Meeting called to united Roaring Fork Valley’s independents

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

Like many people today, Nelson Hoffman was feeling powerless and didn’t like it.

Hoffman is the retired chairman of Brice Manufacturing Co., a Los Angeles-based aerospace company. He also has written two books on American business.

The powerless feeling was the result of several factors, including the political inertia in Washington and the feeling that our votes don’t count, unending wars, the decreasing job opportunities for both the young and the old, and the decreasing tax base in our nation.

Hoffman, of Snowmass Village, along with his friend Pat Hunter, a businessman who owns Hunter Construction in Carbondale, decided it was time to change those feelings.

On Thursday, the first Roaring Fork Valley Independents Forum will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Third Street Center in Carbondale.

It’s a way Hoffman and Hunter hope to bring people together and begin defining some objectives the group can move toward.

“We’d really like to create a group here in the valley,” Hoffman said. “A group that will counter the total control of our lives by big businesses, governments and banks.”

Hoffman saw firsthand the extent to which 35,000 lawyers and lobbyists can control nearly all the laws and tax legislation written in our country.

“That’s probably the principal frustration a lot of us feel,” Hoffman said. “It makes it seem like our votes mean nothing.”

Hoffman and Hunter are hoping to build a local group that will come together, target some common causes and move forward with a sense of accomplishment.

“We want to reach out to people,” Hunter said. “Our intention is to give some power back to the people, and when you work as a group, it’s much easier to reach your goals.”