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Response from Kronberg

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Scott Writer writes [The Aspen Times, May 14], “There are two tacks being employed by current visitors center opponents that I want to comment on.”

1.) “Toni Kronberg vs. Helen Klanderud. I have had many dealings with Helen as mayor and even when we disagree, I have found her to be accessible, honest and sincere. I have also had a lot of experience with Toni, who seems unwilling to accept that people might just disagree with her. To assert any sort of improprieties, lack of attention or respect is ridiculous.” Scott finds it appalling.

2.) “Sue Geist: I get your objections to this site, but to call that corner ‘a pastoral site?’ C’mon Sue. ‘Pastoral’ is laughable and, to me, demeans your position. Let’s not forget that this is a private parcel of land in the commercial core that will likely be developed as something: It is not a park or deeded open space.”

First off, Scott, I do not think Sue and I are visitors center opponents, as you assert. We support a visitors center, but not on the very crowded and congested corner of Galena and Main. You laugh at Sue’s opinion and description of the blue spruce tree, lilac bushes and grassy area at Galena and Main as “pastoral.” Scott, Sue did not describe the space as “pasturable” or “pasture,” which means to put out cattle or horses to graze and feed. Sue wrote “pastoral,” which means “characteristic of rural life, idealized as peaceful, simple and natural.” Doesn’t Sue have a right to her opinion, without you finding her proper choice of an adjective laughable?

As for assuming that a private parcel of land WILL be developed into something, the land does not have to be developed. The owners can choose to sell the piece of property as is, for example, to the city of Aspen, who then could maintain the historical comer as historical, while housing ACRA’s offices and a walk-to visitors center in the existing building. As for a drive-to location for the visitors center, there are better choices than Galena and Main.

I disagree with you that the council is representing us well on this very difficult choice. There are several ordinance or laws within the city that say this stretch of Galena Street is intended to be a “pedestrian corridor” linking the Rio Grande river with the Mall area. The ordinances also say there shall be NO parking in the library’s park/open space/plaza. The tougher choice would have been for council to follow the laws and ordinances that they swore in their oaths they would uphold.

Scott finds it ridiculous and appalling to assert any sort of improprieties, lack of attention or respect by Helen. I asked the mayor to COMMENT on some questions.

I am glad, Scott, that you and Helen get along so well. You are right when you say I seem unwilling to accept that people just might disagree with me. In fact, one of the biggest disagreements STILL with Mayor Klanderud is the mayor keeps saying our new swimming pool can host a swim meet for 600 people. Remember the reason why a new pool was built was to be able to host a swim meet!

With only 3 feet of usable deck space around the pool, IT IS A PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY to squeeze 600 swimmers, their parents and meet officials into a 3-foot area, Parents are supposed to wait in the parking lot or baseball fields while the swim meet is going on. Scott, would you like it if you had to stand in the parking lot in your bathing suit during a meet, while your kids were swimming inside?

The mayor says the City does not have any money in the budget for just simple seats around the pool. When you asked for 500-plus seats in the arena, which was added after voters approved the pool, you got it. The rink also got more than 3 feet of deck space around the ice, plus a mezzanine.

When you asked the mayor for $ 10,000 for disco lights above the skating rink, you got it. The pool still does not have seating. The pool was approved to be built where the ice rink was built. Instead, the pool got moved back to its former location and the rink got built in its place. How did that happen?

Council just approved money to “fix some of the safety and design problems” of the facility. Yet Mayor Klanderud keeps saying Aspen has a world-class facility. And you wonder why I disagree with the mayor. It is a physical impossibility to squeeze 600 swimmers, their parents and meet officials into a 3-foot area. Don’t you agree?

Toni Kronberg

Aspen


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