PI Editorial: A positive start to moving things forward | PostIndependent.com

PI Editorial: A positive start to moving things forward

Post Independent Editorial Board

Call us cautiously optimistic.

After voters soundly rejected two ballot questions that would have funded improvements and future maintenance of the Glenwood Springs Airport, it was unclear how conversations between the Glenwood Springs City Council and Airport Commission would begin.

It’s still early after Tuesday’s elections, but we’re happy with how the direction conversations about the airport are going so far.

While many maintenance and security issues have existed for years at the airport, it’s the push for South Bridge — and whether it should go under or over the runway — that has driven much of the recent debate about the future of the facility.

The two ballot measures failing wasn’t a surprise — try as one might, it was seemingly impossible to find a supporter of them — but it also shouldn’t be viewed as a broad referendum on what Glenwood Springs voters think about the airport.

So far, it seems like City Council agrees and is moving forward with hopes of a collaborative relationship with the Airport Commission. For the commission members’ part, they also appear to be more willing to work with council. Both sides acknowledged distrust in past conversations but recognized the need for more productive dialogue going forward.

City Council also expressed being open to the Airport Commission crafting a master plan for the facility, a move which we hope will go far in restoring trust in some of the more skeptical airport supporters.

It wasn’t easy or pretty getting to this point. Some airport users seemingly assumed the worst of intentions in past attempts by the city to talk about the future of the facility, and City Council’s decision to put the two recent ballot questions to the voters (both were shot down) with no input from the airport commission didn’t help restore trust.

Yet the tone of Thursday’s conversation gives us hope. Neither side made threats, and both used it as not just an opportunity to explain how they felt but, most importantly, what they can do to help restore the relationship going forward.

We also have a recommendation for both airport users and City Council members. Commit to holding off on any further airport ballot measures until the master plan is complete and presented. Use that time to work together, see where agreement is possible, and seek a collaborative outcome as much as possible.

The Post Independent editorial board members are Publisher Bryce Jacobson, Editor Peter Baumann, Managing Editor/Senior Reporter John Stroud, and community representative Amy Connerton.

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