Seek some local advice

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To The Editor:
First and foremost I want to recognize the MARK Project and especially its intrepid Executive Director Peg Ellsworth for the work she and MARK have done for our region. Without MARK and Peg many productive projects would not be funded, not get done and often not even thought of.
Having said that I do want to make an important point as to who should be involved in making important decisions when it comes to the ‘revitalization’ project that is now being initiated in some of our local hamlets.

Last week I attended an informational and surveying meeting put on by MARK and a sub-contractor here in Andes where I reside and where potential “revitalization actions” were described and participants given the opportunity to indicate which they thought should be prioritized. Although the presenters were professional and knowledgeable, the venue (the public library) was cramped and the charts describing the potential actions had much information that required more time and discussion to properly digest. Had there been adequate time and discussion of the pros and cons of each better and more informed decision would have been made on each.

Sadly, only about a dozen or so residents attended, the larger problem being was who did not attend. There was but one what I call local person in attendance and by that I mean multi-generational. Greater effort to get the input on important matters such as this from the local folk must be made. The new gallery owners, antique shop owners, artists, massage therapists all friends of mine, and people like myself who buys an old farm and lives contently and safely, we are all dependent on these local folk who make up the majority of the fire and emergency services. They are paid minimal or not at all, they are volunteers and it is time for them to be recognized and asked for their very important input.

Here is my humble suggestion: touch base with the captains of the fire departments and the leaders in charge of the EMTs and ask them to schedule a combined meeting of all their personnel and make the proposed revitalization proposals available to them so that their input and ideas can be heard and incorporated into any future revitalization plans. I feel this is both fair and common sense and without it the chasm between us flatlanders and my local friends in the very crucial emergency services will only widen.

Jack McShane,
Andes