Let’s not forget, we’re a ski town
Towns such as ours are like a growing child. They need parental guidance when necessary but you need to stay of their way to adulthood. You don’t have a vision and then force that child toward that vision. You look at that child’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses and then help it fulfill its potential, not your vision of their future but their future.
Aspen does not need to be the world leader in green technology nor does it need the best library outside of Denver. It does not need an art museum that belongs in Manhattan nor does it need a world-class hospital. It just needs a good one. We could have a helicopter in the parking lot, engines running, pilot in the seat 24 hours a day to take your broken body to Denver and it would cost a fraction of what is now planned. Aspen needs the appropriate entity for our population and income tempered by good judgment (severely lacking in my view).
Social liberalism is great but it must be tempered with fiscal responsibility, period. Our country is suffering from just this sort of short-sided stupidity and it will be a difficult and painful extrication.
Let’s give Aspen what it needs to be the greatest ski town it can be and it can be the best. Connect the mountains, sponsor great activities that stimulate tourism but let’s get off huge expenditures in affordable housing; let’s get off much of the subsidizing, make everyone pay proportionate for services used and offer to all Aspen contiguous communities the right to vote. If they decline the privilege, at least give them a strong voice in shaping our future.
At the core of a vibrant community is business: ski business, restaurant business, hotel business, etc., etc. A healthy business community is the mother’s milk of a viable Aspen.
Bottom line: Governance without fiscal restraint is economic suicide. In our case, we’re rich and our decline maybe a bit slow but we are on the wrong path and we need to wake up, now.
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