Johnson not up to standards |

Johnson not up to standards

Dear Editor:Jack Johnson seems to me to be an inferior candidate for City Council. Why? When I think of who should represent Aspen’s population, I think of someone who should be a leader through example, clarity and honesty.Jack ran an ad in one of the local papers to have a free kegger at a bar to bribe the scant off-season voters for support. So I went to observe the behavior of the man who wants to represent the Aspen Idea and to be a mentor to the future young leaders in this valley as a city official. Aside from the fact that 18-20-year-old voters were completely disenfranchised by his beer-bribe, I was surprised to see him smoking and drinking beer, refilling his mug repeatedly, in an effort to generate voter support. This frat guy is just not trying hard enough to rise to the position of leadership by example, as evidenced by his prior guilty plea for “driving while ability impaired,” as reported by a local paper.Aside from the college-election antics I observed from Jack Friday night, I also recognized a glaring contradiction in the recent GrassRoots Aspen Squirm Night interview question concerning how he defines growth and population. Jack stated he agrees with the Planning and Zoning “community” definition, which does not include affordable housing. Yet, in defending his argument, he was very clear to say that free-market housing should not be counted because (I’m paraphrasing here), free-market people aren’t community members. How did his exclusion of the hundreds of affordable housing people jump to the exclusion of the free-market people? Why does he support arbitrarily excluding some portions of the Aspen community when, clearly, they each have community contributions and impacts? Does it stand to reason that he might be confused of whom to represent if you vote for him? Representation or exclusion by convenience (or worse, by confusion) sounds too extreme to me.Another squirming contradiction was his statement about development along the rivers. He was quick and steadfast to protect the Planning and Zoning Commission’s position that there is no development within a defined buffer zone, which they check three times per year to verify. Well, obviously, Jack has not observed the Roaring Fork River. That buffer, be it building setbacks or disallowing land-scrape-ing of the riparian vegetation, simply does not exist. I see that he supports the traditional wink and a blind eye to what actually happens under his nose. There are thousands of biological, economic, human health, and safety reasons for strictly enforcing this river development buffer, but Jack is just not the environmentalist he purports himself to be, even under his admittedly “narrow” definition to preserve the environment for utility, as he stated on the show.Aspen voters: Take a look at Jack’s behavior, the facts, and the river he had the responsibility to protect and failed. Jack Johnson is not the person to uphold your high standards of government representation. This is my opinion, based on these observations. Joshua RuschhauptAspen

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