Scranton Column: So, what about us?
All over the country there is talk about how things are falling apart. Police are shooting. Teachers are brainwashing. Politicians are, well, being politicians. Businesses are suffering. Society is crumbling. People are mistrustful. Children are struggling. Schools are failing.
Things just seem like they aren’t going the way things should go when society is healthy.
Maybe the world around us does seem like it’s out of sorts, but we tend to find ourselves shielded from most of the direct issues and confrontations that living in a small, remote town affords us. But there is really no place isolated anymore because technology doesn’t allow for much privacy or innocence with 24/7 headlines streaming across our devices.
We can’t stick our heads in the sand and pretend that issues affecting the world around us won’t eventually find us.
Most never thought that Craig would have so many pot shops (we call them nicer names now like dispensaries) with enough revenue that local entities discuss how the tax money will be spent to support schools or other local services.
Sure, liquor has been here a long time and people will say that the cannabis trade is just finally catching up. How you think about it isn’t as important as how we just take it all for granted now that it has weaved its way into our local economy.
This fall, we’ll have a grand time debating ballot measures that could see a potential hefty rise in our property and business taxes. Some people are saying we could see three separate measures appear on the ballot that will directly affect Moffat County. One is for our local schools, another is for our local emergency medical services and the other is for a future Recreation Center.
Building up an infrastructure that promises to offer us a way forward isn’t going to be cheap and we aren’t all going to agree on the particulars.
But the one question that needs to be asked is how much longer are we going to support things that take from us when we have the opportunity to build things that give back to us and our children and our community and our sense of pride in who we are as a rural Western Colorado County.
Rural seems to be attracting people to Craig and Moffat County as evidenced by real estate numbers!
Some residents will complain that raising property taxes is never going to happen at such a rate and that we have to find different ways to make these things affordable.
But here is the reality: we need to take care of ourselves and make an investment in what we know our community really believes. We are caring, and welcoming, and hospitable and we need to do something that truly reflects who we are so that we can continue to be the place where people want to live and raise a family. It’s about people.
No people, no community.
So, what about us? Isn’t it worth considering that we are worth the investment in ourselves?
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