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Wink will be missed

I am writing this letter about a favorite of mine, Wink Jaffee. He recently passed away in Boulder.

I am Mary Martin, whom many may remember as the producer of the GrassRoots Television 1992-95 shows called “The Wink and Mary Show.” For those new residents of Aspen, Wink lived there from 1959 and we, Bill and I bought our “Gay Nineties” home the same year.

I write all of this because I want the reader to know that we studied local city and county government and understood it enough to go for recall in the city, defeated the contentious fur issue, won on the Ritz Carlton Hotel election and continuously fought for the reduction of government and for the betterment of the people.

Wink was a stimulating man. Intellectually, he was second to none. Your obituary of him seemed fair.

What the writer apparently did not know is that Wink moved from Aspen 10 years ago because he simply could not take the fact that the largest single business or industry, as it really should be called, was and still is the burgeoning county and city Government. We moved the following year for the same reason.

I have just finished reading The Aspen Times issue of April 23. It seems that Aspen has not changed one whit – same people in government, same election in May when no one is there and candidates are elected by three votes out of maybe 300 voting in the city.

Wink would have said: “Change the election date … maybe same as the county.” Still the same problems with employee housing; we both felt that government should have provided incentives to the private sector and employers.

The budget of the city particularly is outrageous – over $77 million for a little over 5,000 people. What has Aspen government done for you, the taxpayer, except the recreation center?

Shortly after I heard of Wink’s passing, I called GrassRoots and asked if they could play some of the Wink and Mary’s tapes again. I know that Wink would be pleased. Some viewers might be amused that our comments about government are applicable today some 14 years later.

Goodbye, Wink – entrepreneur, historian, rancher and friend … you will be missed.

Mary F. Martin

Rancho Mirage, Calif.


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