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A tireless leader

Dear Editor:Aspen is the anchor for all of us in Pitkin County, so I hope that you will indulge some advice from Redstone.I served on the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission from 1997 through 2003 and got to know the issues and personalities throughout the area. Curiously, I did support the first recall effort against Mick Ireland but later became an admirer and vigorously opposed the subsequent attempts to recall despite differences of opinion. When I applied for the P&Z, Mick, instead of blocking my appointment, really got even by supporting it, which was like a sentence of community service for seven years. That was sufficient retribution for both of us.I do agree that Mick Ireland has been brusque and confrontational, especially in his earlier years. And, I would assert that he has mellowed and improved his social graces although he would still not be ready to be presented to the queen. But seriously, Mick has always done his homework more thoroughly than anyone else. He was an effective county commissioner and never wearied from the fight to preserve our community here on the Western Slope. He has been courageous and a real leader.I would give Mick Ireland an “A” for his efforts. That doesn’t mean that I think that he has always been right. We have had our confrontations, and even a shouting match when I thought that the Planning and Zoning Commission was being stampeded into code revisions, which we had not had time to study. Mick was ready; we weren’t. We have had other disagreements over substance and process, but they were always informed and legitimate disagreements. Mick works hard – maybe too hard – and he is conscientious to a fault. He will be right far more often than he will be wrong. My point is that one should not let a single disagreement on an issue or a process somewhere or the other be the decisive factor in your evaluation of his extraordinarily successful efforts on our behalf.I would vote for him if I were an Aspen resident. I care – a lot. And I know that Mick will be a catalyst for action. He is committed to the right principles.Peter MartinRedstone


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