I have a great life. I live in a community where the playground consists of thousands and thousands of acres where outdoor recreation, healthy living and sunshine greets me around every turn and bend in the trail, roadway and observation point. I live in a community where passionate people follow a conviction of sharing and providing an opportunity for others to follow what they are passionate about.
One of my last responsibilities before leaving where I came from and moving to Pagosa Springs was to bring the Boston Symphony for a performance. Despite repeated conversation that this would not work in our community, the president of our resort demanded the “experience” and assured that the performance would be well attended. After all, he had the symphony as a matter of course in his prior resort and it was a holiday tradition. 25 people showed up to the performance and outside the concert hall I cried. The resort had a team of marketers, a public relations division but the people didn’t come. The president, well, he wasn’t there either – the writing was on the wall, he was making his exit. Millions and millions of dollars later an institution of people who failed to listen to the community failed in their responsibilities and the community was left to pick up the pieces.
Well over a year ago when I grew frustrated and told my husband that we were going to put our home (which I love) on the market and leave the community with a playground that I wanted and a business I had begun it is to Boone’s credit, he was adamant, that we wouldn’t leave. After all, it is easy to avoid the confrontation, hide our heads and accept the situation as it is - believing that we can have no positive impact into the state of affairs and problems at hand. Daily, I would go home sick to my stomach and beg for a way out. After all, I left the professional field and corporate schoolyard for a reason! About this time I read a book - "Put the HEART Back in Your Community: Unifying Diverse Interests Around a Central Theme" CLICK HERE to read about it on Amazon. It reminded me of why I was sad and sick and tired and at the same time energized me to not give up and to be active and aware.
It is a community that is bonded that will grow and it is imperative that leadership understand the community in which they are elected to lead. It matters none if we spend 4-million on a hill in town if the community does not value the assembly of attraction. It is the community that “sells” to the tourist. Brochures and color pages of attractions mean nothing if a tourist comes to town and asks, “What do you think of the coaster?” And, the response is anything but, “What a great way for you to spend the afternoon in Pagosa Springs!” There is no earned or entitlement because of length of time spent on a project. At every juncture a project should be analyzed and reviewed and conversation must continue where all players are at the table. What is pervasive in the email exchange we have seen here for the past couple of days is that perspectives are not respected but are rejected. What should be the mode of operation, or standard operating procedure, is using the best ideas, decided by the knowledgeable people who have researched, studied and created a functional package for the long term good. To date, there is still no fully researched, studied and created package.
When people feel disenfranchised and not respected for their ideals the scenario that exists now in our small community is the result. The solution to bringing a community together is to work together as a collection of individuals who are passionate for success of our community. Positive About Pagosa only means something if people believe it. It is cliché but leading by example means putting ego aside and everyone coming to the table and creating a plan that works. There exists no business plan. There is no dissolution frame. There is no outlined details of a plan. Which means all there exists is a conceptual idea that has yet to be refined for the betterment of our community.
My suggestion is that all the players once again come to the table and leave your egos and titles at the door. There is limited time before the upcoming election where, regardless of any outcome, what will be left is division and separation of a community that above all else needs to be united. There are great ideas and many of which I believe will be successful and will adorn our hill with pride and respect to the community values. Before we continue to allow the fraction to spread why not be leaders and begin again the conversation?
Owner, Step Outdoors, LLC
Coordinator, Pagosa Women’s Weekend