Does end justify the means? | AspenTimes.com
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Does end justify the means?

Dear Editor:In response to Rachel’s, “A language lesson” letter to the editor (Aspen Times, Jan. 15), I must apologize for striking a nerve and seeming pretentious. The vocabulary I used in my letter to the editor, we regularly use at home and don’t consider as “big words.” I guess this is because we have for some time been avid readers of the “Economist,” where such verbiage is the norm. Generally you write at your reading level. I have made note of your comments and I will make a concerted effort in the future, when addressing the council, not to affront them with these so-called “big words.” Your comments actually answer a nagging question I have had for years: Why do council members many times respond with blank stares after being addressed by the public?Regarding the remaining body of Rachel’s letter, the argument is a classic example of “Rachel equivocation.” Democracy is only as good as the public’s and government’s compliances are to the law. What Rachel’s argument illustrates is a cart-before-the-horse mindset for the Burlingame development process. Before you can perform “campaign pledges,” create a contract or “honor past commitments” the City Council must abide by their oath of office to follow relevant guidelines described by the articles of the Colorado State Constitution to assure a fair and balanced process for the public good. Rachel is right, there is only a minority opposing the methods of conduct the Aspen City Council has chosen to follow, but this is always the case. The majority of the public is never cognizant of governmental wrongdoing – realistically it is not possible. It is the responsibility of those who can not turn a blind eye to corruption to inform the public of what they see. The circulating initiatives mitigate (I know Rachel knows this word) in part this egregious corruption of process which Rachel, the city manager, city attorney and the majority of council members endorse as good government. Rachel’s backroom negotiations with the Zolines for special development concessions for Rachelville, err, I mean Burlingame, without the public’s blessing – predicated on a detailed public disclosure and assessment of impacts for a development potentially involving hundreds of millions of dollars – doesn’t sound like good government to me.Rachel may plead ignorance to these transgressions of process, but John Worcester and Helen can’t. As attorneys, they should on occasion review the Colorado attorney’s oath of admission to the Bar; from their actions, I believe it’s a long time coming.Scott McDonaldAspen


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