Dear Editor:

The Pagosa Springs CDC is in a state of transition and there will be a new leadership team seated soon.

I’ve tried very hard to make economic development work here, but without support or, at a minimum, cooperation from town/county I’ve come to the conclusion that it can’t. I’m sad to say that local government leaders refuse to support the CDC as long as I am a part of it so I’m making preparations to make some new appointments to the board, then I’ll resign and turn over the organization to a new team.

Economic development efforts have never been truly successful here. The CDC was created from the Archuleta Economic Development Association in early 2010, but was immediately fraught with one controversy after another. An incredible $500K-plus was wasted by the organization during the first three years. Then in April 2012, town/county resigned from the board after their terms expired. They had the right, according to the bylaws, to appoint town/county representatives to replace them. But they gave up on economic development efforts and the CDC organization.

In June 2012, a new board was seated. We were hopeful that we could really turn things around by hard work and engaging the community in the process. I believe we were making some headway but it became apparent that we could not accomplish anything meaningful that touched the town or county. We, at a minimum, required cooperation.

This community deserves for economic development to work — in fact, Archuleta County is one of the most economically distressed in the state. We need jobs for our young, working-age people and a more diverse, vital, year-round economy. I’m hoping that others can make progress once I get out of the way. The mission is more important than my role in it.

To be effective, we need all of the key players to align, build cooperative relationships, establish some funding and a model for economic development success. That cannot happen until I step aside.

As an organization, the CDC supports being a part of the solution. The CDC has always tried to make economic development succeed for the benefit of our community — in fact, it was created as a public/private entity for that specific purpose.

I am very proud of the work that we have done and attempted. I’m also proud of my fellow board members and the personal sacrifice and commitment they have demonstrated to our community.

Perhaps our biggest accomplishment has been safeguarding a big portion of the funds that we inherited and keeping the CDC organization alive for the last two years until town/county decided to be involved again.

I sincerely hope that you will support and help shape the new CDC organization and contribute to its success for the benefit of the community we love. We all deserve for the CDC to be successful.

Muriel Eason


This story was posted on July 31, 2014.