Can’t trust the know-it-alls | AspenTimes.com

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Can’t trust the know-it-alls

Dear Editor:

Red Ant/tea baguette Elizabeth Milias’ businessmen-know-better-and-should-run-everything-including-elected-position rant in the Aspen Daily News, regarding City Council’s chary consideration of The Aspen Club expansion, is a worn-out argument. We need only look at BP’s blooper in the Gulf of Mexico and the Wall Street derivatives disaster to see that cozy government officials let businesses get away with murder.

Mayor Ireland and Councilman Skadron were elected to represent the voice of a constituency that has a right to have their point of view articulated. Accusing them of being rude is as sophomoric as trying to derail a valuable discussion by saying to your adversary, “Don’t be so defensive.”

At last Monday’s City Council meeting, Ireland and Skadron held The Aspen Club timeshare development’s feet to the fire, rather than rolling over to a vague promise that neighborly Michael Fox would run the Club until the project was finished, and after that who knows what will happen to The Aspen Club. The reason for granting the zoning variance has long been hyped by the developers as an open-ended “guarantee” to keep the Club running as a community benefit.

Ireland and Skadron’s gut instincts are correct to doubt that the package, once approved, might easily be flipped by a change in management at the Club, and that the “community benefits” might come and go like Aspen gadflies. Because lessons have been learned in the past, the council is only trying to come up with untried-but-tough solutions, by thinking out of the box.

As Ronald Reagan said to Mikhail Gorbachev at the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty talks in 1987, “Trust but verify.”

Demagogic blaming by Marilyn Marks and her prudish sword carrier, Elizabeth Milias, both recently off the bus, are a continuing spew of dilettantes’ wrath, serving only self-interest and public vanity. Su Lum addressed their pointless irritation well in an Aspen Times column a while back, and Michael Conniff summed up their dark Don Quixote campaign against the Aspen Elections Commission in a recent Huffington Post story.

Last I checked, the Orkin Man had exterminated their specious claims in court and presented them with a $75,000 bill for the city’s court expenses. But I digress.

The point, once again, is not how great a business plan The Aspen Club’s development proposal is, presented by businessmen who are unjustly impeded by the government (the citizens’ interest), but whether the greater interest of the Aspen community will be served in the long run, whether a development scheme bigger than the Glenwood Wal-Mart should be shoehorned into a riparian residential neighborhood, and whether promises made by the developers will be kept.

Mick and Steve, keep up the good work. Please say no to this Pacman monster.

Tim Cooney

Aspen