Fanaticism gone awry | AspenTimes.com

Fanaticism gone awry

Yes, someone left copies of the petition on the counter of Explore. It’s a longstanding Explore tradition to allow not only petitions, but also newspapers, books and other important sources of information to be available to the public.

Fortunately, people who come into the bookstore know how to read, and don’t actually require someone to stand over them and explain the issues or urge them to sign a petition. They make their own decisions, for or against.

Being readers, they know how to think for themselves. Many of them may be thinking right now, as I am, that we have a City Council that is out of control. A cabal of three councilmembers, with Tony Hershey as their spokesperson, are, in their zeal to champion their cause, harassing and attempting to intimidate those who disagree with them.

Indeed, we are in some danger, but not the imminent danger elaborated by Hershey when he called paid city and state employees together for three hours on Monday to witness him accusing subpoenaed citizen petition gatherers of having allowed a few signatures to have been written on the back of a page, or of leaving a petition unattended.

It is instead a danger, recognizable to thinking people on both sides of the highway issue, or indeed of any other issue, of fanaticism gone awry, of elected officials pitting themselves against citizens.

Note to Tony, Tim and Tom: even if you were to succeed in your desperate attempt to invalidate the citizen initiative petition, you will not have succeeded in eliminating the 806 registered Aspen voters who signed.

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They are real people, who thoughtfully signed their name, and who are now thoughtfully observing your foolish, transparent antics.

Katharine Thalberg

Aspen

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