I’ll vote with my wallet | AspenTimes.com

I’ll vote with my wallet

Dear Editor:

As most of us know, April is a fickle month with the promise of sunshine intermixed with dismal days of rain and snow. April seems to always be in a perennial “tug-of-war” between winter and spring. A good time, during inclement weather, to watch the City Council candidates expound on their viewpoints or watch the commissioners discuss county matters. So to both boards, here are some observations from a citizen taxpayer:

Property taxes have more than doubled in recent years, due in part to the speculative growth of luxury homes that are serviced by worker-bees from downvalley or locals living in employee housing. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that Aspen was “the most expensive town in America.” In spite of Aspen’s notoriety as an enclave for the rich, Aspen still has many common folk who struggle to pay their property taxes to support a burgeoning bureaucracy which seems to do nothing but attend meetings and think of more ways to spend more money. Up go our taxes, while downward go services, or so it seems.

When considering budget expenditures for next year, why not consider reducing annual budgets by a mandated percentile for all departments. It seems to me that the bureaucracy has grown out of control over the years. A look back through the years will demonstrate how the number of employees and expenses have grown. Is it really necessary to have so many bureaucrats sitting in so many chairs? Consider a reduction rather than an increase in staff positions. Go back through the years and see how we managed to take care of Aspen without unnecessary frills and staff. Mayor Wagner cleaned the city ditches and commissioners worked at jobs.

I’ll vote for the candidate who will not increase taxes if elected; hold the line on unnecessary expenditures and work to reduce our property taxes.

Jim Markalunas

Aspen


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