Scranton: Cracks Everywhere |

Scranton: Cracks Everywhere

Lance Scranton

I voted confidently expecting that 4A would pass and we would finally get the much needed repairs and updates for our school district. As a 24 year veteran of the local school district, I thought it was an obvious and well-intentioned need for our local schools. Boy, was I wrong. A large swath of our county voters rejected the bond issue and I was a little bit shocked.

Not shocked that people have issues with the school district — that’s a given in any community. Not shocked that voters in Moffat County are consistently dismissive of being taxed for no good reason — I’m right there with them. Not shocked that our community has put the responsibility of figuring out how to keep our doors open squarely in the laps of our local school leaders — that’s how it should be when these things happen.

But it was eye-opening and revealing that so many of you rejected the idea that our facilities required over $40 million in upgrades and repairs. I’m on the inside and I see it everyday but perception is reality especially when you are asking voters for millions of dollars. I see the cracks in the concrete, the worn out facilities, the “historic” track at the high school and the re-re-re-purposed buildings and facilities.

But to the casual eye our schools appear to be places that are safe to send our kids each day and that is really what education is all about. People would love to have new carpet or updated facilities but we are still teaching students everyday in buildings that aren’t ideal but still work none-the-less. Communities tend to be a bit squeamish about just throwing money at an issue just to make things look better.

I’m hopeful that we can get some of the major things done as part of the usual processes involved in maintaining facilities. I hope we can get by using the buildings that we have right now as places that students and parents find safe – if not super attractive. If we can do these things, maybe the voters who rejected the ballot measure this year will reconsider as we continue to share the realities of an infrastructure in need of some TLC.

Regardless, time will tell if Moffat County is a place where people want what’s best for the long-term needs of our community or just what’s best for our pocketbook over the next few years. I’m not about to predict the future but having lived here the past 24 years I can say that it will have to be earned because we are a community that demands that what we invest in will provide returns. You can’t really argue with that — can you?

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