Anybody know what the future of Carbondale is? Got a crystal ball or a Ouija board? I checked the list of Town of Carbondale departments. We have no “Department of the Future”. We do have a planning department. They list a “comprehensive plan”. It says: “Citizens use comprehensive plans to protect the qualities that brought them to their community.” I had to smile when I read this.
I have had some conversations with local folks lately about people moving to new communities. One analogy is the new bride with a list of changes for her new husband; to create the “ideal mate”. Perhaps the lady should have married another “improvement project”. We could say the same about new residents to Carbondale. If adjoining communities appear to be doing all the right things, why not move there?
Likewise, over the decades, I’ve met so many new folks that believe the community is in dire “need” of one thing or another, which is often just the things that they left behind. Fortunately, many people with that kind of thinking do the right thing; they go somewhere else. On the flip side, sadly, many people who have made great contributions to our valley communities have moved on; they preferred a simpler life.
As for the complaining bride, griping about our community leaders becomes a feel-good exercise. What people forget, the main function of local governments is to “protect the qualities” — maybe that’s for all governments. There are so many things going on in this valley. There are lots of competing interests. Added to the usual is the advancing problem that 195 countries signed on to deal with in Paris. Plus, increasing population is putting tremendous stress on government services. The population of Colorado has increased two and a half time since I arrived. The population of Carbondale has nearly doubled in the 24 years we’ve lived here.
Anyone can be a critic, but the “qualities” of our local communities come from those who become involved and donate their time and resources. As long time local Barbara Bush wrote so well — become part of the community; volunteer!