Dear Editor:

On the one hand, certain members of our town council talk about their tireless efforts to bring new business to Pagosa. On the other hand, they secretly sponsor ballot issues that directly compete against other voter-initiated measures. They conduct business in private, one-on-one forums to skirt Colorado’s open-meeting laws. They vote on council matters despite obvious conflicts of interest. They hide publicly-funded reports that are critical of pet projects. And they openly attack any group who dares to bring these issues to light.

Do these members of our council not realize that the very same businesses they wish to attract here also pay close attention to how the local government operates? Do the council members think their actions evidence the sort of regulatory environment that a new business would want to deal with? If some of our council members are willing to blindside two of their own, what sort of loyalty could a new business owner come to expect?

On several occasions, I’ve had stories relayed to me about how other government officials around Colorado shake their head in disbelief whenever the name Pagosa Springs is mentioned. That discouraging reaction is inevitably followed by a sympathetic, “Good luck down there.” If this is how other towns view our government, what must business owners around the state be saying?

Various members of our town council and staff have turned politics around here into a mean-spirited game. Pagosa will never move forward out of this recession until these elected leaders, the figureheads of our community, start presenting an image to the rest of the state that Pagosa is a place where you will be treated fairly, professionally and always with respect. In the meantime, as long as our council members insist on winning by any means necessary, the rest of us will continue to lose in every way imaginable.

Matt Roane

This story was posted on January 17, 2013.