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Remove the barriers in your mind

We question the intention of a community development corporation that would label long-serving, dedicated citizens and public servants as being “barriers to progress,” but we applaud those who chose to serve and those who desire to help the community improve.

Bob Hart, Karl Isberg, Ross Aragon and Darrel Cotton were categorized by the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation as being “significant status quo personalities” who were stepping down. We believe these individuals are far from being “status quo.” When you look at how far Pagosa has come over the years, these men deserve to be commended for their service and hard work.

We have a financially strong town government. It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without leaders who were good stewards of our taxpayer’s dollars.

A strong community doesn’t exist without leaders who serve as government watchdogs, supply information and report abuse of power.

Barriers aren’t conducive to a strong and thriving tourist industry that experiences growth even through recent economic downturns.

Our community has seen significant progress over the years and will continue to do so. Perhaps the only barriers that exist are in some people’s minds.

With the town election behind us, for the first time in 36 years, the town will be under new leadership. On April 17, Don Volger will be sworn in as Pagosa’s new mayor. There are two newcomers — CK Patel and John Egan joining the town council.

The SUN applauds Shari Pierce, Mark Weiler, Paul Nobles and Mat deGraaf for stepping up to run for office and Kathie Lattin who was reelected to her council seat.

The willingness of caring, concerned citizens to serve our community continues to grow. The Aspen Springs Metro District has 16 individuals who have stepped up to run for three open director seats. Five individuals are vying for two spots on the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors. San Juan River Village Metro District has a slate of five candidates to fill three openings. La Plata Electric Association has one board opening for the seat in Archuleta County with two people vying for that position.

We commend those individuals for throwing their hat in the ring. We compliment those who have the courage to champion ideas and proposals for the betterment of our community.

The ballot issue on council compensation clearly demonstrates how a single vote can make a difference.

We thank the recreation center proponents for their vision and hard work and caring about our community, our children, our seniors, our health and our futures. We also commend the opponents who had concerns and campaigned against the recreation center. Both sides worked diligently with the best of our community in mind … whether you agreed with one side or the other.

Following the very heated, highly debated election, it is time to mend relationships. Friendships shouldn’t be lost over ballot issues. Neighbors shouldn’t stop being neighborly just because the sign planted in the lawn next door isn’t what you wanted to see. It’s time to work together.

It’s time to remove the true barriers and move forward.

Terri Lynn Oldham House

This story was posted on April 10, 2014.