Letter: Vote for a candidate with the courage to listen | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Vote for a candidate with the courage to listen

Oh joy, voter variances.

Getting a building permit in Aspen is a draconian process. Do we really think making each application a ballot question will be better? You think you have information overload now, just wait.

What on earth makes you think the voting public will read each permit application? I so look forward to the building permit ads. Don’t you want to see ad campaigns for parking spaces and increased roof to floor area? What if it’s easier to spin the electorate than our elected representatives? Should we vote ourselves out? Nominations are open.

No one pays attention until things turn into a screaming match. Don’t kid yourself, the only reason Ordinance 19 was rescinded was due to fear. Fear works. A whole bunch of people showed up after public comment was closed and yelled. Yep, that’s what we need, more screaming matches at City Hall, more finger pointing. It’s going to be great.

In my opinion, all 91 pages of Ordinance 19 sucked. The original intent, which was to help older properties renovate, was a good one. The ordinance strayed from that original intent, greatly. The council chose to listen to the majority of residents who showed up for public comment. Bada boom — enact Ordinance 19. So where does the fault lay? In my opinion, it’s two-fold. There was insufficient feedback to staff when they strayed off point and there was insufficient input during the public comment and work sessions. The “rethink” of Ordinance 19 suffers from the same malaise. Clicker sessions with questions crafted to silo the answers and using the failed ordinance as a template is not the way to win friends and influence people. Asking for public participation in these sessions only on weekdays during working hours is the height of class discrimination.

My vote goes to the next representative who is forthright enough to give clear direction to staff and brave enough to point out when the focus is getting blurry. My vote goes to the next representative who will go out and talk with people who don’t write letters to the paper or start petitions. My vote goes to the next representative who has the guts to clean our bureaucratic house and start fresh. My vote goes to the next representative who has the courage to listen.

Ziska Childs


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