Su Lum: Slumming
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
The last time I saw anyone come into town and stir things up just for fun was in the spring of 1990, when Jay Ordan took over the marketing of the attempt to recall mayor Bill Stirling and councilmen Michael Gassman, Frank Peters and Steve Crockett. Jay represented a handful of activists who were angry at the council’s slow growth policies, and who had leapt upon a big blunder, in the form of a nasty note passed from Crockett to Gassman, as a springboard to throw the bums out.
Ordan, who had no personal interest in the outcome other than winning for its own sake, thoroughly enjoyed getting down and dirty in the fray, basking in the attention and presumed power.
After the dust settled, Steve Crockett was narrowly recalled, the balance of power remained, and Jay Ordan moved on down the road.
For those who were here at the time, there’s a certain ring of “dejà vu all over again” in the present attempt to discredit our current council, setting the stage for the May election.
GrassRoots TV talk-show host, Jerry Bovino, calls the Burlingame issue the most divisive in Aspen’s history, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Great Hippie Crisis of the early ’70s, the recall, the Ritz, the fur ban, ski pass prices and several Entrance to Aspen questions, just to name a few.
The people who are making an issue of what they call “Burlingate,” are Bovino, Michael Conniff (seemingly seeking syndication, tried and failed to unseat Bob Braudis), Andrew Kole (hoping for a committee appointment if not a seat in government), and Shellie Roy (running against Michael Owsley for county commissioner), along with opponents of Ordinance 30 (historic preservation), supporters of Tim Semrau and various developers and realtors. How Paul Menter got himself sucked into this remains a mystery.
Leading the pack is Marilyn Marks, who defined herself in a June 30 article in The Aspen Times. “‘There’s nothing more dangerous than a retired person with time on their (sic) hands who cares,’ Marks laughed.” I don’t know about the “cares” part, but why is this woman always laughing?
Marilyn laughs during meetings, laughs during interviews and forums. When Andrew Kole was explaining that The Aspen Times computers had blocked the word “mick” because it is pejorative (such as “spic” and “kike”) for the Irish, she laughed so hard she didn’t even hear it.
An e-mail written by Marks, that has been widely circulated around town, might explain her general air of amusement.
“I never laughed so hard all day at Larry, Moe and Curly. (The Council.) They keep stumbling all over themselves. Usually it’s not funny, but today, they made such fools of themselves, I couldn’t stop laughing all day. I haven’t laughed so hard in years.”
Could Marilyn Marks be laughing so hard because she’s just in it for the fun of stirring the town up and getting so much attention?
However you look at it, she seems to be having a hell of a lot of fun making life hell for a hell of a lot of people.
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