Selling out, cashing in | AspenTimes.com

Selling out, cashing in

Dear Editor:In [a recent edition of the] Times my eye was drawn to a color photograph of an attractive woman with her elbow on a yard-high stack of books, smiling at the camera. Was this promotion for a new library, an invitation to donate books? Then I read the copy. The woman identified herself as Shellie Roy, county commissioner for eight years, and the books represent the Pitkin County rules and masterplans that, in many cases, she helped write. The copy ends, “If you’re thinking about purchasing or selling in this valley and want the broker who knows how to benefit you – Give me a call … and let’s get to work.”The political revolving door is, of course, nothing new, in Washington or in Aspen. Developers wanting variances are regularly represented by former city planners whose previous job was to protect Aspen’s integrity and apply its regulations. Shellie Roy has plenty of company.But to cash in so nakedly on what looked like public service, to turn the shaping of our future into an elbow on a heap of plans and a smile that invites the stranger to take advantage of a former public servant’s expertise on how to turn a buck, illustrates sell-out in its full-color raw ugliness. Such indifference to former constituents is a disservice to those who are currently serving this community for its own sake, and it is a sad commentary on those who have done so only to cash in.Bruce BergerAspen