Our View: An economic champion is a bad idea
Renee Campbell, newspaper representative (absent)
Noelle Leavitt Riley, newspaper representative
Gary Cole, newspaper representative
Shirley Balleck, community member
Gail Severson, community member
The Local Marketing District’s new board meets twice a month, and recently the city and county have given the board ideas on how to operate.
One of the recommendations comes from Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe, who wants the LMD to hire an economic champion to move our county forward.
Since voters approved the LMD — which increases lodging tax by 4 percent and stands to bring in an estimated additional $275,000 a year — this idea of obtaining an economic champion has been discussed many times.
We’re scratching our heads as to why the LMD would want to spend any of the $275,000 on an economic champion when we already have three entities that work to “move our county forward.”
The Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership all do exactly what Moe’s proposed economic champion would do.
As a matter of fact, MCTA just hired a full-time director, Tom Kleinschnitz, who replaced Melody Villard, who was only part time.
The CMEDP recently hired Michelle Balleck, and the chamber has Christina Oxley. Between those three directors, we’re bound to continue to grow economically. They’re our champions.
We feel the economic champion is a bad idea, and we don’t want to see any of the LMD funds go to yet another director.
Let’s give Balleck, Oxley and Kleinschnitz the support they need to help grow tourism and our economic viability.
Additionally, we think that the three directors should be housed under the same roof.
MCTA is closing its office in Centennial Mall. It’s time for the chamber, MCTA and the CMEDP to come together and give our community, and those who visit, a one-stop shop where they can get information on hunting, Dinosaur National Monument, our OHV trails and all the other wonderful things our county has to offer.
They can still operate individually under one roof, giving visitors a chance to talk to three economic development entities in one fell swoop. Tourism, relocation information and business start-up knowledge should all be in the same building.
An economic champion would only muddy the waters.
MCTA is tasked with marketing Craig and Moffat County to outside entities, among other things.
CMEDP helps local businesses with their marketing and aids in new business start-ups. It also is going to start helping bring in new, outside businesses.
The chamber is a huge community partner, hosting business meetings and promoting businesses through its chamber mixers and much, much more.
We need to keep these three organizations healthy rather than spending money on an economic champion.
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