Early April Fools’ | AspenTimes.com

Early April Fools’

Dear Editor:It’s not quite April Fools’ Day, but already jokes are being played.The former Aspen City Council asked voters for authorization to spend excess property taxes for design (which includes planning) and construction of an outside swimming pool at the Aspen Recreation Center. Voters overwhelmingly said yes. It was a hard sell to voters in 2005 because voters were concerned what they voted on would not actually be built.One example: Voters were told after the teen crime spree of 1999 that teenagers would fit in the ARC pools. Yet teenagers are a group which the city is still trying to figure out how to fit into the ARC pools, especially since so many underage kids have been caught drinking and teenagers apparently do not use the ARC in their free time. Hint: Build a pool deep enough so they can jump and swim in it.Voters were also concerned with the multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the former architects, monies still owed to the Wheeler fund for the loan for the ice rink, and the million-dollars-plus subsidy per year to keep the pools and recreation center afloat. But with the promise of excess property taxes to pay for design, which includes planning, how could building a new outside swimming pool possibly go wrong? Well, it seems April Fools’ Day is a month early, and a cruel joke is being played by City Council because … on Tuesday, the current City Council decided not to spend any of the voter-approved excess property taxes on design work (which includes planning) as the Aspen Council feels city staff is qualified to take public input, perform a revenue and expense summary, conduct a facility audit, and figure out what went wrong the first time around with their calculations so as not to repeat the same mistakes again. Council and staff talked about putting in water spray feature enhancements, a sunbathing area and some grass. There was no talk about putting in an outside swimming pool (which is what voters approved). Council said they wanted to start a pubic process where the public could voice their opinion, yet Mayor Klanderud would once again not take public comment at the meeting.I am not sure if I am missing something, but, did April Fools’ Day come early? Toni KronbergAspen