Pitco: What do you think? | AspenTimes.com

Pitco: What do you think?

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Pitkin County wants to know why people live here, and why they’d leave.

Commissioners would like to know where residents buy their groceries and their cars, how much they partake of the area’s recreational opportunities, fly in and out of the airport, take in concerts and other cultural offerings, and what they think of the county’s efforts to regulate development.

A four-page survey has been mailed to a random sampling of 1,500 registered voters, 1,500 property owners and 1,200 business owners in the county. The Northwest Council of Governments is actually conducting the survey at the county’s behest and will tabulate the results, which should be posted on the county’s Web site (www.aspenpitkin.com) by the end of May.

“We really do want to know what people think,” said County Commissioner Mick Ireland.

The answers will help guide commissioners in their decisions regarding county services, future priorities and goals, according to a letter enclosed with the survey.

The questionnaire asks respondents to rate the importance of various issues ” workforce housing, open space, traffic flow, public transit and wildlife protection, to name a few ” and to judge the quality of various county services.

Six questions focus on the airport and how residents would like to see it improved.

“People say they have a problem with the airport. Well, we’re in the middle of an airport planning process. It seems to make sense to ask,” Ireland said. “It’s a big issue. We want to know what people think about it.”

Respondents are also asked where they shop for various items, including groceries, gasoline, autos, sports equipment, household furnishings and the like. Choices range from locales in the valley to Grand Junction, metro-Denver and mail-order/Internet shopping.

There may be a lot of wealth concentrated in the county, but how much of it is spent here ” generating local sales tax revenue ” is another question, Ireland explained.

“Where do people shop or do they shop?” he said.

The survey also includes the usual demographic queries ” age, gender, number and age of children, household income, employment status and whether respondents rent or own a home, for example.

Respondents are asked to complete the survey and return it in the provided, stamped envelope before April 10.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com