Don’t be swayed
Dear Editor:If Tim Semrau is really thinking about the good of the community and is not just trying to buy his way into the mayor’s office by diverting Aspen’s public housing dollars for his own political benefit, he should give some thought to the following:Aspen’s businesses, nonprofits and public institutions are currently experiencing labor shortages, due in large part to the lack of in-town or near-town affordable housing, particularly for employee categories on the lower end of the income scale, who would need to brave (and worsen) the traffic congestion on Highway 82 in order to get to town to work. To alleviate the labor shortage, Aspen needs to provide much more rental and purchase housing in the lower income categories. In other words, we need to use our housing dollar subsidies to continue to encourage severely needed employees to live and work in the community. This is not rocket science. Tim’s plan, on the other hand, would actually subsidize employees to sell out and leave town … not exactly what Aspen needs right now.I think Tim really knows better than to think that any electable city council would ever support his loony self-serving plan. Nevertheless, it still scares me to think about all the other goodies that a Semrau-dominated city council might have in store for the town. Is anyone ready to dig up Wagner Park to build the parking for all the extra commuters that Tim’s housing money giveaway would generate?Although Tim’s idea and candidacy should both rightly just self-destruct and blow away, his substantial support from pro speculative development interests in the real estate community will ensure a long spirited mayoral campaign. Let’s be careful not to let the prospect of a little future pocket cash distort our good judgment of what’s best for Aspen.Sy ColemanAspen
With many lingering questions still surrounding the fate of Aspen’s historic Old Powerhouse, City Council decided during Monday’s work session to hold off on providing staff direction on moving the preservation project forward until more information can be presented.