I’m with Hank Stamper
September 12, 2002
The recent drumbeat that our tragically pompous, conservative populist councilman Tony Hershey and others (Et tu, Mick!) have been sounding ? about the rights of commuters from as far away as Dotsero to vote on the Entrance to Aspen ? is demagoguery, and logically flawed to boot.
Think for a moment whether the city of Glenwood would consider letting Twin Lakes, Aspen and Basalt vote on their entryway ? were it subject to change ? based upon the premise that upvalley citizens shop at Wal-Mart, go to the pool and generally contribute mightily to Glenwood’s economy.
When another vote comes to extend the airport runway, will we ask Aspen’s airline visitors from around the world to vote because they are the economic “life blood” of Aspen?
Would San Francisco, New York and Dallas invite their commuters to vote on city bypasses?
Should the world vote whether the United States uses too much oil?
What’s missing here? Likely, legal precedent and philosophical consistency.
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Don’t bedrock conservatives say that local control supersedes outside control? Didn’t they just roll back the legacy of the Civil War in favor of state rights, local rights? Remember when they were saying that all the important decisions should be made around the kitchen table and that government shouldn’t tell us what to do?
So who then is this call for universal straight-shot suffrage politically designed to attract? Probably a mob, turning friends into foes.
And let’s not forget that Aspenites are the real life blood of Aspen, a.k.a. the Crystal City of the Rockies, Ute City, Aspen camp, now squeezed thin by money grabbers who disdain us.
We are a town in our own right, with a high school football team and a core of good citizens trying to keep a toe-hold on sanity, independence and open space, not a money pit with a slow entrance.
With all due respect to the good folk who live downvalley and around the world, the great city of Aspen has the right like any other town to make their own decisions about their streets and parks.
On this one, I’m with Hank Stamper, who said in “Sometimes a Great Notion,” “Never give a inch.”