looked at the county’s historical finances, I spoke with our county commissioners, I spoke with the museum, and I spoke with the library. I wanted to answer these questions: 1) Is Moffat County truly experiencing financial hardships that could possibly warrant such a measure? 2) Have significant financial cuts been made to alleviate these hardships? 3) Will the museum and libraries really be shut down if additional funding isn’t found? 4) Will the proposed mill levy funds only go toward the museum and libraries and not the general county budget?
I found the answers to all four questions were “yes”.
We have a representative local government made up of our very own citizens. It is our duty to vote them in, and it’s our duty to vote them out. It is also our duty to constantly take them to task with hard questions. I don’t believe, however, it is our duty to simply “armchair quarterback” our local government while making no other effort toward making a meaningful difference. Measure 1A allows us to make that difference by contributing directly to the cornerstones of our community — our libraries and museum. I’ve done my research and know exactly why this is needed and exactly where my tax dollars will be going. Because of this, I feel 100 percent confident in my “yes” vote.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: Our “yes” vote will protect our museum and libraries for future generations; a “no” vote will allow them to close. This vote is real, and so are the consequences. Moffat County’s heritage and legacy are fully in our hands.