Wait for more information
Each and every current Aspen council member and candidate has made a promise in his or her campaign rhetoric to listen to the community, to make careful and informed decisions, to safeguard our community assets.
If we as voter-citizens follow these same principals, we should not be asked to vote in the upcoming election to sell the former Youth Center site to the Art Museum. No plans have been filed with the city; no public hearings have been held where community members have had the opportunity to evaluate a formal proposal and hear the comments of friends and neighbors; no sale price or other terms and conditions important to the sale have been established.
At a council meeting, a conscientious council member would certainly ask to postpone any decision until more information is available. Likewise, a responsible citizen simply does not have enough information to vote in favor of a sale today.
Some people have argued that we are not really committing to a sale, but merely giving the council the right to negotiate and then sell. Unfortunately, with an upcoming election, we have no idea who will be on council to conduct negotiations. In addition, the Aspen city charter specifically requires the voters, and does not authorize council, to approve the sale of this property. We should respect and retain our rights and responsibilities under the city charter and vote on a sale proposal only after we have sufficient information.
I will vote NO today, a vote reflecting the complete lack of information, not an objection to concept of an art museum on the site. I look forward to the opportunity to reconsider when I can make a truly informed decision.
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Just in time for Halloween, the Pitkin County Board of Health voted 4-2 to reduce the size of informal gatherings from 10 to five for at least the next two weeks starting Friday. According to the public health director, officials are currently investigating 11 outbreaks in Pitkin County.