I just read Rachel Brown’s July 24 column, “Myth-busting Durango’s tourism industry.”
Many of you already know that she vigorously lobbied for the recent lodgers tax increase that would pump millions more dollars into her tourism marketing budget. What struck me was not her anemic defense of more tourism marketing, but her condescending and vitriolic tone toward those residents who disagree with her.
She writes, “The dissenters of the increase to the lodgers tax and some of The Durango Herald’s most loyal trolls hope you will believe tourism does nothing for our community. ...”
Wow. “Dissenters” and “loyal trolls?” Really?
She appears to forget that the tax increase barely passed by a hundred or so votes, which indicates that at least 50% of Durango residents aren’t on board with more tourism marketing – sustainable or not. Even the Herald begrudgingly acknowledged in an opinion piece after it’s narrow passage that the town is evenly split on this issue, and care should be taken to address the concerns of those who did not vote for the increase.
This is not good leadership. Good leaders listen and acknowledge those who may disagree with them, in an attempt to find common ground. They don’t disparage them in an attempt to marginalize their views. After reading her piece, I can’t help but question the fit of Brown for such a leadership position, or for that matter any position of responsibility that is supposed to represent all of Durango.