Seeking what’s best for S’mass |

Seeking what’s best for S’mass

Mayor T. Michael Manchester declared in the Jan. 5 Town Council meeting that he believes the citizens’ initiative is a personal insult to him.

With all due respect, the initiative isn’t about him. It’s about what makes for good government, economics and quality of life in Snowmass Village.

We would suggest that a more appropriate focus for the mayor would be to reflect on why the initiative has generated such substantial support. More than 200 registered voters who signed the initiative petition were not driven by thoughts of how to insult the mayor.

If he’s personally insulted, it is unfortunate because we do not endorse the practice of personal attacks. We’re concerned about making Snowmass Village the best possible place in which to live. We’re certainly “not out to get” Mayor Manchester.

We’re motivated by the concerns of the hundreds of citizens and second-home owners who feel they have not been heard by this council. Our position is simple: “Base Village: yes ” but smaller.”

Many who signed the initiative petition are no doubt insulted by the apparent disdain that the council has shown for views other than its own.

This has included firing the whistle blower planner, Carolyn Poissant; rejecting the Planning Commission reappointment of John Wilkinson, who had asked tough questions about Base Village and ultimately was the only member who voted against the application; refusing, thus far, to consider the mall owner’s report that disputes the town’s economic assumptions; failing to produce adequate research to justify the economic claims that the council has made; and, recently, permitting the applicant to set “mandatory” meetings for town staff. Mayor Manchester, these are but a few things that have insulted many members of the public.

We do not believe that insults contribute to good civics. If anyone associated with CRG has been perceived to use insulting language in any venue, we categorically apologize. That is not how we operate.

We admire our committee member former Mayor Jim Hooker’s counsel shared at an earlier community forum to remember that we all need to remain friends after this is all over. Let us therefore keep focused on the issues ” and work toward what’s best for Snowmass Village.

Jeff Tippett

Citizens for Responsible Growth