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Our family moved to Pagosa Springs six years ago for the fresh air, gorgeous views and amazing skiing. We didn’t move here to shop at Wal-Mart, ride amusement contraptions on Reservoir Hill, and drive past empty and deteriorating buildings. Yet, it seems that is the town Pagosa is becoming.
I’m saddened by the lack of vision in our beautiful mountain town. Have some of our town leaders lived here so long that they’ve forgotten what a rare gem Pagosa is? We’re surrounded by national forest and gorgeous mountains, we have a beautiful river that runs through town, and Wolf Creek has just been ranked in the Top Ten ski resorts in the country. Our town is truly special.
I repeatedly hear some town leaders say they represent their residents, but I don’t see it. They appear to pick and choose research that supports their personal projects. They say they want to improve our struggling economy, yet they make it nearly impossible for business owners to fill our empty buildings. And when their constituents question their decisions, they publicly criticize them.
Why are they fighting the community so much? Rather than criticize those who disagree, why don’t they talk to them and find out why they feel the way they do? Rather than grasp at shortsighted quick fixes, why not listen to and incorporate others’ ideas into town plans? And why not make the preservation of our beautiful little town a priority in all of their decisions?
Having said this, I am encouraged. I believe that for the first time since we moved here, the tide is turning. I’m excited that we have new town council members that focus on transparency and truly listen to their community. I’m encouraged that residents are standing up to protect the integrity of our town. And I’m energized when I attend a public meeting and the room is so full that attendees must strain to listen from the hallways.
I respect what our town leaders do. They give a great deal of time and energy to our community. And as a community, we rely on them to have a long-term vision that will strengthen our economy and protect our town. We know they work hard. I just hope they’ll stop putting quick fixes before sound ideas and start listening to their constituents. It’s time they, and we, all start working together to make Pagosa Springs the town that drew us here six years ago.