Moffat County called on to get involved for community improvement meetings
‘13 Ways to Kill Your Community’ author to speak June 30
June 4, 2016
It takes an entire group of people working as one to function as a community, and just as there's a list of things to do to improve one's surroundings, a list of what not to do is just as vital.
Craig will host Doug Griffiths, co-author of the advice book "13 Ways to Kill Your Community,"Doug Griffiths, co-author of the advice book “13 Ways to Kill Your Community,” in late June as part of an effort to start a large level of community involvement. in late June as part of an effort to start a large level of community involvement.
Doug Griffiths, co-author of the advice book "13 Ways to Kill Your Community," in late June as part of an effort to start a large level of community involvement.
Griffiths' book — free signed copies of which will be available for the first 50 people who attend — is a bestselling how-to guide for small towns and the people that comprise them to improve where they live. Segments of the book focus on attitudes and actions that will prove harmful to a city, including ignoring youth and seniors, rejecting all things new, living in the past, shopping outside the community, becoming complacent with how things are and other mistakes.
Starting this week, the Craig Daily Press will feature a synopsis of each of the "13 Ways" leading up to the event.
The same day as Griffiths' presentation — which takes place at 6:30 p.m. June 30 at Moffat County High School — the author will be available from noon to 1 p.m. at Downtown Books and Coffee, while a rain-or-shine community barbecue and pep rally will take place starting at 5 p.m. at MCHS.
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As one of the organizers, Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe said the goal is to get a high capacity crowd interested in re-energizing their community.
"His message really does give a community the tools to take our health care, education and economy into our own hands," Moe said of Griffiths.
Moe credited local businessman and City Councilor John Ponikvar with turning the area's attention to Griffiths' book in recent years, but it was in 2015 when legal action by WildEarth Guardians threatened the energy industry and Northwest Colorado's economy that getting advice from someone like Griffiths seemed even more prudent.
"When WildEarth Guardians did that, the community was very reactionary in saying, 'we're going to protect our jobs,'" he said.
Moe and fellow organizer Charity Neal cited the turnout and positive energy that came from public meetings about WildEarth Guardians and Colowyopublic meetings about WildEarth Guardians and Colowyo as an example of what they’d like to see come from this project. as an example of what they'd like to see come from this project.
public meetings about WildEarth Guardians and Colowyo as an example of what they'd like to see come from this project.
"It's to get anyone and everyone involved as a whole, maybe identify some new leaders in the community," she said. "I'd love to see as many people out to improve our community when we're not in a crisis as we did when we had the coal crisis. That really proved we can mobilize and I hope we take that same energy moving forward."
Moe said he believes the area can both appreciate the energy industry and still keep diversification in mind as new generations of residents come up in the world.
"Now is the time that our community can embrace change and take advantage of the possibility that our futures are limitless," he said. "We've got great, smart people working here in silos, meaning that if we took our strength and energy of all the groups, we really can move our community to the thing that's desired."
A community meeting, "Turning Talk Into Implementation," follows from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 1 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. The format of the meeting is attuned to local organizations and clubs, though any individual who hopes to attend should do so, Moe said.
"If anyone doesn't think they're invited, they are," he said.