Learn from past COWOP’s shortcomings
July 17, 2009
The following letter was also sent to the mayor and the Aspen City Council.
I followed the previous Lift 1 COWOP process very closely. While everyone involved worked incredibly hard, put in an immense amount of time and produced some good work, it was not, overall, a great success.
Mayor Ireland identified two of those flaws at the council hearing on the Lodge at Aspen Mountain’s request for a new COWOP on July 13.
However, there were clearly other flaws in the process as well.
While I’m really glad that council has agreed to a second COWOP with the understanding that artificial time constraints will not be permitted and that it is likely that the final decision will be put to the citizenry, I don’t think that’s sufficient.
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Since the city is willing to commit the very considerable human resources required — both in staff time and the time of unpaid citizen-participants — to pursue and review another COWOP effort, I suggest you take a little additional time now to initiate a more thorough review of the flaws of the last COWOP before moving ahead.
For starters, I suggest that a “no-holds-barred,” un-defensive examination of the whole process, including facilitation, task-force composition, and the briefing and problem statement formulation could be productive if done with the goal of improving the COWOP process.
I predict this “investment” of a little time will pay big dividends!
That’s important, not only for this second Lift One COWOP, but for future COWOPs that the city might wish to implement.
To paraphrase Santayana, “Those who [do not examine] the past are condemned to repeat it.”