Titanic problems on City Council
There is an old saying that “nobody is as good or bad as what people say about them.” This is certainly true for our current mayor, who has served our community faithfully for a couple of decades. However, this long period of service, first with three terms as county commissioner and now with two terms as mayor, can actually serve to Aspen’s detriment. Politics in our town, like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, results in moving Rachel from city to county, Mick from county to city, and brings about an endless cycle of incestuous, and often myopic thought.
I am always amused when one of our fellow citizens approaches me with a story-line that starts out something like “I have been in Aspen since 1978, and it’s gotten worse every year.” After a pregnant pause, I usually look at them and jokingly respond “maybe you’re the problem!” Does anyone else but me see irony in the fact that the very citizens who are most disgusted with the unwanted changes in Aspen, are the same ones who keep electing the identical officials who have presided over those changes?
In case you haven’t noticed, Aspen’s economy is in trouble.
When I first arrived here in 1972, there were ten jobs for every worker. Now we have ten applicants for every job, and our affordable housing units are being foreclosed at an alarming rate. Moreover, “somebody” seems to have forgotten to set aside funds for routine maintenance of our housing stock, which is deteriorating more quickly than Britney Spears at a Charlie Sheen party. We paid $18 million for a lumber yard that may be worth $5 million on a good day. We just approved an art museum that is “higher than the balls on a giraffe.” I could go on and on, but It’s pretty clear that Aspen is desperate for some fresh, forward-thinking leadership.
Ruth Kruger is thoughtful, sensible, respectful and fair-minded. Considering our problems, it might be a good time to fix the hull on our listing boat, rather than just rearranging the deck chairs. After all, one of the definitions of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.”