Divisive council must come together
November 6, 2002
(This is the text of a “speech” given to the Aspen City Council on Oct. 28, that Mr. Lewis wanted printed as a letter.)
I’m here to protest against the divisive nature of the Aspen City Council. In my 51 years of living in Aspen and Pitkin County I’ve never known of a three-man block of councilmen that so consistently fought the mayor and the remaining councilman. You have misused your power for control rather than to promote honest and fair legislation.
You should work with your mayor rather than plot to defeat her. You should not sneak in an “emergency” meeting to outflank her when she is out of town on city business.
Why do you plot to defeat Helen, who is one of the best mayors we have ever had? Her skill and integrity ranks with all of the other outstanding mayors we have had, including Stacy Stanley, Eve Homeyer, Bill Stirling, Rachel Richards and John Bennett, all of whom understood and promoted the Aspen Idea and encouraged the citizens of Aspen to be part of the government.
Whatever happened to the Aspen Idea? Whatever happened to government by the people and for the people? Why have you denied citizens the right to speak out on important issues such as giving the right of way on the Marolt property to the highway department?
I sincerely hope my remarks will encourage other citizens to examine the role of these three (old-time, Chicago-style) politicians.
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Why don’t McCabe, Hershey and Semrau speak for the citizens of Aspen who believe in ethical government and the environmental integrity that this town is known for worldwide?
It’s my hope that the citizens of Aspen will band together and demand at least semi-annual public forums with the City Council and the mayor to tap the pulse of the citizens, instead of plotting with their campaign supporters who favor unlimited growth and a need for speed at all costs and destroy the small town atmosphere that made Aspen famous.
As we speak, the county commissioners are adopting a code to insure that public officials are fair and impartial in their actions and use the public office for the public good and not personal gain, and conduct deliberations in the open in an atmosphere of respect and civility.
Can the City Council do no less?