Letter: Candidates needed for municipal elections

Dear Editor:
Municipal elections are scheduled in April for both Meeker and Rangely, and candidate petitions are due by Jan. 22. I hope concerned citizens will contest the open seats in town government. There are a number of important questions facing both communities and the elections should provide opportunity for debate and discussion. Here are some of the important issues facing us:
Should the communities encourage economic development? With taxpayer funding? What kind of development? Do we really want growth? What kind of growth preserves community traditions and culture?
More specific to Meeker: What is the purpose of Meeker’s Urban Renewal Authority? Is it necessary, and is it serving the public interest? Should the proposed Outdoor Adventure Center be put to a vote?
More generally, in both towns, what is our vision for the future? Can we—should we—persist in relying on extraction industries and tourism? Would we be better off attracting software developers and small manufacturers to our broadband connectivity? Would we be better off encouraging renewable energy development and training?
And how about the river? Climate change and extra nutrient load have changed the river ecosystem, threatening water supplies in both towns. How can we protect the river as an economic and natural resource? What must be done to protect our water supply?
These are but a few of the issues facing our communities. Democracy functions best when there is vigorous and open debate. We need good candidates to engage in the debate. Please consider a run for office.
Bob Dorsett, MD