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Pagosa First launches public forum series

The public forum hosted by the Town of Pagosa Springs on Feb. 16 was attended by a “packed house.”

Three things became very obvious from the outset:

• The residents of Pagosa Springs dearly love their town and wish to improve or maintain its unique character.

• A lot of people are hurting from lack of employment and wish for more affordable goods.

• The lack of a downtown market, which is seen as affordable, is difficult for many.

The impending Wal-Mart is seen as either something to “save us,” or a harmful downgrade to our small-town character and magnetism.

Based on these concerns, a small group of community- minded citizens, calling themselves Pagosa First, was inspired to host a series of discussions on how best to address these problems.

With or without Wal-Mart, this group is motivated to bring the community together to create solutions for many of our local issues.

Our community is full of independent-minded folks that have lots of good ideas about “how to solve our own problems,” they say, with an intention to:

• Create good jobs.

• Revitalize downtown.

• Provide affordable goods and services.

• Support/grow local businesses.

• Keep our dollars in Pagosa.

Now that our common needs have been identified, Pagosa First will sponsor a series of community forums where people can come together, express our needs and brainstorm potential solutions. No idea is too large or too small. All are valuable. We can unite the community to help ourselves.

Three session are open to all public input.

First session: Ross Aragon Community Center Tile Room, Monday, March 5, 6 p.m.

Second session: Ruby Sisson Library, large conference room, Saturday, March 10, 12:30 p.m.

Third session: Ross Aragon Community Center Tile Room, Thursday, March 15, 6 p.m.

Pagosa First is striving to create a new future for Pagosa — one that includes a thriving community where people want to live and work, where tourists want to spend time, where retirees want to spend the rest of their lives, where the quality of life is improved and all citizens have a say in the way their own neighborhood is run, with a truly accountable, representative government that honors and recognizes each taxpaying person’s vote, no matter which side of town they live on.

For more information, contact pagosafirst@gmail.com.

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