They’re blowing our money | AspenTimes.com

They’re blowing our money

Dear Editor:

What’s $300,000 among friends?

We citizens in the land where government is “of the people, by the people and for the people” could take the additional cost of the city’s appeals to the state supreme court on its 2009 ballot decision as a move by city government to protect us, the voters. But it appears more like the city is defending itself at the expense of the voters.

What does this action say to the town’s residents both young and old? That the rule of law is to be stretched to the point where it defies common sense?

Does the city squander public money because it has a boatload of it? Is defending itself on the basis of some technicality practical? If so, for whom?

Is the city government above respecting the very laws that it is mandated as a public institution to uphold, above those very laws it sets about to enforce everyday arduously?

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The city’s action on this ballot issue is yet another instance where its bureaucratic juggernaut spawns intrigue, disbelief and cognitive dissonance.

How disingenuous is the city to defend itself again on a technicality after being told to stand down? Penstock or conduit?

Fortunately, the picayune legal point shouldn’t add that much in court fees and attorneys’ fees to the existing $300,000 tab.

A mere pittance, really, at $50 out of pocket for each year-round denizen; that would be 13 times less than the anticipated cost overruns of the Castle Creek hydroelectric plant if it is built ($650), 33 times less than the amount of dollars the city overspent acquiring the BMC property ($1,690) and 213 times the original published costs of the Burlingame affordable housing project ($10,650).

If the population slights these past city government disassembled excesses, then the city’s present actions to defend itself against open government won’t elicit much response, either.

Really, $300,000 is a mere trickle down the proverbial penstock, hardly enough to energize this sleepy little hamlet.

Bryan McShane

Aspen