Letter: Councilman: Thievery cannot be condoned | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Councilman: Thievery cannot be condoned

This from The Aspen Times’ most recent editorial(“Soul-searching through Aspen’s parking-meter fracas,” Editorial, Sept. 26.): “It bothers us that Mayor Steve Skadron reportedly was quick to agree with Councilman Dwayne Romero’s sentiment that ‘the conduct of the citizens is far more malicious and dark than the management issues inside the city.’” Huh?

The apparent and purposeful theft of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of dollars of parking fees is somehow more acceptable than the actual and now admitted deficiencies of the parking-meter system itself? Really?

Let me be more clear: There is a distinct difference between a deficiency (even deficiencies) of the parking system versus the willful intent to steal from that system. I will not defend the deficiencies, but nor will I condone the apparent thievery. One can and should be fixed through technology and better/stronger management practices; the other may become a felony conviction.

Since our discussions this week, I have received plenty of input and support to approach and repair both issues — vigorously fix the metering system (and how it is managed and controlled) and pursue the alleged thefts with equal vigor. Both deserve our attention.

I do agree with the editor on his last point: A town-hall-style meeting across all stakeholders may be in order, if for nothing else than to shake out the facts from the fiction and perhaps even provide some focus on solutions. I’m also in favor of some sort of third party, independent review of the issues. At a larger level, all of this may pave the way in rebuilding trust for and among ourselves.

Dwayne Romero