I’m not going to get into a spitting match with Mick Ireland, but his guest opinion piece in last Friday’s Aspen Times, ironically titled, “Clearing the Burlingame rhetoric,” encourages me to restate and clarify my position lest readers be misled.Supposedly in response to my column last Wednesday, Mick took the opportunity to individually attack all of the high-profile opponents of the Burlingame project and I guess the idea was that I would suffer from guilt by association: If I’m not on HIS side (implied), I must be on THEIR side.I was one of the signers of all three petitions but I’m not in bed with anyone on either side and think that there are some on both sides who are liabilities rather than assets to their causes. As I said last week, this is going to be a nasty campaign.The point I was trying to make is that there is angst in the community about housing projects of this scope, and I think that this is undeniable. One thousand signatures on the first two petitions speak for themselves and the one thing these petitions spoke to was: We don’t want anything like this to happen again without voter approval. Would it stop Burlingame? I don’t think the petitioners knew (I didn’t) whether it would or not – they still don’t know – but they were expressing discontent with the process.One thousand signatures is an impressive number of city voters. The Burlingame advisory question in 2000 was passed by 1,162 votes. The petition now circulating specifically addresses Burlingame, and I think the signature quota will be reached handily. How the petitioners will actually vote on the yea or nay of Burlingame remains, of course, to be seen – it even remains to be seen how I will vote on it. I originally opposed the vague advisory vote, but how deep are we into it? Is there wiggle room to turn back? What are the liabilities to the city?I strongly feel that what we need to do is stop the bulldozing now, and see how this shakes out.I’ve seen the list of names of the people who signed the first two petitions (the people Mick Ireland refers to, with a sinister implication, as the “unnamed and supposedly unfunded”). This is public information and anyone can go to the city clerk’s office and look at them. I advise you to do that: Look at the names.Because here’s the thing: THEY are US. They are our neighbors, lawyers, accountants, business people, lodge owners, Realtors, longtime locals and newcomers, homeowners and renters from all parts of town. This is not a conspiracy, it is US, saying hold on, WAIT A MINUTE!Dan Sadowsky said it best: “Voters deserve a full airing minus the very tedious defamation and partiality that now occlude the controversy.”Last Minute Note: On Monday evening the signatures on the third (Burlingame) petition were submitted to the City Clerk and the council agreed to put the question to a public vote. Yes!Su Lum is a longtime local who applauds the City Council’s decision to get this on the May ballot. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.
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