I must start this blog by saying that I absolutely love Laramie and at the same time I am tremendously frustrated with our community. Perhaps my frustration is actually a sign of growth in our community. Let me explain.
Currently, Laramie is poised for economic growth. I can tell all my readers that businesses within Laramie are poised for significant growth and that successful businesses are contemplating and preparing moves to Laramie. With this knowledge the Laramie Economic Development Corporation(LEDC) attempted unsuccessfully to pass a $0.25 sales tax to help fund operations to help support pending growth in Laramie. At the same time LEDC, in conjunction with the City of Laramie and the University of Wyoming, was successful in obtaining a $5.4 million grant from the Wyoming Business Council to build the Cirrus Sky Technology Park. Through both of these endeavors, the voice of opposition became apparent and became loud. This opposition was a frustration to me as it was vocal, unabashed, and at times mean-spirited.
Laramie is also getting a new high school, like it or not. The State of Wyoming has decided to build a new Laramie High School facility but will fund only what they consider essential items. Non-essential add-ons, such as a football stadium, a pool, expanded auditorium, and additional academic space will need to be funded by a bond issue. Passing the bond is in the hands of Albany County voters on May 7. I also find myself extremely frustrated by the voice of opposition for the new LHS. This voice is even louder than before. I am amazed and frustrated with how polarizing this issue is. There doesn’t appear to be much room for civil discussion about the facts or needs. The Laramie Boomerang has tried, but until they make their blog accountable and forbid anonymous comments, their role in this is marginalized. Citizens of Laramie seem to either want the bond to pass or they don’t. In addition, I have found that opponents are highly combative and aggressive, after all how dare we increase taxes. I am frustrated by the thought of this bond not passing and having to send my children to a new high school facility that is mediocre at best. My wife and I have talked seriously about whether or not we even want to live in Laramie if this bond does not pass. I’m sure that would make the voice of opposition squeal with delight, which is why I’m not going anywhere.
To bring this blog to closure, I believe my frustration is actually symptomatic of growth that is about to occur. I believe that voice of opposition in Laramie is scared of the growth and prosperity that will occur regardless of their efforts. The big news here is, Laramie is going to move ahead and it will change. It is going to grow with or without the voice of opposition and the fear of the change is causing them to lash out. I see great things happening in Laramie, despite the voice of opposition.