The wind is an often-used metaphor for change. For me, the word wind creates a mental image of a natural force not to be ignored or denied. You can resist wind for a while, but it eventually overcomes the stubborn, stagnant and status quo. Wind has been known to make people crazy.
Right now, there are numerous issues swirling in the wind over Durango.
The outcome of the local elections will have implications on serious issues such as education, water and emergency services. The 2012 national elections may determine if well see the dreaded double-dip recession.
Well see leadership changes with the county manager and one commissioner position, with important county decisions forthcoming on the comprehensive plan to guide land use and adding a federal court. Decisions about electric power and cable service are yet to be decided.
Where Mercury Payment Systems decides to locate, and annexation of the Crader Property into the city, will trigger secondary decision-making about new retail and services development in the Three Springs area. A new Holiday Inn is now under construction on U.S. Highway 160 on the old campground property, and the iconic Strater Hotel may see new ownership.
There are issues in the wind that are a consequence of our own good behavior.
Our community conscientiousness about sustainability grows, and as a result, we have outgrown our capacity for recycling, thus triggering the need for an upgraded recycling facility. Well need a decision about whether or not to pass a ban on plastic bags. Steady and impressive double-digit growth of ridership on the transit system, and passenger boardings at the airport, are driving a need for more equipment and capacity improvements.
At the same time, state and federal grants for transit and highways are drying up, causing loyal agencies to face tough infrastructure decisions.
New recreation facility decisions also are in the wind. North and south trail extension decisions are ongoing, as is a search for a Lake Nighthorse management operator. New athletic fields built by the city and Fort Lewis College on the schools campus will come late next year and need a plan, while the county looks five years out to the development of a new equestrian center and events complex. Our communitys proposal to host the start of the 2012 U.S. Pro Cycling event looks promising, with a decision soon to come.
Ask me which of these many issues will affect downtown, and Ill say all of them, in some way, will change the status quo, but how much, or in what fashion, is tough to predict. And rather than try to predict it, I would rather manage change by getting involved and voicing my opinion.
While adapting to change is always a challenge, it is a constant we must live with.
Its not the wind of change that should concern us but the storm and aftermath of unmanaged change that could drive a person crazy.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.