Officials stepped up to the plate |

Officials stepped up to the plate

Dear Editor:My name is Jason Lehman and I am a former property manager of Aspen Country Inn.There are some people who need to be recognized for the outstanding work that is consistently done on behalf of the housing authority and for the city of Aspen.During the tragic events that transpired on Monday morning, the housing authority and its managers have more than stepped up to the plate in addressing this situation. I am somewhat disturbed that no one has acknowledged the work of the housing authority and the emergency response team.Additionally, it is because of the housing authority’s dedication to the community and their projects that the building in question was upgraded and successfully contained the fire and prevented further tragedy. One thing that so many people forget is that, because of the nationally recognized Aspen Housing Authority, most of us are able to move here and continue living in an amazing place.To the tenants, I am glad you are all safe and cannot imagine how scared everyone must have felt. I sincerely hope that you all use this event as a launching point to come together as a community, and create the type of housing environment that everyone wants. The housing authority is only a resource, and the tenants have the most important role in shaping the type of community you want to live in.There is discussion over background checks. I am not sure if this is an effective solution or not (I would argue against it). What we also don’t know is how Bill would have reacted if he had been denied housing because of his background, or what he would have done if he had been hauled off to jail. I do know one thing. The minute the a senior is denied housing because he didn’t pass the background check, or rents go up because of the high expense of running checks on everyone who applies for housing through the authority, people would start pointing fingers again at the housing authority. And “anonymous” would have her fifth-grade class write letters to the editor about how some poor grandparent was denied housing and how “anonymous” can’t afford to plant flowers because rent went up.Jason LehmanSnowmass Village

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