A rush to judgment? | AspenTimes.com

A rush to judgment?

Your editorial on Friday, April 18, “Mayor Klanderud bears the burden of Monday night’s fiasco,” assumes an inaccurate set of events and facts.

Councilman McCabe did leave council chambers with the assistant city attorney to discuss his decision whether to recuse himself from the hearing. During this time, council did not conduct further business.

When Mr. McCabe requested further time, he was given that time, and the three remaining members of council proceeded with other matters on the agenda, not the application in question. Mr. Hershey had previously recused himself from the hearing because he works for the Aspen Skiing Co., and was not present.

When Mr. McCabe returned to the meeting, he reiterated his decision to recuse himself, gathered his belongings and left the meeting. He did not request further time as your editorial suggests.

Had he made such a request, I would have supported that request. To allow him a week, two weeks or any further length of time was never an issue.

It was only at that time that I asked representatives of the applicant how they would like to proceed. Having had their own deliberations on this matter outside council chambers, they requested the public hearing be opened and continued.

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The hearing was opened and continued with no presentation nor discussion of any aspects of the application. The applicant was scheduled for a public hearing, and under the circumstances did have a right to “call” whether it wanted to proceed. I did not pass my or council’s responsibilities to the applicant.

Just previously, or during this sequence of events, one of your reporters left the meeting, and a second reporter came in for the remainder of time. Is it not possible that something was missed during this transition? Is it not possible that clarification would have been helpful?

However, neither reporter called me to discuss this matter before the Times wrote its editorial. You question my judgment in this matter; perhaps we should question the Times rush to judgment in this matter.

If Councilman Paulson’s concerns truly were for the fairness of the process, he should have consulted with the city’s attorney and the other council members prior to the meeting. He did neither. What burden does he bear for what you refer to as a “fiasco”?

My commitment has always been and will continue to be to make decisions, some difficult, and under fire, and to take responsibility for those decisions. I will take whatever responsibility is mine in this matter, but please get the facts straight.

Helen Klanderud

Mayor of Aspen

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