JAS needs to face a bright red stop light with city

The proposed public-private partnership between the city of Aspen and Jazz Aspen Snowmass needs to face a bright red stop light. Consider for a moment: $1 million (or more) of taxpayer money may be handed to one favored nonprofit organization in a sweetheart deal with no competitive process to consider, evaluate and selectively include the many other worthy nonprofit needs of our community.

This is crony capitalism. Not that I have anything but good things to say about JAS. I have enjoyed dozens of JAS performances I will surely enjoy dozens more. But a $1 million commitment of taxpayer money without any competitive and transparent process for deciding the allocation of taxpayer resources to other worthy causes is not right.

If the Aspen government has $1 million to give to JAS, and presumably therefore to other worthy nonprofit institutions, then the Aspen government should appoint an independent advisory board to evaluate competing grant requests and present a balanced and unbiased recommendation based on objective criteria to Aspen town council, like the Citizen’s Grant Review Board does for the Town of Snowmass Village.

John Hornblower