Aspen is overgrown, its residents overtaxed

Regarding the Aspen Daily News article of April 15 — “City Hall/Municipal Workers” — the times have changed! What a difference the years make! Back in the early ‘50s, it was just Puppy Smith, John Loushin, Eudora McCabe and Ethel Frost. Puppy took care of the streets, John was the town marshal, Ethel was city clerk, Eudora kept the books, and Gene Robinson was the mayor. City Hall was just two rooms in the Armory.

Go back in time to 1925 — the annual budget was only $4,000. In 1950, 25 years later, $42,380; in 1975, $4,185,000; in 2000, $46,000,000 and in 2019 $120 million. The past 94 years have seen phenomenal growth! Now, per the Aspen Daily News, there are 326 city employees!

If you include the other public entities i.e.: county, school, fire, hospital, RFTA, all these combined local taxing entities are in the upper hundred millions and will soon exceed a billion dollars. Wow! No wonder we can’t afford our taxes! We long-time Aspenites are being taxed out of town!

So if you get on a RFTA bus, remember: It’s not a free bus! The popular slogan “Bring Back the Quiet Years” is an impossible dream. Those years are gone! But our “Aspen memories” remain.

Jim Markalunas