This is definitely not the town I grew up in

MEEKER — Once upon a time, not so very long ago there was a town nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It was a quiet, peaceful town with great pride and big history. A population just more than 2,000 where everyone knew everyone. It was the kind of town that when tragedy befell one person, a community felt it as well and stepped forward to help.
It was a place children could run and play without fear of strangers or wondering off because everyone was watching, keeping a each and every child safe from harm.
Trick or treating on Halloween has been something the children could do on every street, not in a mall or designated area. We knew they were safe.
Violence in this town was breaking curfew, speeding tickets, etc. Places to live were affordable. We celebrated 4th of July together with undying spirit. We enjoyed the Sheepdog Trials and hunting season; we grew up together. It was simple, it was safe, it was Meeker. That was the town I grew up in, but no longer.
I came back here to raise my children. I knew they would be safe, they would be happy. My children would receive a good education. They would grow up with morals and values that seem to be hard to find in people these days. These are the things that came along with this community, but I can honestly say that this town, at this very moment is not the town I grew up in. I find myself disappointed. Our children can still receive a good education, but what happened to the electives we enjoyed? Choir competitions helped us build esteem and social skills. Why doesn’t the middle school have an art teacher? Where have these things gone? We can’t have them because they’re not in the school budget? How is that possible? This town is booming off the oil and natural gas industry. We could afford to care about our school before the pipeline, so what has changed besides making more money? Why hasn’t the community stepped up to the plate?
The cost of living in this town is absolutely ridiculous. A person use to be able to make ends meet on minimum wage. You still can as long as you have three jobs! Rent now ranges from $675 for a one bedroom house all the way to $1,600 or $2,000 for a four bedroom. That is insane! Why does it cost so much? Because we can take advantage of the workers here from out of state. I’m ashamed! Do you realize that majority of the people who came here to work have families back home to support plus a mortgage and car payments to make. They’ll continue to pay the price because they really don’t have a choice. They will continue to be raped financially. To top it off, it’s not just effecting the workers, but members of this community as well. People who grew up here and wanted to stay here, but were forced to move away because they couldn’t afford to stay in their home.
Please tell me, have you thought about the repercussions of your decisions? What is going to happen when the pipeline fades away and the money just isn’t there? Some of you may think that isn’t going to happen, but it has in the past. History does repeat itself. Right now property is being sold for $200,000 and up, but what do you think will happen when it’s all over? Worse case scenario — ghost town. Reap what you sow. I am disgusted.
What about the crime rate. Once a month it seems like someone is getting shot. What’s with that? This is not Denver? In twenty plus years of growing up here I don’t recall people taking lives. We had the occasional hunting accidents, car wrecks and natural causes.
I believe that a person has a right to own a gun, but with that comes responsibility. If you can’t handle that responsibility then leave this town! This town has always been calm, cool and collected because of the people that form this community; the tradition and history that make us great. If you feel the need to get drunk or tweaked out of your head, when you feel the need to cause trouble or you can’t remember which way is up, then leave! That behavior is not welcome here!
Drugs have always existed in every city, every small town, but I do not remember them being so open and available. I don’t like it and I know that majority of this community does not like it, so let’s find a way to do something about it. We the people, the community, need to stand up and say enough is enough!
We have great law enforcement, they need our support, so give it. They do for this community without expectations and appreciation. If you thank them, they will tell you they are just doing their job.
Look, I’m not trying to target anyone in particular. I am merely trying to point out the changes that have occurred in this town over a short period of time and the changes have not been for the better.
Please, I implore you. We know what is right and wrong. Do what you know is right. Be the example you would want your children to follow.