Saturday, September 5, 2015
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Vision statement

It could be kind of funny. The Crested Butte Town Council is searching for a vision: A vision statement, actually. They are searching for one of those one-paragraph wonders that will supposedly sum up everything good about a town’s direction.
As council members Jim Schmidt and Phoebe Wilson pointed out Monday night, community vision statements tend to come in various flavors of vanilla and try to appeal to the good in everyone. There is always the mention of a vibrant economy, the importance of things like the arts, the desire for a high quality of life and a focus on diversity and sustainability, whatever that means.
It would be easy to make stereotypical suggestions more in line with last week’s paper.

The official vision statement of the town of Crested Butte:
“Just Say No.”
“Crested Butte: A town that isn’t Mt. Crested Butte.”
“Crested Butte: A town with a tourist problem and a slush in the streets problem but no MMJ problem.”
“Crested Butte: A community where the men wear dresses and the women beat the men from here to Aspen…”

But the council is looking for the public’s help on a real vision statement. Here’s a suggestion. Based on what I hear them say at their meetings, I think they want something less vanilla than most places and are looking for something along these lines:

––You are in a different place. It isn’t easy to get here so the edges are rougher than most people are used to. We make decisions based on how we think something will improve our overall quality of life. That’s why the views are still open, the water still tastes good, the air is fresh, our buses are rolling art, people who work still live in town and there are no malls. There is an arts center, a lot of park space for our children and a community school at the entrance to town. We average about a parade a month and it’s not unusual to see people in costume. We want to make a living here, not an economic killing. This place isn’t for everybody. If we like it here we hope you’ll love it here and you’ll come back so we can make a living.

But you can come up with something better.
The council members don’t always follow these philosophies in so few words. And their decisions have consequences they don’t always anticipate and that may run counter to what they are seeking… but that is part of life.
Will a Crested Butte vision statement really matter? Will it make a difference in the direction of town? Will it guide the council? I doubt it in the long run. But it might focus some of the town representatives and make them think about the future when making a vote. And that can be a good thing.
If you have a suggestion for the town’s vision statement, email councilperson Dan Escalante at danescalante@hotmail.com or mayor Leah Williams at lbwilliams@me.com, or attend their vision statement meeting scheduled for Monday, April 25 at 5:30 at the town hall.
Now, if the council likes the vision statement I came up with, feel free to use it. And use the consulting rate you have talked about spending for this on some recycling bins for Elk Avenue.

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