Congressman John Salazar visits Aspen |

Congressman John Salazar visits Aspen

ASPEN ” Colorado Congressman John Salazar appeared before the Aspen City Council Tuesday to assess the needs of residents here and what elected officials would like him to focus on in Washington, D.C. if he is re-elected.

Mayor Mick Ireland had a long list, which includes protecting water rights to benefit the environment and recreational opportunities; finding money to fund transportation projects, addressing immigration laws and asking for continued support in protecting Colorado’s Roan Plateau.

The Democratic U.S. representative, who represents the 3rd District and is running against Republican Wayne Wolf, voted against the recent bailout bill. He said he is concerned that it will create more problems in the coming months with increased lobbying efforts by Wall Street interests. As a result, key priorities in transportation, and health and human services will come under fire, said Salazar, the older brother of Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar.

Faced with $11.5 trillion in national debt, Salazar hopes a bill can be passed that wouldn’t allow Congress to spend more than its revenues, especially since the burden on that debt is now $37,000 for each American citizen.

“We can’t balance the budget on the backs of our children,” he told the council.

City Councilman Jack Johnson said he wants Congress to be more honest about what difficult choices it’s making to balance the budget.

“We’re hungry for it and I think the day of reckoning has come,” he said.

City Councilman Dwayne Romero said he wants a continued focus on education, and an acknowledgment from other representatives that Aspen is not just a rich resort community but is facing the same economic hardships as other cities.

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