Recall effort is too little, too late

There’s no changing the facts.

The county’s 2004 budget had to be trimmed by at least $1 million — and it was. The budget has been been approved by the commissioners and has been sent to the state for review.

Sitting Moffat County Commissioners have been criticized for contributing to the budget crisis and for the solutions they’ve offered to it.

It’s not likely that they’ll let the problem breach another year. It’s more likely that the lesson has been learned and elected officials will keep a close eye on expenditures — two reasons why a recall effort at this time isn’t needed and solves nothing.

Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos, listed in the recall petition, has one more year before term limits put an end to her service. Commissioner Les Hampton, also listed on the recall petition, will be up for re-election in November — a decision voters can make then, should he decide to run.

A recall at this time puts more financial strain on already stressed coffers. Commissioners have been working for months to cut — dollar by dollar — the budget. Adding a $10,000 election to the bottom line means someone’s overtime pay, another service — even someone’s job.

And, by the time the recall process has been completed — nearly 90 days from now if the required signatures were submitted today — a new elected official would serve less than eight months before election time rolls around again.

But it doesn’t matter how long a new candidate may have. What matters is what could be accomplished. The damage is already done and damage control initiated.

In addition, there are more residents interested in, participating in, and monitoring government actions than there have been for the past four years. Continuing that type of check and balance will go a long way toward preventing similar problems in the future.

Those people who want to affect change are too late. They should have been there, in the numbers that are there now, doing their duty by monitoring the officials they elected to serve them.

Public officials have a responsibility to their constituents, but those constituents aren’t free from responsibilities.

They’re charged with knowing the issues, too, and making sure their elected officials are making decisions that reflect the needs of the residents.

Officials can’t represent the people without their input, and that input has been sadly lacking until now.

This budget crisis didn’t happen overnight and won’t be solved overnight.

It certainly won’t be solved by an effort to oust those who caused the problem.

Not at this late date anyway.

If people want a change, they need to begin the campaign now for a candidate that they think will better represent and better serve them now and start grooming that person to hit the ground running.

Let’s not compound the problem and the financial burden with a solution that has little chance of affecting real change.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.