Burlingame requires redesign " and taxes | AspenTimes.com

Burlingame requires redesign " and taxes

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Times staff added a headline to my sarcastic letter regarding Burlingame mismanagement, published on June 11. I disagree with the added title, “Taxpayers shouldn’t remedy Burlingame.”

I absolutely believe Burlingame is the best current location to make a significant addition to our employee housing and realize that completing Burlingame will require a large additional taxpayer contribution. With equal conviction, I believe that it is essential to use our limited dollars and land allocated to employee housing in the most efficient manner possible. Past mismanagement, including large budgeting errors, dramatic cost increases and, most disturbingly, a lack of timely cost accounting cannot maximize our limited resources and will ultimately result in less housing being built at a higher cost.

The final phases of Burlingame will have to be significantly redesigned to be fiscally responsible and maximize the use of the remaining land. An experienced team will need to be put in place to coordinate the design and manage the construction. Until that occurs, and the public has had an opportunity to review and comment on the “new and improved” Burlingame, any consideration of taxes or bonds should be suspended. For the sake of those anxiously waiting for housing, I hope the city and its advisors work expeditiously and, at the same time, protect the long-term sustainability of the affordable-housing program.

Steve Falender