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ACRA should credit Ireland

Dear Editor:

With all the election posturing going on, it’s a good time to remind the leadership at the Aspen Chamber Resort Association exactly why the marketing tax passed, and give credit where credit is due.

ACRA has been pining for this tax for more than a decade, and twice failed to get it passed. The first time, voters flat out rejected the idea. The second time, ACRA attempted to limit voting to those who live in the downtown core, but the effort was scotched after ballots were sent to “unqualified voters” living in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. For many, the election felt like it was being rigged, so perhaps it’s best that it ultimately it took a third election before the full electorate.

The third time was a charm, and in this case so was Mick Ireland. He threw his support behind the measure and worked hard to garner support from a majority of voters citywide, because he thought it would be good for local businesses in a time of deep recession. His work on behalf of Aspen’s business community came despite the fact that many of his supporters hold deep misgivings about ACRA and its role in the community.

So now ACRA has more money to market our community. But do the leaders of that organization bother to credit Mick? No. They are quick take credit for themselves in public settings, but never seem to mention the mayor’s support and work on getting it passed. It is time for ACRA to acknowledge the hard work that Mick Ireland has put into improving the environment for business through his support for the marketing tax and other programs, such as the fund to develop events that draw people to town, that support a diverse and vibrant economy.

Allyn Harvey

Carbondale


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