Su Lum: Slumming
Aspen, CO Colorado
“City works to regain public trust,” screams the headline. “Voter confidence is low,” says Michael Conniff.
Well, I am one voter who hasn’t lost her confidence, faith and trust in the current City Council. The majority ” Mick Ireland, Jack Johnson, J.E. DeVilbiss and, usually, Steve Skadron ” are doing exactly what they were elected to do: stem the wanton development and desecration of Aspen.
My only complaint is that they aren’t doing even more. For instance, they should have stuck with the original Ordinance 30, which mandated historic review for any buildings more than 30 years old if proposed for demolition.
Instead, they backed off from the red-herring issue of whether or not it was an emergency and from the demands to know who was on the list (originally, everyone was on “the List”), ending up with a pitiful little list and the owners of those homes understandably crying foul (“Why me? Why not the others?”).
If the council had done what I voted for them to do, I wouldn’t have to sit through the historic task-force meetings every other week and then tape it on GrassRoots to hear what was said. I got a new tube in my worst ear, but it doesn’t cut it for large meetings.
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The way I see it, the public already has spoken, in the Aspen Area Community Plan (soon to be updated, be there), at the Core Values community meetings and in its vote for a council that represents the wish to preserve the community. The council should have had the confidence to carry that through despite the predictable vocal opposition.
The developers and the preservers in Aspen have been at odds since big money came to town. It often is referred to as a “division,” as if half were on one side and half on the other, but the elections say otherwise, and the community says otherwise whenever it gets the chance. The opposition is louder, not bigger.
If Mick Ireland ” known for his razor tongue, short fuse and having a host of enemies ” could be elected mayor of Aspen, you’ve got to know that the residents are fed up with the ruination of the town.
A very vocal group that correctly sees the current council as a menace to its purposes is doing its best to portray the council and staff as fiscally irresponsible, nontransparent, incompetent and deceptive ” none of which is true.
All’s fair in love, war and politics, but Aspenites have excellent crap detectors.
The Burlingame issue is the latest effort to discredit the council, though none of the members were on board at the time. There is no scandal, no missing (some imply stolen) money, though these guys would have you believe otherwise.
I originally opposed Burlingame because I saw it as an employee ghetto way out of town. I ended up half-heartedly endorsing it because we needed the housing, however we could get it. The money was never the point. The arguments were about the size, the location and the sprawl.
I hate to tell you, but if you support the City Council, you need to watch or go to the meetings, or let your voice be heard with letters to the editor. We elected them so we could relax and let them do the job, but, as the saying goes, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (people) to do nothing.
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When Aspen celebrates Gay Ski Week in 2022, it will be the annual event’s 45th year, and the 20th year for AspenOUT, the nonprofit organization that stages the event.