Fat City’s appetite out of control
April 15, 2003
“I took that gal to the restaurant and set her down at the table. She ate so much peas and rice that the grease came out her navel.”
Local weight watchers dozed off as Aspen’s appetite for spending grew at an uncontrolled rate. During 40 years of prosperity, Fat City got accustomed to spending more and more on its upper class lifestyle.
For example, its budget for 1963 was $155,816. In 2003, the budget is $72,516,400. However, this fantastic increase, which amounts to some $12,000 per capita, is neither enough to keep up with the city’s obligations nor enough to enable it to purchase Smuggler and Shadow mountains.
And more spending is needed to stop RFTA from bleeding red ink, to cover the losses due to vacancies in public housing units, to cover an operating deficit of $300,000 at the city’s new recreation center and to manage its assets.
Sustaining the local economy means that the City Council must help it grow so that its sales and property taxes grow. But hard times in Fat City are not a good time to levy taxes.
So the council turns to development to increase its tax revenues by promoting infill, annexation, interval ownership, lodge renovation, easing up on zoning, applying for a federal grant for RFTA and by attempting to jazz up the action downtown by aggressively marketing the resort.
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Fat City’s appetite for spending is a symptom of the uncontrolled growth of its government. And left out of this spending spree are the amounts city taxpayers must pay to the county, the school, the hospital, CMC, the fire and ambulance districts.
Perhaps the nine candidates competing for two seats on the City Council can throw some light on Aspen’s appetite for spending all the dollars that come out of Fat City’s navel.
Be Brave Comrades.