Council shouldn’t tolerate mayor’s rants
Television’s “Jersey Shore” has nothing on the reality show we know as the Aspen City Council, as evidenced by last Monday’s meeting.
But first I want to talk about Theatre Aspen and their naked girders. My suggestion is to team up with the Aspen Art Museum and turn the site into a outdoor winter sculpture garden, incorporating the girders as display elements. It could be fabulous.
Now back to the reality show.
While I truly appreciate that “Mick the Mayor” (a great name for the lead character of our show) apologized for the length of his rant, he needed to apologize for the content. It was embarrassing.
The council looked dysfunctional and Mick reminded me of an out-of-control Rush Limbaugh. Why no one tried to cut him off baffles me. Let’s review what happened:
Nikos Hecht and his group bought the empty lot next to Boogie’s and the land where Little Annie’s and the Benton building sit. The city thought they might want to save the building. The developers said “OK” but wanted some concessions, which they laid out in an offer. They asked for the moon. The city could have simply said no or made a counteroffer, but instead our mayor (our Snooki) called Hecht an “extortionist” and “blackmailer” – fighting words on any good reality show.
But it got even better when a 4-1 vote for negotiating won out, and it was suggested that Mick be one of the negotiators. That would be like asking Mike “the Situation” to put his abs in the closet and use his brains to seduce whomever he has in his sights.
The irony is what Hecht is being accused of is exactly what the city did to the Lift 1A and Wienerstube projects – they threw their weight around.
Now Mick the Mayor wants to rewrite the code to focus development on hotels, local businesses and affordable housing. Did he forget he voted against Lift 1A, a project that included a hotel, retail, a local-serving business component and affordable housing?
It’s time for the council to re-evaluate its on-air conduct. Calling people names is simply a form of bullying. Verbal abuse should not be tolerated, certainly not by those elected to represent us. The next time that happens, someone on council needs to man up!
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