Recusia: A case study
Dear Editor:Not unlike the plague, yellow fever, or the measles, recusia has hit Aspen and is hurting the very fabric of the community. Luckily, recusia appears to affect only members of City Council. Defined in the medical journals as when one elects to recuse themselves from voting, due to a conflict of interest, or a presumed conflict if interest.To date, recusia has taken down four members of the current City Council, leaving Mayor Mick as the only one healthy enough to enjoy the joy of voting on every issue. The symptoms of recusia are nausea, skepticism and, at times, bleeding from ones eyes.J.E. DeVilbiss was hit with recusia when it came to the Weinerstube development. He ate pancakes at the Stube, and he felt the influence of warm syrup might alter his vote. Thank God nobody else on City Council eats breakfast on a regular basis.Steve Skadron was hit with recusia over the Cooper Street Pier development. He had voted on it when he was on P&Z, and according to the city rules, he was disqualified form voting. And some people say that the current council does not follow the rules when it comes to development huh!In both cases, I wish J.E. and Steve had stayed at the table. Sure they might be influenced by past experiences with the project, or warm syrup, but I believe they are fair people at heart, and Id rather have five votes for every issue. The only exception I favor is when a council member has a financial, or family interest in an issue requiring a vote. I also might add membership to that mix on occasion.The issue of Christ Church, in which Romero chose to recuse himself because he was a member of the church, would fit that bill. What I found curious was Jack Johnson doing the same, because he was raised Episcopalian. The fact, and I might be wrong, is that Jack is not big on religion, and is a practicing atheist. So, I dont get it. Help me Jack?Religion is a tricky one, with dangerous curves. One might suggest that Steve Skadron should recuse himself from all development issues, because hes Jewish.Maybe all council members should sit through every presentation, even if they recuse themselves. Id also let them ask questions. Im sure in some cases some could probably talk on point better than other members of council, based on their past experience with the issue.Recusia is a tricky disease. While the cure seems to be obvious, the ramifications do not.My initial remedy: Take two aspirin, skip a meeting and e-mail me in the morning.Andrew KoleAspen
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