Durango ignores importance of county folks

On a wonderful Thursday fall morning, I joined in with the line of folks on the river bridge near the Mercury Payment Systems business park to celebrate a wonderful community resource, the Animas River Trail. Several of us had come into town to provide our support to this community connection. But to my dismay, the Sept. 28 Herald headline, “Durango residents form human chain,” continues to perpetuate the notion that residents outside of the city limits are a liability rather than an asset to the greater community.

Those of us in the county provide a significant portion of the workforce, with 67 percent of La Plata County residents living outside Durango and comprise roughly 45 percent of the students in Durango School District 9-R.

I had initially planned on my own little protest to the elitist position of Durango government leadership by staging a separate connect on the Smart 160 trail section below the Webb Ranch memorial bridges that currently are disconnected from the rest of the city. Instead, I elected to do my part in trying to bridge the gap between city and county by going the extra mile.

My heart’s desire is to someday see the resurgence in community with our schools, churches and businesses once again seeking the symbiotic relationship that once existed when Durango viewed itself as the community center for the surrounding countryside. But, alas, that will take a reawakening to the sense of community and place people once had when they relied on and supported one another from birth to death. And so my heart weeps.

Gary Thrash