Vote for change | AspenTimes.com

Vote for change

Recently, the citizens of Aspen have been able to see several examples that provide a good perspective regarding how our local government operates:

Elected officials who believe public comment is a privilege, not a right.

Elected officials who don’t acknowledge an apparent conflict of interest when a corporation sends out thousands of endorsement letters just prior to a government decision that the corporation stands to benefit from.

Elected officials who “forget” to mention campaign contributions from groups they are granting approvals for.

Elected officials use the system to sell affordable housing for more money to corporate entities with whom they have cozy relationships instead of selling to local families.

Elected officials who are cavalier regarding adherence to the laws regarding their own campaign contributions using the excuse that it was a minor infraction, but will sue citizens who dare to circulate a petition advocating a position different than their own for minor infractions.

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Elected officials who interrupt, ignore and behave disrespectfully toward citizens’ comments and concerns.

Elected officials who are unable to fund all of the requests they receive from community organizations but at the same time they turn down offers of cash for city assets and instead give them away.

Elected officials who see nothing wrong with city employees who receive a $500,000 discount on a $750,000 home purchased from a developer that the employee grants approvals for.

Elected officials who believe that the only way to make Aspen better is by making Aspen bigger – therefore pushing to rezone town to eliminate open space requirements, increase building heights and eliminate the views that make Aspen unique in order to support a ballooning city budget and bureaucracy.

If you like a government that behaves in these ways rather than making decisions with the long-term interests of the community in mind, then vote for the incumbents.

However, if you think our government can work harder for all of Aspen’s residents, that it need not always be “in somebody’s pocket,” that Aspen can be made better without being made bigger – then be sure to vote for change in the upcoming election.

Walt Madden

Aspen

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