Burlingate!! | AspenTimes.com


Dear Editor:

Now that “Burlingate” is front and center, I can only hope that City Council doesn’t decide to make yet another movie.

While Jim DeFrancia claims that either corruption or incompetence is at the root of this current fiasco, I choose to defend the current council and suggest the “real crime” would be to go forward with the bond issue this November ” if the “real costs ” of future phases is not ascertained, prior to the vote.

This Clusterf*#! has all the earmarks of why we, as a community, can’t get on the same page when it come to development. What went wrong is important, but how we move forward is far more important.

I suggest “Burlingate” is the result of politicians who wave the affordable housing flag to garner votes without doing their homework first. I am not convinced either way as to possibly deliberate misrepresentations, but negligence certainly can’t be denied.

I was doing my TV show in the days of Burlingame when Rachel Richards and fellow pro-Burlingamers came on to sell the project to the voters. I remember asking for the budget and being handed a brochure. To quote Bentley Henderson: “The brochure was a marketing piece, it had no basis in reality.” Nothing could be truer, in respect to “reality.” The problem is the brochure, now deemed unimportant, was the key literature relied on to generate votes for the project at the time.

I remember asking Ed Sandle (the main man for the city when it came to Burlingame), who when pressed about a written budget, responded by pointing to his head, suggesting that all we needed to know was in it. That head is now in Iowa.

Come November, we are being asked to approve more money for this project, and while I want to vote yes, I can’t, until I’m convinced those in charge know what the hell they’re doing. That means “real” numbers.

I’d like to suggest a “Knapp”-type commission be impaneled ” to clear the air and, more important, to create a realistic budget the voters can trust.

Currently serving on the Lift 1A COWOP, leads me to believe a citizens group is demanded, and I would love to serve on it. If I had my druthers, I’d grab Bentley or one from the city’s team, then ask Tim Semrau, Marilyn Marks, Paul Menter and Rachel Richards to join me. With a little luck, we might be able to salvage the November vote, but at very least, create an air of confidence, whenever the vote is taken.

Andrew Kole


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