Mike McKibbin

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August 22, 2012
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Compromise too often a lost art

A hot button issue this election year is the role government should have - if any - in helping our seemingly never-improving economy.

Whether it's in the presidential race, the U.S. House and Senate, county commissioners down to city councils, you have to agree it's the number one issue.

But what to do about it?

Rifle City Council faced a dilemma last week when a new developer of the Rifle Heights subdivision asked for some help making that basically stalled project continue to live.

Ron Atkinson wanted the city to waive its 4 percent escalation fee on the White River Avenue improvement costs a previous developer agreed to pay. But, since the project has only sold a few homes, the street improvements have not been made by the city.

The city had already twice extended the time Atkinson had to pay what he owed and he wanted a third extension with the fee waiver. In exchange, Atkinson proposed he pay the city $5,000 per future lot sale to help cover the street improvements.

This was all designed to help the project somehow survive in the severely depressed housing market, especially concerning new construction.

After much discussion, the council agreed to waive the escalation fee and give Atkinson a third extension.

Seems like a good enough resolution, with some give and take on both sides. Time will tell what actually happens with Rifle Heights, and good luck to Mr. Atkinson and his son.

I would hope these types of situations and how they can be resolved serve as a role model for those who now serve us in Congress and the White House, and those who want our vote this fall.

As you can read on this page, Lee Hamilton makes an excellent case for getting away from the extreme partisanship and division that has seemingly stymied any issue at the federal level and in the presidential campaign.

Maybe all they need to do is look at good ol' Rifle, Colorado.

I know there are local businesses who disagree, for whatever reason and unique situation. A few weeks ago, I wrote about some businesses dealing with the city sign code, some in a not too happy vein.

But at least we have a council that seems open to working things out, and that's where the future lies. I'm not saying we live in a perfect community; there is no such thing.

I just think we, individually and as U.S. citizens, have to help find a way to get our government and leaders back to what I remember hearing someone describe politics as: "The art of compromise."

Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.

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The Post Independent Updated Aug 22, 2012 06:07PM Published Aug 22, 2012 06:06PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.