Letter: Carbondale’s heads in the sand | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Carbondale’s heads in the sand

“Carbondale must tap reserves for basic needs”

Because of a failure to deal with reality

The headline in quotations appeared Nov. 1 in the Post Independent. The second is the opinion of the writer. The rest is fact.

• Two times, 2003 and 2012, Carbondale had a chance to vote for economic development — both times the town voted it down.

• Both proposals were stated to be not the right “flavor” for Carbondale by Carbondale trustees and an influential group of drum circle activists.

• The town of Carbondale collectively kept its head in the sand when oil and gas revenue was in decline. Instead of cutting the budget, the town elected to rely on the savings of Garfield County to bail it out of its fiscal irresponsibility.

• Carbondale has been voted an artist’s community district by the state of Colorado, which is great, but struggling artists don’t do a lot for sales tax, even though they contribute to a beautiful community.

• The town continually ignores the fact that it does not have dollars to give away to nonprofits. All the trustees and mayor seem to do is slightly reduce the welfare while whining about infrastructure needs.

• A bigger grocery store that doesn’t offer the selection of Glenwood Springs and El Jebel will not increase sales tax dollars, and we don’t know when this store will be built or open and what the new store will offer.

• The town policy dictated by some influential locals has been to be a poor bedroom community, rather than a commercial center, and has sent that message state- and countrywide. That image will be difficult to change.

• The policies of the past boards of trustees have set in motion a future town with dirt streets just like the old Carbondale, but without the coal mine jobs.

• Town reserve studies and good practice predict financial needs for years into the future. If the town is short of funds now, blame the current and past residents, trustees and mayors for having their heads in the sand. You reap what you sow. If you still have a belt, get ready to tighten it.

Bill Grant

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