Right answers or wrong questions?
August 10, 2006
I’m apparently the only person in Aspen who hasn’t answered a survey, but I’ve got a few questions of my own.For instance, what is one supposed to do with survey results that indicate people think Aspenites are snobbish? That’s neither surprising nor useful.There’s really only one good reason to ask the populace what it thinks anyway – so it can be blamed for what follows: “But this is what the community said it wanted!”Since when has this community ever known what it wanted? It only knows what it doesn’t want, but only after it gets it.Or, maybe we’re just not asking the right questions.A secret group of survey backers secretly suspects that what the community secretly wants is a survey that asks the right questions. And here it is:First, please identify your income strata:A – I’ll die in affordable housing.B – I’m downvalley trash.C – I’d be considered filthy rich anywhere else.D – I’m worth more than many small countries.What Aspen really needs more of is:A – Dogs.B – Warming hearths.C – Snow.D – Surveys.What Aspen really needs fewer of is:A – Parking enforcement officers.B – Texans.C – Real estate brokers.D – Surveys.My real concern about Aspen isn’t traffic or development, but:A – Taser use.B – Tree lopping.C – Gasoline prices.D – Surveys.I think Aspen’s “White Shirts” are:A – Misguided.B – Right on the money.C – Pre-shrunk.D – All-cotton.Aspen was at its best when:A – Silver mining was king.B – Skiers wore wool pants.C – Hippies ruled.D – I got here.In reality, Aspen’s problems are:A – Insurmountable.B – Trifling annoyances, by real-world standards.C – Fodder for Andrew Kole’s talk show.D – Well documented through surveys.To solve its problems, real or perceived, Aspen should turn to:A – City government.B – Su Lum.C – Toni Kronberg.D – More surveys.The solution to the entrance to Aspen must include:A – A straight shot.B – The S-curves.C – Haven’t I answered this already?D – Another survey.If we must build a four-lane, it should be routed:A – Over open space.B – Over Red Mountain.C – To a parking garage beneath Wagner Park.D – To Jeffrey Evans’ house.The results of this survey should:A – Line the Canary Initiative birdcage.B – Replace the Aspen Area Community Plan.C – Be kept secret.D – Form the basis for another survey.You’re betting this survey was conducted at the behest of:A – The Aspen Planning Commission.B – The Aspen City Council.C – A columnist on deadline.D – The Aspen Survey Commission.Janet Urquhart would have all the answers if her vision was 20/20. Equipment trouble, however, has resulted in the postponement of last week’s expected Lasik surgery. She may see more clearly by this time next week. Or not. She can be reached at email@example.com
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