A big sigh of relief and a hearty thanks | AspenTimes.com
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A big sigh of relief and a hearty thanks

Whew!

That was likely the most-heard expression Wednesday morning when people picked up local newspapers and learned that the Burlingame affordable housing project had been saved. The entire debate has kept plenty of local families on edge ever since Mayor Helen Klanderud changed her position on the project a couple of months ago.

As The Aspen Times promised in the Daily Comment in Tuesday’s edition, we offer a hearty round of thanks to all involved who kept this critical project alive ” most notably council members Torre, Rachel Richards and Tim Semrau. If built properly, Burlingame will become a neighborhood we can all be proud of, a place where the true heart and soul of this community can come alive.



The biggest thanks should probably go to Torre, who found himself in the unfortunate position of being the swing vote when Klanderud hopped to the other side of the fence.

Torre never said he was against Burlingame, but he did express numerous reservations about the project. Nevertheless, he also promised voters he would support the project. He is to be commended for living up to that promise, for recognizing his commitment to a majority of the community.




Richards also deserves thanks … for a second time. It was likely her tireless campaigning in 2000 that won voter support for Burlingame in the first place. And her continued dedication to the project during this round helped the project survive.

Finally, we offer a heartfelt thanks to many, many people who took time out of their busy lives to pack City Hall Tuesday night and argue in favor of Burlingame. The crowd represented a true cross section of Aspen and drove home the point that, as Semrau put it, Burlingame is “really about the lifeblood of this community.”

Now the hard work begins. Though the Times is still disheartened by Klanderud’s Burlingame flip-flop, it was good to hear her say, “I am going to make certain it is absolutely the best project this community has ever built.”

Burlingame is a huge project. And without that kind of commitment from our elected leaders, it could end up as an eyesore on the outskirts of town. This is our chance to build a neighborhood that many generations of Aspenites will be proud to call home. Let’s not let that opportunity slip away.


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