Maybe they deserve a raise
The marathon land use public hearing held on Monday exemplified the commitment made by Mayor Ireland and council members Skadron, Romero and Kasabach to be stewards of Aspen’s most precious commodity … it’s land. We missed Jack Johnson’s presence as Jack always asks good questions, and, often times, Jack’s questions guides decisions in accordance with the intent of the Aspen Area Community Plan.
What is very impressive to me is the mayor’s willingness to listen to all comments and facts so he and council can make an informed decision. We can all have bad, knotty, hair days, but, once the knots are untangled, the mayor and council navigate their way to a civilized decision making process which restores the hope which so many people have for the future of Aspen.
Steve Skadron’s probing questions helps everyone understand the complexities involved in rendering a land use decision. What is even more important is the mayor and council are not afraid to wait out a decision until the facts and their consequences are fully vetted. Owners of property have a right to build, but, that development right comes with the obligation to stay within the zoning laws, the comprehensive land use plan (AACP), and, to mitigate for their impacts on the community and the resort.
Long hours in daily public meetings, lots of homework, loss of time spent with family and an undersized pay check are the trademarks of Aspen City Council. I, for one, wish my thanks to the mayor and council could be accompanied by a pay raise, even in these uncertain economic times, as knowledge, experience and the ability to make decisions for the best interests of our community and resort are priceless compared to the damage which can be incurred if land use decisions are not fully vetted.
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