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Just get over it

I am not surprised that Marj Perry is unhappy with the commissioners and community for requiring landowners to apply for permits and keep their written promises in developing the land.

Her statement that “It will grow back” is true in the literal sense. After all, even Leadville will recover from the unfettered exercise of property rights a century ago. Given another 10,000 years, the water will be clear, the soil less toxic and the tailings ponds fit for drinking.

With all due respect, I still don’t buy the Perry family theory that property rights are a license to lie. I may be wrong, but I think when Andlinger LLC agreed to build the ponds and wells in a certain location, that’s what should have happened.

And when someone promises in writing to put a utility line in a road, I think that’s where we should all expect to find it. And when a landowner says there is “no present intent to sell the land,” then I don’t expect to later learn that same property was under contract when that statement was made and sold 48 hours after the requested approval was granted.

Ms. Perry cannot defend these deliberate deceptions and thus resorts to ad homonym attacks on myself and Andy Stone, playing the “class warfare” card as though we would tolerate the illegal and deceptive behavior if it were perpetrated by someone without money.

The class warfare argument is just an attempt to manipulate using guilt: commissioners are expected to roll over just to prove we aren’t discriminating against wealthy landowners.

The fact is, most people in this county, rich or poor, play by the rules most of the time. I would guess without further proof we can assume the Aspen Highlands owner, Gerald Hines, has a good income. If wealth was our real gripe, wouldn’t he be in the crosshairs?

Could it be that we don’t see buildings and meadows and ponds appearing contrary to development agreements with the county and thus, money or not, we don’t see enforcement problems at the Highlands.

Ms. Perry also takes the time to imply that the voters do not support enforcement or land use rules because Mick Ireland received “only” 60 percent of the vote in the last election. And 60 percent in the previous recall, and 58 percent in the election before that and 60 percent in the first recall.

I wish the Perry family would just get over it. I didn’t support George Bush and I won’t be working to re-elect Al Gore in ?04. Maybe, just maybe, for once, the taxpayers can get through my last term without paying for another recall election.

In short, neither Ms. Perry nor her relatives have accepted or respected the views of those who elected me. Faithful readers may remember the meeting last year when one of the Perry clan asked me to read his favorite book on government so that I could understand his point of view.

I bought it and read it. At a subsequent meeting when I asked for three minutes to summarize my response to those views, I was literally laughed and snickered at, the meeting was disrupted and several people, including a Perry or two, walked out of the meeting.

So much for dialogue. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a public apology for the disruption.

Commissioners and landowners alike make mistakes. Nonetheless, I think the commissioners have a responsibility to see that those who willfully violate the rules gain no advantage over the responsible majority. And I don’t think anything in the Fifth Amendment takings clause creates a right to promise one thing and do another.

Mick Ireland

Pitkin County commissioner


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