Moral hypocrites |

Moral hypocrites

Dear Editor:Last summer I returned home from college and saw the completed Basalt library for the first time. I’m happy it is there. A problem I noticed, however, was in the parking. The spaces closest to the main entrance are marked with something to the effect of “environmentally-friendly vehicles only.” I understand the urgency of moving towards energy independence; however, the privilege of a short walk to the library now had a money-linked requirement for participation. The (significantly) higher average price of the electric or hybrid vehicle in comparison to a gas vehicle cannot be denied. The signs are indefensible.Attaching a money-related qualifier to parking is one thing, but attaching a punishment to being poor is just not cool. I’m talking about the surcharge for plastic bags. Has it escaped the consideration of the citizens of Basalt that for people of limited means, charging a fee for something that was free carries a higher magnitude of seriousness? Working-class residents, it must be noted, do not participate in the decision-making of the town. The Roaring Fork Valley has lucked out in the sense that the working class is mostly first-generation immigrants with limited grasp of English. The voiceless are less salient to the “Green Team.” So let’s not continue to lash the poor by requiring them to pay fees that are a much higher as far as percentage of total income. What’s next? Force organic food on to them too, even though their weekly grocery budget will only buy them two days of organics instead of seven of non-organics? Is hunger better than pesticide? The 25-cent fee would cause unequal hardship, and as such is unfair and, again, indefensible. Green Team, unequal hardship must be addressed before you can consider an ordinance. Failure to address it would make evident a moral hypocrisy and an elitist disinterest in the well-being of all of humanity, especially the most vulnerable. I’d tell you this personally but I’m at school. As far as the parking, I want back the chance to compete with other cars for the closest spot! I say this light-heartedly and half-laughingly, yeah, it’s just a parking spot. But what you are doing, Basalt, is akin to requiring land ownership to vote (on a tiny scale). It is barbaric to attach monetary qualifiers to opportunity, and history agrees. Take the signs down but not forever. Put them in storage until the mean price of the electric car reaches $15,000, implying accessibility to the general public. Otherwise, you too are morally bankrupt. Mo OsorioBasalt