Dear Editor:

The city of Aspen has taken to paid advertising leading with the following:

” Question #1: Is Burlingame a half billion dollar mistake?”

Whether dismissed as obvious hyperbole, or a silly rhetorical question, this response by the City to legitimate questions about Burlingame costs is totally unneeded. The citizens do want any witch hunts and they decry the ad hominem attacks leveled at those who uncovered prior errors. Most certainly “spin” like “Question # 1” is counterproductive.

Rather, the open question is the best course of action going forward based on a pragmatic assessment of the facts, yet to be fully understood. When the two independent audits are completed we should have a better understanding of both the City’s past performance as a contractor and its ability to responsibly manage the substantial funds allocated for the project. Then decisions can be concerning both scope and costs to complete Burlingame ” or to consider alternatives using those funds which would improve affordable housing across the board.

It seems clear from this advertisement and past pontifications from the Council that the City wants to foreclose that discussion using carefully harvested facts. That cannot be permitted. If the City wants the voters to approve a massive bond issue this fall it will need the power of unvarnished truth, still lacking in this discourse.

Query, then what is misleading Question #2 to be posed by the City in its attempt to shape public opinion?

Neil B. Siegel


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