Letter: Aspen should prove it has nothing to hide
Prove there’s nothing to hide
Our city manager responded in the papers to a letter I had submitted to them. He did so even before my letter was published. This means that someone leaked my letter to the city manager in advance. Either one of the papers or one of the City Council members, whom I copied on the letter as a courtesy. This raises some questions, such as:
Can’t City Council members write for themselves, or do they rely on the city manager to write (and possibly think) for them?
An independent press is essential to liberty. Is there any separation between the paper that first published the city manager’s reply (the Aspen Daily News) and City Hall?
Going to the substance of the city manager’s reply, why did he evade my recommendation? Why didn’t he welcome and accept my recommendation that City Council hire its own independent investigator to hear tips from whistleblowers and investigate them? If city government is as “open” as it claims, it should welcome this step, as it would validate the city manager’s claim that the government operations have nothing to hide.
Instead, the city manager makes the most frivolous offer imaginable. Lay citizens may come in and “look at the books.” Can City Council members even look at the books and have a clue what they are seeing? Lay citizens wouldn’t have a chance. The budget alone is hundreds of pages that they can barely interpret. What would they, untrained auditors and investigators, possibly find?
If the city manager really is honest about transparency, the City Council should adopt my recommendation and hire its own professionals to check things out. The citizens of Aspen would feel better.
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With much sorrow I heard of the passing of a good friend Bruce Berger. He was a man for all seasons, a pianist, prolific author, environmentalist, and lover of Aspen.