Lack of rational thinking | AspenTimes.com

Lack of rational thinking

I was taken aback by The Aspen Times Editorial criticizing the Pitkin County Commissioners for placing the Entrance to Aspen question on their ballot (Sept. 13).

I am always surprised when The Times take an opposing position with certain members of that board, but what really shocked me was the lack of rational thinking on the part of their editorial board.

In response to that editorial, as well as recent letters from Mr. Weiss and others with regard to my position on voting for the direct alignment, I think it outrageous for a local newspaper to advocate the exclusion of so many citizens in a matter that directly affects them.

Let’s see: Woody Creek, Aspen Village, Snowmass Village, Red Mountain, Meadowood, most of Mountain Valley, Starwood, Maroon and Castle creeks, Timber Ridge, and William’s Woods are all communities that are adjacent to (or within) the city of Aspen but are in Pitkin County, not Aspen.

The people who live there cannot vote on city issues. Even some close neighbors of Mr. Weiss, who live south of Hyman Avenue and are directly effected by the S-curve alignment, cannot vote in the city.

It is obvious a large majority of Pitkin County voters live in Aspen and its adjacent areas and not “downvalley.”

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In fact, I would argue that only Redstone and a small portion of Basalt are population centers within Pitkin County that are “downvalley.”

The Times doesn’t want commuters “downvalley” in Eagle and Garfield counties to vote on the entrance, but are the aforementioned neighborhoods “downvalley” too? What are Mr. Weiss and The Times afraid of if our direct neighbors get to vote?

Would The Aspen Times have all those neighborhoods, and all the many county citizens who live there, be disenfranchised with regards to a question that directly affects them?

I think if you ask people who live, for example, in Snowmass Village, if they live “downvalley” they would laugh at you. Yet if The Times editorial board is correct, they cannot vote on how a highway alignment directly affects them every day because they are not within the legal limits of the city of Aspen.

I do share The Times’ concerns over a “mixed ” message if Pitkin County and city voters do not agree on the Entrance issue. And, as I promised, I will abide by my constituents’ vote.

However, I see absolutely no reason why Mr. Ireland, Ms. Clapper, et. al., should be told they may not poll their constituents, including city of Aspen residents, on this crucial issue.

Tony Hershey

Aspen City Councilman