Reason to celebrate this July 4 weekend |

Reason to celebrate this July 4 weekend

Aspen, CO Colorado

If you’re an Aspen local, then just admit it: There are times you have belly-ached about the onslaught of tourists crowding the malls and streets of Aspen, filling the lines and parking spaces at City Market, all while stripping your life of some quality.

But this week, we’ll go on the record and say it: Hallelujah for the visitors.

Aspen’s retail economy, like most everywhere else in the U.S., has limped along for months with no remedy in sight.

But this week, with the Ideas Festival in full swing and July 4 festivities just around the corner, Aspen actually seems like Aspen, circa 2007, again. So, pardon us for sounding a bit motherly, but we urge locals to roll out the welcome mat for these folks. Give them directions with a smile, and sprinkle your insider tips with some charm.

A friendly attitude will go a long way toward bringing them back. And we need them now more than ever.

Councilman Steve Skadron caught a little flak this week when he said – without actually saying it – that he was annoyed by some of his elected colleagues text-messaging while meetings are in session.

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Skadron hoped to get the rest of council to support his effort to ban cell phone use of any kind – both by members of the public and City Council members – during council meetings and work sessions. Instead, the four others on council shot down his ban.

Instead of calling out the four other members of City Council, Skadron instead painted his concerns about texting in broad strokes: “It’s a breakdown in decorum. It’s a distraction, and I think it’s discourteous.”

Yes, there are more important issues facing Aspen than texting in meetings. But Skadron has a point: When council members are texting in council chambers, it undermines the public process. It’s also an insult to the public and the city staffers in attendance.

We wish the offending council members had really listened to Skadron. We also wish Skadron had spoken directly to his elected counterparts, rather than speaking in code.

Instead, council members will be texting away in future meetings.