Searching for straight answers

To the editor,

Good infrastructure – roads, sidewalks, facilities – is an essential foundation of any great community. And every city has a responsibility to its community members to be transparent, accountable, strategic and forward thinking with its resources. As our City Council considers whether to put another tax measure on the April ballot, I would suggest the following information be provided, preferably in a public forum that is videotaped and shared on Durango’s website. By answering these questions, the Council will get greater buy-in from citizens.

1. How does Durango’s budget compare with other towns of our size? If our budget is higher, explain what additional services we provide that are not covered in other towns’ budgets.

2. Why does our budget not have sufficient funds for infrastructure maintenance? What big ticket items had to be prioritized for funding resulting in this situation?

3. What has been cut from the budget as a means of beginning to address infrastructure needs?

4. If an increase in sales tax is not proposed, or not approved, which City programs and services will be reduced or eliminated to address infrastructure needs?

5. What capital or other significant improvements need to be addressed in the next 10 years and how are we planning for those costs?

Finally, I’d like to recognize the City Council for its service. We all want Durango to be a great place to live, and I appreciate your willingness to engage with us in finding a solution to this budget challenge. Thank you.

– Barbara Noseworthy, Durango