A second-home owner for Johnson | AspenTimes.com

A second-home owner for Johnson

Dear Editor:

The choices in this next election are huge – they will literally decide whether this community continues to be a desirable place to live or visit, and whether we will have a sustainable tourism economy.

To all of the second-home owners out there (I’m one of them and I’m OK that I can’t vote), please carefully consider whom you are supporting for Pitkin County commissioner. Jack Johnson supports sustainable growth and preservation of our existing zoning and master/caucus plans. In other words, Jack Johnson won’t upzone your neighbor’s property.

Will Rob Ittner? Republican Rob Ittner hasn’t really said what he stands for. Actually, he has refused to say who he supports in the state and national races, which involve important issues like whether our community will continue to support the creation of new green energy jobs and wilderness, whether we will force survivors of incest and rape to bear the children of their rapists, and also whether being gay will be treated like alcoholism – a disease – something that might be eradicated through a 12-step program.

Since Rob Ittner won’t tell us where he stands, the only thing we can do is look to his list of supporters – a short list of mostly extreme right-wing interests and developers – which suggests that Ittner will move to increase development in the county. Indeed, Ittner said to the Aspen Daily News: “[T]he county commissioners will need to sign off on more construction and development to create jobs for locals.” (July 22, 2010). Most recently, Ittner said at “Squirm Night” (Oct. 21, 2010) that he doesn’t believe that development should pay for all of its impacts, and that the community doesn’t really need employee housing right now.

What? Aspen and Pitkin County are already zoned for massive additional development (over another almost 4 million square feet of residential development in and around Aspen – and additional growth downvalley), without Rob Ittner creating more pressure on this place where we live and vacation. Ittner apparently doesn’t know this, but most of the people who work in Aspen commute from other places – some as far away as Rifle, Silt, New Castle, some even from Grand Junction and Denver. There is no surplus of employee housing.

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County voters, please get out there for Jack Johnson – he is the candidate who gets it.

Bob Long

Aspen and Boca Raton, Fla.