Letter: Referendum is for special-interest groups | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Referendum is for special-interest groups

It’s official. After reading and listening to all sorts of residents’ opinions on Referendum 1 over the past couple of months, it is very clear to me that the basis and implications of Referendum 1 are not very clear to the community.

Allow me to make one thing clear: To those who think the referendum challenges the effectiveness of special-interest groups, you are badly mistaken. It does the exact opposite. It arms special-interest groups. After all, that is exactly what Bert Myrin represents — a special-interest group. For those of you who signed Bert’s petition, you have been played like a fiddle. Who wouldn’t sign a petition based on whether you want “60-foot-high buildings in Aspen.” It’s not nice to fool your neighbors for your own special interest. Special-interest groups have a far better opportunity to manipulate the system in an election process than they do with the current entitlement process. Trust me, I know.

Far be it for me to tell this community how to vote. But I ask, what is the hurry? It is very evident from the dialogue generated by the referendum that there should be continued discussion, and community debate is always healthy. But, going to the next step without truly understanding what you’re voting on is how communities really get themselves in trouble.

Ask yourself as you vote for your favorite mayor and council candidates: Do I trust them to represent the best interests of Aspen and my belief of how to keep Aspen, Aspen? If not, vote for someone else. If you have trust, then Referendum 1 is a moot cause. Make sense?

R.J. Gallagher Jr.