Do not take our unique oasis for granted

Friday, June 8, 2018 11:04 PM

Recently, while I was walking down my street, I met a lady from New Hampshire. This athletic senior and her husband drove across country to ride in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.

We chatted briefly, and she knew all of the hills and roads I associate with training for this strenuous competition.

As I listened to her speak in such glowing tones about our special hometown, I was seeing Durango through her happy eyes.

I could see the smile on her face when she mentioned the Animas River Trail. She beamed about spinning classes and how much she loved walking in the friendly neighborhoods.

I could feel my back straighten a little bit more, and my pride for this small mountain town made me feel like an ambassador of goodwill. Sometimes we need to look up and listen to what others see, feel and think about the 81301.

It’s easy to get caught up in the woes and the worries of others, but I try to remember what Mama always told us, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Budgets, a police station, streets, recycling, affordable housing, infrastructure, water rates, sewer rates, sales tax and storm drains are issues Durango City Council works on daily and that keep me up at night as the mayor.

The Public Engagement team, using more than 4,000 public comments, is compiling a list of services that are important to Durango residents in order to maintain their quality of life. The big questions are what we are willing to pay and how to pay for city services. Answers are needed very soon.

The debate is ongoing about raising city sales taxes and/or city property taxes by a vote of the people. Public participation is critical in a democracy. Make a difference in our community by sharing your concerns and ideas with elected officials; go to a meeting, write an email or make a phone call.

Working together with information, data and facts, we can all make better informed decisions for the future of our hometown.

Remember to go for a walk in your glorious neighborhood or on a city trail, hop on a bike and enjoy Durango.

I feel very lucky to live in a town with so many caring folks. When I go to the grocery store, I’m met with a smile from strangers.

How good it feels to live in a community where we probably know the name of the waiter at the local restaurant, the lady at the counter in the Department of Motor Vehicles or the bank teller.

Happy Trails to you and your family from the mayor.

Sweetie Marbury is the mayor of Durango, a position rotating among members of city council. Reach her at