At the tipping point
January 5, 2007
Dear Editor:I see Aspen at the “tipping point.” What does Aspen want? To be more like Aspen? To be more like Vail, Mammoth, Val d’lsere? Strong prevailing winds push toward the latter.Step up to the plate, Aspen. Say what you want before others, in perpetuity, say it for you.Mobilize the organizations to look at the city as a whole, to bring about an overall sense of community, to declare our backbone is as a ski resort with a diverse clientele, versus a tax shelter and money drop-off for one half of 1 percent of the population.I laud those already in pursuit of maintaining the essence of Aspen’s heritage. For example, the Aspen Historic Preservation Commission collected public submissions against demolishing the Hearthstone House and offered its own superlative scholarship thereon, the work of commission officer Sara Adams. The City Council had this information for a month before weighing in with a second six-month moratorium. I applaud them for stepping up, to step back for further evaluation of the character, balance, and economic viability of Aspen. Its evolution from an already existing town to a world-class ski resort is at risk.I urge the City Council to give continued public credence to the work, to the mandate of the Aspen Historic Preservation Commission. I urge them to enforce a comprehensive plan, zoning and land use. I urge on-site residents to support these toiling public servants and to form a broad-based effort on behalf of the town’s historical, cultural and esthetic merit. Activate this gifted town to avoid demolition, deterioration, and substantial alteration of its unique vintage character.Not to forget is the fickle finger of financial fate: snow/global warming and airlines – no longer a local Achilles heel.Cheryl L. TennilleWashington D.C.