City Council not doing itself any favors

Why does Aspen’s city government go out of its way to make itself look so bad?

In May, City Council adopted an ordinance changing the land-use rules for the site of new city offices. Toni Kronberg and others gathered citizen signatures on a referendum petition demanding the ordinance either be withdrawn or submitted for public vote. Two conflicting laws arguably governed the deadline for submitting the petition. One allowed three more days than the other. The city insisted on applying the law that allowed three fewer days and rejected the petition.

Judge John Neiley just ruled the governing law was the one allowing the extra time. He ordered the city to accept the petition. Why did three citizens have to sue the city to get this result? It was very clear which law applied (the one allowing three extra days is reserved specifically for the type of ordinance involved in this case). Why didn’t the city simply apply the correct law in the first place?

Yeah, I know City Council doesn’t want to hold a public vote. But if they had simply followed the law they would have looked a little bit like maybe, sometimes, every once in a great while they care about the law and democracy. Instead, they gave the public the finger again, wound up back where they started and reconfirmed how little they care about the citizens.

Maurice Emmer