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Jealous, Tony?

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:Tony Hershey’s editorial in the Daily News was adorable. Part Don Quixote, part Arthurian legend, part David and Goliath, he paints the Woody Creek Caucus in a darling light, and I think we, the residents of Woody Creek, are thrilled.Who wouldn’t love to be part of a permanent valley myth that we are all-powerful and diabolic in our efforts to preserve our area?Tony and I both grew up in Aspen (different generations), and he knows as well as I how the demographics have changed in the valley.When newcomers with money arrived in town in the ’50s and ’60s, ranchers were delighted to finally get a little something for their land and they sold out. Most of it happened before any land use existed or had even been thought of.Fortunately, by the time it was clear that Aspen was going to be a very popular place for ruthless investment, Shellman, Edwards and Kinsley stepped in to protect the valley from the kind of development we see everywhere else in the United States. Without them, Aspen would now look like Cerillos Road in Santa Fe, from here to Glenwood.This preservation drove up the value of Aspen, from real estate to tourism. We’ve all made good money from it. The idea that one or two greedy guys at a time, who never have the community good at heart, should have the freedom to develop as they choose is a huge mistake in our context.As a 30-year member of the Caucus, I am more proud of our successes than I am of anything else I may have contributed to our broader community. My husband Michael is now running for county commissioner. His experience with the Woody Creek Planning Commission and the Caucus leads him to believe that when neighbors have a forum for consensus, and are encouraged to participate instead of being ridiculed or marginalized for it, the county will thrive.To set the record straight, Joe Edwards, Bob Braudis and Mick Ireland don’t live in Woody Creek, although I would hope it’s an “Ich bin ein Berliner” kind of thing for them. I can feel Tony’s jealousy that he doesn’t get to live here, too.Ann Sanderson OwsleyWoody Creek


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