Housing crunch recap
Dear Editor:To all workers who came to the City Council meeting about finding a place to live … muchas gracias and many thanks!”I think we came here with the hope that you could help us!” one of the international J-1 visa workers said during the three-minute public comment period of the Aspen City Council meeting. Council was asked by more than 80 workers to hold a meeting to discuss the current housing crisis with the Aspen Skiing Co., the Pitkin County Housing Authority and other employers whose employees have no place to live. Mayor Klanderud and council member DeVilbiss seemed more concerned with admonishing me when I asked for help from the council. Council member Rachel Richards doesn’t see the purpose a meeting would have, “other than to give false hopes,” and council member Jack Johnson wanted to know if anyone needed a place to sleep that night. Mayor Pro-Tem Torre acted graciously and offered “hope” that a meeting could be held to discuss potential solutions – or at least to provide information to the 20-year-olds about alternatives to living and working in the Aspen area. Torre asked Tom McCabe, director of housing, for his help in setting up a meeting. McCabe is working diligently to set up a meeting as soon as a meeting place becomes available. An “emergency flop pad” for the next influx of expected worker bees is one of the solutions McCabe is working on. Jim Lang, vice-president of human resources for Aspen/Snowmass company reassured many people with “hope” when he took the time to personally speak to workers. He told the J-1 employees, “we take this very seriously, and we’re working very diligently to find solutions.” Together, as a team/community, we can make a difference! Have a bedroom you want to rent out? Call the housing authority at 925-5050. Toni KronbergAspen
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