Not out of business, but struggling | AspenTimes.com

Not out of business, but struggling

First, I would like to commend Allyn Harvey for doing a fine job over several articles in explaining the issues and complexities of Referendum 1A, the dedicated Health and Human Services tax question.

Secondly, I would like to clarify that I did not state, as reported in the Oct. 19 Aspen Times Weekly, that our agency would be put out of business if this referendum fails.

What I did say is our agency is at a critical staffing threshold from four years of state funding cuts, and that the possible loss of Pitkin County financial support would likely result in further staff cuts, reduction of services, wait lists, increased fees and restrictions in the amount of service a given client might receive.

While we would not be out of business, we would not be the same agency approximately 1,400 of our friends, neighbors and family members have come to know each year.

Thirdly, reading both Aspen newspapers over the past several days, I have seen our agency variously referred to as “Aspen Counseling Services” and “Aspen Mental Health.” We are neither.

While we take pride in being the local community mental health center, our name over the past 12 years has been Aspen Counseling Center. It is tough enough to get people to understand what we do without individuals also inadvertently confusing them about who we are.

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Finally, I would ask our electorate to please vote for Question 1A. It is a vote for the quality of life our community has a long tradition of supporting.

Jeff Kremer, director

Aspen Counseling Center