Bud Romberg: Real leadership needed
Real leadership needed
The headlines on page 1 of the Steamboat Today on Oct. 14 said the city council is opposed to the RE-2 school bond because of unknown financial impacts. Not so long ago, RE-2 and the county were opposed to the proposed URA downtown proposed by the city because of possible negative financial impacts due to loss of property tax.
Currently, the candidates for City Council and RE-2 board seats are proclaiming their abilities to cooperate as a major reason for asking for voter support, though in most cases, the implication is that these candidates would cooperate with other members of their respective boards to work for the best interests of their respective entities.
In my estimation, the time has come for some real leadership for the benefit of the community as a whole. The issues facing the community impact each, of many entities, and in order to effectively attack each of these problems, the various entities (City of Steamboat Springs, Routt County, the Steamboat Springs School District, the Integrated Community, the other municipalities in the county, as well as the other school districts in the county, and perhaps other entities as well) need to come together to explain to each other what they think they need, and then hear from others what effects that will have on them.
For example, the question of affordable housing according to today’s paper will affect the RE-2 demographer’s predictions. One possible solution that comes to mind is additional trailer parks, but there really isn’t sufficient land within city limits, and the county has held for many years that there shall be no “urban level development” in unincorporated Routt County.
In fact there is one parcel in the county zoned for mobile homes, but when Habitat for Humanity started to see about development of the parcel, the local neighbors raised a hue and cry to the county about impacts on the roads.
The question of affordable housing impacts all the municipalities in the county, the county itself, all the school districts, the major employers and many others.Wouldn’t it be great if the CEOs of all these entities and perhaps an elected representative (where appropriate) would sit down on a regular basis and discuss the various problems with the goal of coming up with a comprehensive plan that wouldn’t have winners and losers, but where the community as a whole would be the winner.
This would require a paradigm shift in the thinking of all involved, but in this community, there are enough progressive thinking individuals to make it happen, if that’s what the community really wants.
I’d love to see the leadership of some of these entities take hold of this idea and make it a reality. Wouldn’t you?
Former Steamboat Springs School Board president
Former Steamboat Springs City Council member
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