Letter: Detaching from the public | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Detaching from the public

Ordinary citizens get elected to Congress. Then they go off to Washington, D.C. They lose their connection with the people who entrusted them with public office and they do as they will, not as the citizens would have them do. They live and work in a place detached from the people. The physical separation from the people becomes a mental separation. Before long, they cannot identify with the concerns of the people who elected them.

Appointed bureaucrats are even more detached, largely due to distance.

We have an old, dilapidated City Hall in Aspen. The people who work there deserve better conditions. The people deserve facilities that permit the staff to work more efficiently. But the existing City Hall has one great virtue. It is in the middle of the everyday action of average residents. The staff and the City Council are forced to interact with people because of the location of City Hall.

Now the council wants to build its own Washington, D.C., only a few blocks from the current site but a world away from the public. What better metaphor for the city management and council’s desire to detach themselves from the public and do as they will than just to move away?

Maurice Emmer