Editor’s Column: Value

I remember the word value being applied to sales and discount flyers and those “blue light specials” at K-Mart (the analog version of Prime Day). Value was also used in political terms to define candidates or platforms.

Value is one of those words that can function as a noun and as a verb, depending on context. As a noun, value means “the regard something is held to deserve” or “one’s judgment of what is important in life.” As a verb it means “monetary worth” or “considering someone or something to be important or beneficial.”

Asking ourselves what we value is an important tool for our growth and development. Asking ourselves what value we provide, whether through our job or our volunteer work, is an important part of making sure our jobs and volunteer work continue to thrive and survive.

Currently, the Town of Meeker is seeking to learn what our residents value as board and staff revisit and refresh the town’s future direction. The citizens of Rangely are being asked to quantify the value of their local hometown hospital.

These are difficult questions.

I’ve put 1,500 miles on my car in the last two weeks, traversing what feels like half the state. Two weeks ago I drove through Steamboat, Walden and down the Poudre Canyon into Fort Collins and down to Denver, then back home via Clear Creek Canyon and I-70.

Last Saturday we drove to Buena Vista. Every little community we went through was bustling with activity. Even Walden. Leadville was bumper to bumper traffic, and the restaurants in downtown Buena Vista had lines out onto the sidewalks. I expect this stuff on the I-70 corridor. I wasn’t expecting it in any of those communities.

Is all of Colorado this busy now? Is Northwest Colorado the last bastion of rolled-up sidewalks, silent Saturdays and a relative shortage of tourists? What value are those other communities providing tourists to get them to their out-of-the-way communities that we are not offering?

On the other hand, do we value our serenity more than we value the economic diversity a similar influx of tourists would bring? If that’s the case, we need some other plan, and it should be based on common values. That’s a tough question to answer.

Rangely is facing an even more difficult value question: weighing the threat of losing its hospital against a significant property tax increase. I would encourage every Rangely voter to review the hospital’s video presentation (see link on page 7A) and do your homework. Is a significant property tax increase more distressing than the possibility of losing local medical services? That’s a question Rangely voters need to answer for themselves.

When hubby and I travel together outside our 150 mile comfort zone we have a tendency to have a snit about whose phone map app is correct. Make no mistake, we’ve been getting lost together for decades (ask any of our kids), it’s only the technology that has changed.

We got lost on the way home from Las Vegas once. That’s “Getting Lost—Level 8.” We survive those moments because we’re both trying to get to the same place.

I think that’s how we need to approach these “value” decisions. If, as communities, we can agree on where we’re headed, we’ll be able to navigate our course. Forward movement can come from a place of agreement, but if we try to start where we disagree, we’ll end up in a random parking lot arguing about whether or not the map is upside down and if Apple Maps is better than Google Maps.

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A quick shout-out to Pete Larson on his retirement. Years ago when we lived out on Yellow Jacket and were homeschooling, we all too often overran our satellite internet rations. Pete came through more than once with solutions so my kids could keep up with their online lessons. Here’s to a wonderful retirement!

By NIKI TURNER | niki@ht1885.com

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