Invest in our future
March 13, 2002
The very future of Aspen depends on housing a substantial portion of its young, productive workforce. They must be able to set roots in our community with their families and neighbors.
These citizens are the very backbone of both Pitkin County and Aspen – our future mayors, councilpersons and commissioners.
There is absolutely no way that a solid, stable community can grow and prosper with the majority of its population having mixed, divided loyalties between their place of residence and their place of business.
Further, such alienates even members of a family. They grow apart in their common interests. I know from bitter experience, having lived in Glenwood Springs and being employed in Aspen and Vail on a daily basis. I belonged to none of the communities, missed my large family’s activities – and was finally divorced.
Skyrocketing residential housing has reached astronomic proportions here, far beyond the ability of most salaried employees to purchase or lease a residence. The extremely wealthy are our “bread and butter” as far as our economy is concerned, but they, in their eagerness to live in our town, have deprived our working community of homes.
There is only one answer. We, the permanent population of Aspen, must rely on our city and county’s well-endowed coffers to bridge the economic gap in some fair manner, so our community remains a community.
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The answer is simply to subsidize housing to bring its cost within reach of the working population. We are well on our way. We must not reduce our goals and turn Aspen into a “Tinsel Town Shell.”
We love our Aspen, and must urge our city and county leaders and lawmakers not to falter and fail us. In our case, subsidized housing is honorable real estate.