Aspen Times Roses and Thorns (Dec. 28, 2018) | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Times Roses and Thorns (Dec. 28, 2018)

A thorn goes to Aspen Assistant City Manager Barry Crook, who is on paid administrative leave even though he resigned a couple of days before. It's unacceptable that a senior staffer in City Hall would call an all-volunteer citizen board "mother f—ing extortionists."

Actually, what he said specifically about Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board members Dec. 5 within earshot of elected officials was that he wasn't going to let those "mother f—ers extort me." That was in response to learning that the APCHA board wanted to cover the program's costs of being a partner in a public-private partnership to develop affordable housing.

It's not your money, Barry. It's the taxpayers'. All too often we've heard him speak in the first person when it comes to public assets. He should apologize to the citizen board for calling them extortionists and step down from his post as soon as possible.

On the same note, a rose goes to the four City Council members who publicly apologized to the APCHA board on Dec. 11 for Crook's behavior.

Roses to all of those workers around town who clocked in on Christmas Day and will do so again on New Year's Day. There are a number of service folks, first responders, road crews, mountain-ops people and others who have to spend part of the holiday away from their families, and we just want to give you another shout-out for making the holidays great for those who are out and about.

Thorns to the Aspen post office. While RJ dutifully deals with angry customer after angry customer, the 20-plus-person deep lines with one clerk working at noon during a holiday are mind-blowing. The post office lobby is trashed with filthy rugs and tile, posters hanging half-cocked on the walls and scraps of package trash, so it's not even pleasant to wait for an hour and a half. Possibly the two most frustrating aspects: a postmaster who walks through with her lunch, observes the long line, and moves along (maybe it's a union thing, but that doesn't do a damn thing to make paying customers feel better); when you've waited in line for an hour to mail your package and what appears to be another attendant (you temporarily breathe a sigh of relief) arrives and says "anyone with package slips, come over here" and now everyone behind you moves to the front of the line.

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Roses to the crew at Spring Gulch outside of Carbondale for doing such a good job this winter getting the base packed and the recent snow so immaculately groomed. It's a great start for the Nordic system outside of Carbondale that suffered through a tough winter last season.

Thorns to some of you drivers who still don't get it that we're a pedestrian-first town. Please note that the people, not the vehicles, have the right of way. And especially at night on Main Street, please use extra caution. All this awesome snow the past few days makes it an even trickier shuffle across the asphalt.

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