Letter: Unique charm over deep pockets | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Unique charm over deep pockets

There have been so many excellent letters and endorsements in support of Referendum 1 and the candidates I’m voting for that I won’t belabor those topics. Rather, I’d like to point out that the community itself bears some responsibility for the buildings that were the result of infill and the attempt to implement Ordinance 19.

When we were given the false choice between infill or sprawl, we voted for infill. Enough of us voted for Helen Klanderud and the council at that time. Have any of us really been surprised at the direction that Dwayne Romero, Derek Johnson, Rob Ittner and Adam Frisch have led? Art Daily was a surprise to some. Frisch clearly knew that the public was opposed to Ordinance 19 and chose to implement it anyway. I suspect that to be true of the other council members who voted for it as well, although they did not openly state it as he did.

It doesn’t matter if these council members are smart, prepared and nice guys to have a beer with. Not if they have their own agenda and different values from the community. I believe they have shown this to be true.

Do we believe that preserving our historic, small-town character and viewplanes makes us unique and competitive? That going the way of most other resort towns that have buckled to outside speculators (or local ones) will result in the loss of our unique charm that brings visitors back and supports the quality of life we love? That the community assets are not to be irreparably damaged by special interests with deep pockets and power? If so, we must vote for the candidates who share that vision and those values and will represent the community’s best interests.

Special interests cannot take the power away from an informed, engaged and united electorate. We have the power if we choose to! The price we pay for not being involved is too high. The code for building heights has been reduced to 28 feet on only one side of the street. The other side is still 40 feet. If we do not want to see more buildings similar to the ones many of us are objecting to and alarmed by on that side, we must vote for council members who will downzone the code on that side, also.

Kallen vonRenkl


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