Lead by example
Recent editorials (“A false sense of security,” Jan. 28 and “Not so fast, please,” Jan. 31) prompts this letter to you. I believe that “Relax, it’s Aspen” and the “Aspen lifestyle” is the norm that will lead to Aspen’s demise as a premier destination resort without intervention by those who lead our community.
A participant (and survivor) of the “lifestyle” in the mid 1980s, I speak from experience when I say we need to work on self-indulgent, addictive behavior that so many of us feel is no big deal. Have you ever not remembered what you’ve done during an exceptional night of partying? Your friends may say you were a blast, but your heart should be saying, “thank you God for keeping me safe.” Aspen has a blind eye to the effects that this lifestyle has not only on those who participate, but the effects it has had on our kids. No seminar on sexual assault awareness is going to help if you are so messed up that you have no idea of what you are doing.
I also believe that lax traffic enforcement by our police and sheriff’s department borderlines on negligence. I regularly witness Ccounty/city employees aggressively driving city/county-owned vehicles, including one county employee that I reported driving a recycle loader at 75 mph in the left lane on Highway 82. Trying to get regular folks to slow down is hard when there are no teeth in our own government’s policies for their employees.
Requiring county/city (and RFTA) employees to sign a safe driving contract with zero tolerance is so simple. Employees may think twice about zipping around town and the valley if they knew that their year-end bonus and/or job would be lost. In this economy, there are plenty who would be willing to follow simple rules to have a job.
With economics an important part of the survival of Aspen, our elected officials need to decide on how they want the world to view Aspen. Will we continue to be the glitz-and-glamour, no-holds-barred community, or a community of intelligent people who are determined to help our country through a difficult time by leading by example? I vote for the latter.
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Aspen Times Weekly outdoors columnist Ted Mahon reports on new trails, campsites, and first e-bikes at Fruita’s mountain biking gem at 18 Road.