Troubled by the temple

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

(This letter was originally addressed to Aspen City Council.)

As a second-home resident and downtown property owner of two buildings on the Hymen Avenue Mall for 40 years, I note with interest the proposed construction of a Jewish temple at Fourth and Main in the City.

Allowing any religious or tax-exempt organization to decrease the property tax base of the business district by the use of their tax-exempt status is inappropriate.

Congress did not enact tax-exempt legislation for this purpose, nor for the purpose to “acknowledge the importance” to the public of a particular (or any) religious group. Quite the contrary.

Further, Aspen is a worldwide tourist mecca, whose visitors include representatives of nearly every nationality, religious belief and creed. It will be detrimental to have an extremely outspoken and highly controversial religious organization “in your face” exhibiting their “proud presence” at the entrance door to Aspen.

We can thank Mendel Mintz, New York rabbi, for the quotes. He fully senses, yet denies, the serious implications of his agenda.

I ask the honorable Aspen City Council and its Planning and Zoning Commission to record my objections to this proposed development and, further, to deny the construction.

Larry F. Ferguson

Dallas, Texas