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Where is the passion and the leadership?

Bill Kight
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

For some unknown reason I actually took the time recently to answer survey questions about Glenwood Springs. The telephone interview took about 20 minutes out of my life but it caused me to think about where I live and why I live here.

The first question asked if I was satisfied with the way things have gone in our valley over the last few years. My answer was “No, I am not satisfied.”

Satisfaction is a luxury for those who have everything and don’t want the boat rocked. At any rate that’s my take on the smugly aloof arrogance of satisfaction.



Sounds too much like waiting for the gravedigger to throw dirt on the coffin the good-for-nothing body has already crawled into. Not a pretty picture.

So what was it that caused me to share my dissatisfaction about living in paradise with a total stranger asking dumb questions over the phone?



My number one issue is I don’t see, feel, smell, hear or otherwise have personal knowledge of any shared inclusive forward thinking or vision for our future. Who and where are the talking heads who call themselves leaders ” political or otherwise?

Where is the passion and leadership for preserving our sense of place and our community spirit?

Let’s look at this sense of place thing first.

We are mountain people living in a valley that has limited space.

No narrow-minded crotchety goofball with nothing better to do than write mean-spirited letters to the editor can argue with that fact.

The question that begs an answer is what does the quality of life look like, that are we willing to settle for, as we move into the future?

Is filling every nook and cranny available with more stuff the answer?

More years ago than I would like to remember an open space and trails committee was put together in Garfield County. It was a privilege and an honor to be part of that group.

But right when we were gathering up a head of steam, and actually getting something done, we were summarily dismissed without so much as a pat on the back or a thank you.

There was one good lasting thing that came from that effort. Doc Jackson put a conservation easement on his land that borders the town of Glenwood Springs on the south. That’s why you see open fields when you leave town heading toward Carbondale.

Wanting to preserve what little open space we have left is not being willing to accept a stagnant economy. We are resort communities dependent upon visitors coming to our area.

But what will they find when they come here in a few short years?

I hope they find an intact sense of community that continually asks the question “Is this best for us?”

What I hope they don’t find is a continual stretch of buildings and vehicles and people all the way to Grand Junction.

Our community spirit is what makes us who we are…friendly, civil, caring people interested in real dialogue about our future.

With more than 30 years of experience in federal land management agencies, Bill Kight, of Glenwood Springs, has shared his stories with readers for more than 15 years. Bill’s column will appear once per month, usually on the second Saturday of the month, in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.


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