Arrogance not needed | AspenTimes.com

Arrogance not needed

(Editor note: This letter was sent to The Aspen Times on Monday, but was misplaced. We’re running it now as a result.)Dear Editor:I attended a City Council work session this evening (Jan. 29) and was pleased to see the large group of citizens attending to participate in the important discussion regarding single family and duplex construction regulation. Almost all citizen speakers honored Mayor Klanderud’s request to be concise and courteous.However, I’m sure that many were stunned, offended and embarrassed, as I was, when Councilman DeVilbiss verbally attacked one of the homeowners who had spoken, accusing her of lying and misrepresentation. He was abusive and demeaning in his words and tone of voice. He claimed that any maintenance problems and valuation issues in her home were directly her fault. While I don’t know the homeowner or anything about her circumstance, I do know that it was terribly improper, uncivilized and irresponsible of an elected official to make such accusatory, angry statements to a citizen – whether in public or private.Councilman DeVilbiss was also rude to Mayor Klanderud in her responsible attempts to ask him to refrain from such attacks and maintain order in the meeting. I was embarrassed to see an Aspen City Council member behave in this irresponsible way toward anyone. I hope that Judge DeVilbiss will take the opportunity of tomorrow night’s meeting to offer a public apology to the mayor, his constituents and to the citizen he treated so abusively. I trust that he has already apologized to her personally.Civilized discourse is the appropriate way for Aspen to address this potential legislation, which can have devastating and far-reaching impacts on its homeowners.Our elected representatives should be our role models for engaging in responsible, respectful discussions and debate. The arrogance, self-importance and petulance that is expressed in some of our council members” communication styles are totally out of place in our city government.Marilyn MarksAspen

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