Frias: Aspen needs new, intelligent leadership   |

Frias: Aspen needs new, intelligent leadership  

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

As a 48-year member of the Aspen community and a business owner who has an open-door policy with my employees, I am compelled to voice my concern of our current leadership and its seeming lack of interest in the overall well-being of Aspen and the people who keep it going.

Our current mayor and City Council continue to mismanage APCHA, now a $3 billion community asset, which is an essential component to attracting and retaining talent in Aspen.

Over the past year, dangerous and targeted tax legislation have been approved that will potentially cripple long-standing businesses and unnecessarily eliminate jobs while not addressing the true problem. Recent APCHA studies show the current growth impacts are not caused by the 50-year historic rental condos that have been blamed for the negative impacts.  

As opposed to the recently passed additional 10% tax on short-term rental guests — bringing the total tax rate to 21.3% — a new 2% sales tax on all residents will more equitably collect funds from those creating the negative impacts. The city can then rebate citizens at lower income levels, like the food rebates, so they are not punished or impacted in any way. 

I am encouraged by the experience and enthusiasm of Bill Guth and Sam Rose, who are running for City Council, as well as Tracy Sutton, who has entered the mayoral race to give us the leadership we need now.  

I hope my colleagues who helped build Aspen over the past 50 years will also voice their concern and support this new wave of leadership in Aspen.

Time is running out to protect our special community.

Chuck Frias